They say that 'you can teach anyone anything'......
Another thing that I live by. I truly believe it and James is proof of that.
Being on the autism spectrum James has things that don't come naturally to him. Things have to be taught.
When James was first diagnosed our OT at the time gave me a great talk about the linear brain and visual learning.
Her talk was so interesting I immediately started looking into visual learning. I soon realised that James was a visual learning.
You could tell James something till you are black and blue in the face and he still wouldn't get it. Flash him a image and he is all over it like donkey Kong.
One of the people I look up to and seek a lot of guidance from through her books and amazing understanding of autism is autistic Dr Temple Grandin. If you get a chance punch her name into google with the word 'quotes' and see how much knowledge you get just by reading 4 or 5 quotes. She does a brilliant job of telling you exactly how it is and exactly how it should be.
Here is a few of her quotes related to the teaching of autistics:
"It's never too late to expand the mind of someone on the autism spectrum"
"I'm a visual thinker, not a language based thinker. My brain is like google images"
"The world needs different kinds of minds to work together"
Dr Temple Grandin
So if we sit back and observe our children then we should quickly see how they work. .... right?
Absolutely. We are all different. Not one of us think or see the world the same so we are not going to learn the same.
Example: A teacher has a class of 4 students and they have been asked to tell her about the rock placed on top of a pillar in the centre of the room.
Student one: it's a rock sitting on top of a pillar in the centre of the classroom
Student two: goes into great verbal detail describing colour, shape and size.
Student three: walks over closely studying the rock. Picking on up to feel the texture. And describes what the rock feels like.
Student 4: says it's grey.
Now are any of the above answers wrong?
NO, absolutely not!
All the above answers are correct. It's the students perception and they have been asked to tell her about what they see.
BUT I can bet my last dollar that the child wishing to touch the rock would be penalised.
Why? Because the mainstream neurotypical world can't see a 'different' way.
A different way to learn.
A different perspective.
Something that concerns me as we look into schooling for our precious different mind, AKA James.
James likes to touch.
He likes to look at things from different angels.
He likes to learn.
And he will.
No one will squash his enthusiasm because his was is different.
Because my friends he will change the world and it will be his difference that makes that happen.