Monday, August 29, 2011

try to see it from their eyes...

Nearly 40 years ago, my sister Sandy was crawling around on the floor. 

"What the heck are you doing?"

"I'm trying to see the world from their eyes."

Seems she had read a Redbook article on toddlers, and how the world could be a big and frightening place.  She wanted so badly to see what her two boys saw...the good, the bad, and the dangerous.  ("Oh, look at all the electric cords to chew on!")

When my son was three and four years old, he couldn't communicate, although he could name hundreds of objects.  Nouns were his thing.  I had no way of knowing how much he understood, how much was just babble to him, like the adults in Peanuts cartoons, and it was frustrating.

Wish I could have heard the world through his ears...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Oh, I'm being followed by a Moonshadow...

I often wake in the middle of the night lately. I'll look out on the back porch, and I'll see the shadows cast by the moon, the chairs lit up by a mellow sun, a reflection of a reflection.

It's really beautiful in a way, this soft light of night.

What drives me up and about in the middle of the night is always the same: a compelling thought, bathed in the light of a quiet mind, that says it is truth. I have to get up, out of fear I'll lose it. I know how fleeting thoughts are, ones so important you're sure you'll never forget, disappear in the morning light.

I am so lucky life offers me the chance to follow these moonshadows. I am grateful to the night.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms

Comes a time, you get tired of seeing your child as a "learning disabled". For a lucky few, we see our children as quite bright, but lacking the typical attributes that make school easy. "Divergent Learners" have other labels: Learning Disabled, Aspergers, Dyslexic, ADHD, Bipolar...some feel it is not a disability but an attribute, like handedness...a difference.

Sir Ken Robinson is a cool dude that knows really bright kids get placed in little boxes that keep them from growing. Pharmaceuticals, Special Education (and con-commitant "short buses"), Behavioral Modification, every thing but acceptance. These kids, my son, have to fit in the G.D. box...they're no better than anybody else! It's not fair to treat them special. They are just dumb troublemakers.

Except...often, these trouble-makers go on to develop careers that take those very maladaptive behaviors and use them to their own advantage. I'm not going through the list of LD people who now enjoy tremendous success. Nor am I going to cover the poor souls who never find anyone to believe in them, least of all themselves.

This is a magnificent visual accompaniment to the common sense words of Sir Ken Robinson. They "illustrate" his points perfectly! I hope you love it as much as I did.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Results for empathy displayed by Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen

Dr. Baron-Cohen wrote a book recently that  caused an uproar in the autistic community. He said that autistics were much like psychopaths in that they had zero degrees of empathy.

Takes one to know one...

Just sayin...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words.

This just seems...wrong...somehow.  Maybe it's just me.  Opportunistic advertising? 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Movement and Novelty. How the Visual-Spatial Learner learns.

That makes sense now. Movement and novelty. When Ben was little, he would look out the window at the trees blowing in the wind (we were in Kansas,it happened a lot), the fans in church...I was hurt because he wouldn't look at my face. It is kinda boring...

So here is a three part series of you-tube videos that deserve wider distribution. So come on people, use these links! (All 5 of you, kindly!)

I constantly ride the line between Ben having a disability, and having a gift. This teacher/VSL learner is just so descriptive today he moves it to gift.

The kid that gets me the most is the high school kid ready to give up because he is just tired of trying to learn the way the teachers learn. Look at his art-work. Imagine him expecting that kind of ability from his teachers. It's easy for him, just as their subjects are easy to them.
Imagine him not being able to understand why they can't get art they way he does. Imagine him being this way towards them every day of their lives for 6 hours a day.


Amazing Insight...and I haven't forgotten you, Buck!

I "met" with an amazing illustrator online, who interpreted the "Visual-Spatial" thinker in one cartoon in a way a thousand words couldn't do justice to.  Turns out, he is also a V-S thinker.  He has an amazing gift, as do many people considered "learning disabled".  I have an illustrator disability, and I have ...  (I am thinking of  "Owl" and "Dude, I'm an Aspie", as well as my own son in younger years, who use pictures to tell fantastic stories without words, often.)  I am too lazy or distracted to give Mr. Buck justice today.  (I guess you could clink on his link in friends if you are interested.  You won't be disappointed.)

This is a simple post, as most of mine are.  I "tweet" now, and another creative artist, Sally Gardner, who writes young adult books, I believe (maybe Buck could illustrate them...) always has the most informative tweets.  I am thinking she is dyslexic, and did not learn to read until she was 12 years old.  Imagine how much fun school was for her.

Anyhow, it seems when a person who has been through hell reaches out to others with help, totally amazing ideas come to us.  The world changes.

I can hardly wait to show this idea to my son.