Directives From the Spectrum: If You Want Me to Learn, Enter My World First

I am different. I sense things differently. I enjoy things that seem odd or weird to you. My inner world is far more wonderful than you choose to believe. It can’t be… think… because it is not like yours.

I know that I must exist in “your” world. I will concede because I am outnumbered. However, I question your methods for teaching me how to be in your world. Must you begin where I am weakest? Should I do what you ask simply because you said so? If I do what you say, will you leave me alone? If I give you the response you want, will you stop asking me? I am in your world. But I am thinking about things that interest me.

Perhaps, you could enter my world for a little while. Go ahead, gaze where I am gazing. Spin the things I spin. Examine the things that I examine closely. Be still. Allow yourself to see, hear, smell and feel as I do. What do you see? What sounds come to your ears when you listen closely? What thoughts come to your mind? What feelings do you notice? What smells have you been missing?

I will enter your world more willingly and with more interest when you enter mine. I amricher than you think richer than you think. Wiser than you know. My gifts are hidden for those who build a bridge to me.

Demonstrate your respect for the things that I cherish – however, odd they seem to you. Like you, I was born with strengths and weaknesses. But you choose to dwell on my deficits. You see me as lacking in many areas. I see you as uninterested in my world. You attempt to engage me in repetitive meaningless activities without regard for what matters to me. I agree that I might need more practice than others, but, I need to want to learn. Do you not excel when you are motivated and engaged?

I see you tolerating what I say about my interests, but, like you, I need to converse with others’ who share my interest. I will learn how to listen and interact far more authentically in situations where my thoughts and ideas are valued.

Why don’t you teach me with the books that I drag around with me or the items that come in my school bag every day? I brought you my book of stars…..teach me words and math about the stars. I try to tell you about the train schedule…….I could learn math and social interactions if we played train. I enjoy geometry – I see patterns everywhere. Use my skill and allow me to help others see what I see. I would learn far more skills if you allow me to write about the ocean creatures I adore. I am trying to show you who I am but you see my interests as “getting in the way of real learning.”

Why do you insist on forcing me into your world? Just because there are more of you in your world and you hold more authority than I, does not justify dragging me from my existence (as weird as it might seem to you) into yours. I would explore your world with more interest if you would do the same for me. I am not a weird specimen. I am a human being with a gifts and weaknesses. Please acknowledge and help me to develop all aspects of who I am. I have more to offer than you can possibly imagine.

Allow me to introduce myself to you… 😀




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  1. Brenda Crossman March 26, 2015 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    This describes my granddaughter exactly as who she is. I am in her world every day of my life, and I am loving every minute of being here with her . She has taught me about life and beyond through her thoughts,words and expressions. She truly has given me a gift of sharing her world with me, for I never would have known what life is suppose to be about and I learn something new from her every time we are together. I love her more than words can express.

    • Jenn April 8, 2015 at 4:13 pm - Reply

      Brenda, I honestly welled up when I read your comment! You get it!!!! The beauty of kids with autism is that they have SO much to share with us! We too often, get stuck on what WE will share and teach THEM! THANK YOU ofryour comment! 🙂 🙂

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