Sunday, November 16, 2008

Troy Mom Taking Training Her Son's Class Into Her Own Hands

I don't usually highlight and comment on autism happenings in the news, but that last interesting piece about PA and this next one just seemed to be noteworthy as great things that should be emulated. This one relates to a mother of a seven year old autistic boy. She has taken it upon herself to go into her child's class to talk about her son's autism and try and germinate understanding about the condition. One of my favorite examples she uses was this:

During her time with Ryan's class, Kessler brought one student to the front and asked the other students to make soft buzzing noises while she tickled the back of his neck. Then she asked him to try and answer a math question. The boy blinked a few times and stared back at the class, unable to respond. "It was hard to concentrate, right? That's what Ryan feels every day in the classroom," Kessler said. "These things don't bother most people very much. But some people with autism feel their senses very, very strongly."

I would think/hope that we could get school systems around the country to get with this type of program and have, not just an autistic presentation, but any class that has a special needs kid have a 'training session'. Ignorance, in my mind, breeds suspicion, misinformation, and eventually hatred and abuse. If you give kids the knowledge to understand differences, then they are far more likely to defend and to discourage bullies from abusing.

I'd love to see a major organization develop a lesson plan for a 1/2 hour presentation given by either a parent or the teacher themselves. When Grace gets mainstreamed, my wife and I are going to be there letting the kids know what autism is REALLY about, and not leave it to the imaginations of the students. ASA, Autism Speaks, you listening? Maybe I'll just go local and talk to POAC

1 comment:

Navi said...

My son is in an autistic classroom in a typical school. He eats lunch with the kids and now that he's in Kindergarden he spends some time in a typical kindergarden classroom. His teachers use a booklet to 'introduce' the kids to the kids in their class and describe some of the issues specific to that child, so the kids get to know them. They also describe positive things. The year Tristan had a blueberry bagel every morning they mentioned he likes blueberry bagels, something that the kids could possibly connect with.