I was so encouraged recently by a friend of mine in Thailand whom I attended school with in the states. He also has a couple sons on the autism spectrum. We both post various findings we come across that we find interesting and helpful, but this was probably the most encouraging item I’ve come across via a link he posted at his Facebook recently. Not so much that it will help me personally and my situation, although it has broadened my horizons with hope, but because it should help the majority of those on the spectrum within the school system. Even that someone CARES to make the system of special ed and IEPs and environments in the classroom these children exist in, better…more efficient…is a blessing in itself and deserves proclaim. Right now, “special education” can be somewhat of a difficult procedure if not an outright joke in some schools. Many schools just simply lack enough intervention specialists, special ed instructors, or incur budget cuts. Sadly, if your child is the one with the IEP and under the care of the school system daily, they may not be progressing fully nonetheless getting all they need to really bountifully grow within the diversity of their own special condition.
First I want to say I admire the paradigm shift Thomas Armstrong speaks of in his YouTube Video, regarding his findings and procedures towards wiping away how we view special ed children by “deficits” and replacing it with “strengths”and “cultivating strengths” . Here he is giving a brief overview of his book: ASCD: Neurodiversity in the Classroom, due for release Dec. 2012.
If you go to the book link, you also can scroll down and find some PDF sample pages. I read them last night and was just so excited for the future of these children. When we have an advocate in education like this, it gives me such hope. It also inspires me as a home educator, and affirms that we are doing the right things for our children with special needs at home. We do utilize strengths – I call them “super powers”….to help them become educated and progress in studies and life itself. Special therapies, which now we do a lot of in the home after a year of attending them nearly twice a week, also help to improve the cognitive brain processes through physical helps.
To summarize, I am pleased with this encouragement. I am grateful that there will be more awareness and a shifting toward acceptance that there are different brains out there….and that is really ok. What a brighter future those non-neuro-typical types will have on the horizon ahead.