Tuesday, June 15, 2010


It is the practice of the blogger to try to "get in the heads" of the individuals with whom he spends the school day. Each of them has a frame of reference, a world view, a unique way of looking at life; just as you and I see life from our own perspective. A measure of comprehending "where he/she is coming from", to my way of thinking, is key to enabling each young person to function more successfully at school and the world in general. Toys, games, social lessons, role playing, etc., are employed to instruct and encourage, but, plugging in to that frame of reference is vital. Although the process can be exhausting, it's worth the effort in the long haul. Getting in on the thinking of these kids on the spectrum has provided a wealth of insight on life from their point of view

Anecdotal accounts are from Asperger and PDD/NOS middle school, high school students, usually in their own words; when school starts up readers will hear words from k-3. Parents of my charges are aware of the use of anonymous statements made by their children. In our sessions together we "unpack our thinking" (usually when playing a game of some kind) on a range of issues pertaining to that boy or girl on THAT particular day; next counseling session may be on a different topic, because he/she is thinking about something else that day..... or hour. Getting Au people to change subjects or address an issue of no interest at that time or hour can be a daunting task... but we press on.

Clarifying the meanings of words and and phrases can be critical to communicating with them. A high school student was really struggling with his term paper [may I say that long term projects or assignments are often overwhelming to these kids (more on this some other time)]; he was struggling with writing the rough draft; in a week of writing only a sentence had been written. His English teacher, content mastery teacher, his counselor(yours truly) talked, explained, reasoned almost to exhaustion. Want to know his hange-up? The word "rough"....to the neurotypicals "rough draft" meant practice or working draft before the final work is completed. His meaning of the word "rough"? "Hard".."It MEANS hard to do, so I'm working on it as HARD I can." Once we got passed that he went on to finish. ARD eventually placed him in a self-paced class, because English teacher refused to work with the need for word clarification , in spite of the fact that the boy's BIP(glossary) addresses it. That instructor's mind set is NOT in the majority, by the way.

Rules..."high functioning" (glossary) Au's love rules, don't they? (the reasons for loving rules are fairly well established). Our boys and girls can irritate others with their insistence on the unwayvering adherence to the rules (such obsessing serves to keep many out of trouble). My third encounter with Asperger's was a highly intelligent young fellow who should be completing a BS in physics, by now. He daily faced harsh words, derision, ostracising, numerous office refferals, due to his outbursts over rule breaking by classmates, irregardles of how minor the infraction. "They're not supposed to be talking during work." So, he took it upon himself to correct the behavior. He was kicked off the weight lifting team, because he kept yelling at team mates for "goofing off, all the time." He yelled at the coach for failing to correct what he considered wrong behavior. Ever wish you had known more, so you could have helped a kid(glossary)? Thankfully, I can now do a better job of enabling my young friends.

I digress a lot, please bear with me, that's the way my brain works.

A four and a five year old are sitting on the curb. Four year old is down in the dumps. Five year old says, "I know how you feel, I was kid once myself."

Later gator

1 comment:

  1. Want to hear more about why there are problems with longterm assignments with them. Good job dad - persevere!