Just because some kids with autism cannot speak, does not mean they don’t have something important to say! 🙂
What pictures do you hold in your mind of your child’s day at school? What activities would be challenging? Which activities would bring her the most joy? How do you see him reacting to frustration? Is your child dancing when music is being played or sitting with headphones watching a learning video? Is your child running around enjoying the freedom of recess or walking the perimeter of the school yard? Is he sitting on the floor with the other children during circle time or on a chair on the edges of the circle? Is she contributing to group work or working independently at her desk?
As humans, we have incredible imaginations and we are constantly creating assumptions in our mind about what we think someone is doing and what they know or don’t know. We may not even realize that we have these ‘pictures’ in our mind until they clash with reality. The jolt of that comes from realizing things are not as we hoped, arouses strong emotions (momma bear and poppa bear seethe) and the result can often be that we lash out with a nasty note or phone call demanding answers.
But, before you react, consider this…
Have you expressed clearly and concisely the ideas, expectations or pictures in your mind of what you would like to see your child doing? Have you discussed these with your child’s teacher?
Our thoughts and visions are private unless we share them. A teacher cannot know what we expect or hope for our child unless we share our thoughts with them. The opposite is true as well, teachers owe it to parents and students to make their expectations very clear. This is particularly true of our students with autism since parents tend to have a good sense of what activities and tasks their child would be thrilled about joining in – and those that may cause their child to hide, withdraw or meltdown.
Relationships are tricky – I know that. But, I also know all too well that assumptions are almost always the mother of all screw ups when it comes to relationships! If teachers and parents were to communicate clearly and concisely about what they envision for the child, what they know about the child and then work cooperatively to find a way to make the vision a reality to the extent possible, what an amazing experience a student would have!
Share your vision today… and begin the collaboration. Our kids deserve it!
Okay, bear with me…I am still stuck on the whole “I don’t have time” thing.
I keep noticing that I literally race through life – from one task, appointment, meeting, event to another. I complain that I don’t have time to take a warm bath, a walk in the woods, to read a good book and the list goes on. But now, I hear myself saying it and I flinch a little. Why don’t I have time?
Like so many people, my life is crazy busy. But if I am honest, I have more control over how I use it than I allow myself to believe. I love reading. But let’s face it, at night when I am exhausted I allow myself to scroll through Facebook with very little attantion the length of time I do it. I am also known for having to get “just one more” email sent. I seem to have two extremes: I might scurry around like a frantic little task master or I might deaden my brain cells by googling the most useless crap – does the fact that the Bachelor just broke up with his fiance REALLY matter in my life? Not if I am telling myself that I would like to have time to read, write, play a sport, learn a language, build a better relationship with my husband or kids….(insert your bucket list items here).
Perhaps, I just need to choose my language more honestly – I need to put mychoices in a more clear context:
- Getting updated n the Bachelor’s love life is a priority.
2. Spending time with my husband and working on our marriage is a priority.
I know, its only 5 minutes. But, spending 5 minutes chatting with my husband matches my priorities and gets me closer to my goal of creating a successful marriage. I feel more at peace with myself when I attend to what I value. Mindless celebrity creeping doesn’t have the same effect.
I get to choose how I use my time. What are your thoughts? Am I the only one who complains about lacking time to live life according to my values and goals?