Thursday, July 8, 2010

How Does Education Help Autistics

After the initial diagnosis, the heartbreaks we eventually accept the problem and stat working with our children. Then somewhere along the line, we decide to start academics. We usually begin with matching, sorting….But there have been many a times I or rather me and my husband have wondered how is academics going to help him. We used to get these constant nagging doubts that  if he cannot take a simple command to fetch a spoon, switch off the fan, close the door………………what is to be achieved by him doing activities across a tabletop. But at all those times we were given assurances to keep working on his commands, we were told he will learn gradually. In introspection, had I waited to teach him academics after he stared taking commands, he would have been nowhere.
                                   I have been reading Soma’s Understanding Autism the Rapid prompt Method, Where she tells you show education can help our children very succinctly. Wish I had read this book a few years back. Nobody could have said it better. She has illustrated it with examples.
                                 To quote her “For example, if a person has learnt about fan, he or she can draw upon information already learned about fans and apply reasoning with appropriate encoding, which leads to correct expectancies. This allows for the integration of learning about the dangers of electricity and moving parts so that he or she can determine to stay away from it, rather than to act on the impulsive instinct to touch the fan.”
                    “Taking it a step further, teaching a student with autism about history or current events leads to a greater understanding of what he or she hears in others’ conversations or the television and radio. This results in a greater understanding of the course of human events, which makes the worlds a more interesting place and the individual a better-rounded, interesting person.”
                “I maintain that greater understanding also leads to a diminishment of excitable behavior.”
                 A Mind is a terrible thing to waste, that definitely is something we as parents would agree with her. Looking back, Ramam’s education helps him read, he relates thing s to some extent and possibly without educating him, I would have been left with practically no choices to engage him constructively. I shall be adding few more posts based on her book as I read along.

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