Note: To protect the privacy of our members, e-mail addresses have been removed from the archived messages. As a result, some links may be broken.
If I don't try I can't fail.
Every kid I have ever had who approached life this way was very
bright and had severe perception, processing, and/or motor problems
that were highly compensated for but caused real struggle and
uncertainty. Failure sneaks in as a surprise and is something "out of
their control" It takes some real digging to find sometimes what has
squelched their willingness to take risks and since they are so gifted
parents and teachers think you are crazy.
This kind of kid has advanced ideas but can't achieve what they want.
I tell them that everyone moves through stages of seeing and thinking
up ideas that are advanced of their abilities. When this happens they
are ready to make a big advance but if they give up at this point they
will be stuck in immaturity. If they struggle with it they will reach
a point where they will be satisfied with their work and continue to
grow. That probably won't work with someone entrenched in protecting
themselves from taking risks.
One such kid excelled in soccer, did medium well in class, was social
and mom was incensed that I thought he should be tested. By 4th he
was spending lots of energy talking around doing any art work. I
noticed that he spilled materials a lot. I kept watching to see what
clues I could pick up. One day we were working with beads which needed
to be pored back into large flat containers at the end of the period.
He couldn't get his into the container. I took his hands in one of
mine and felt him try to aim left where I was pointing to give him a
guide. Instead he would push to the right. As he moved further away
from the goal the harder he would push the opposite way taking him
even further from the dish.
I asked the OT to come and observe him. She gave a report to his mom
but she wouldn't hear us. The OT said she hoped none of us would be
on the road when he learned to drive. By 5th gr. he was turned off
all classes. Mom still wouldn't have him tested.
This year I have a girl I have been observing for some time looking
for clues. We were putting strips of drafting tape around the paper
for watercolors we are sending to South Dakota for our exchange with
<purpleart> . she could not get the end of the strip to connect to
the corner of the paper. She struggled but the tape was pressed about
3/4 down the edge. she would press that short piece in place and try
again and each segment would go 3/4 down from the top in the remaining
space. It took her 40 minutes to get 3 sides done in segments and
everyone else was already painting. No wonder she gives up and starts
visiting with her table mates.
I was so excited. I arranged for the OT and called the Mom She was
excited too. Now she is tested and starting a program. the mom is
doing exercises with her at home.
Art is a good place to identify these kinds of problems but sometimes
it is very subtle. So often it looks like laziness. Thank goodness
for this kind of Mom.
It is important to take the stress off these kind of kids while
keeping motivation up for everyone. Not an easy task.
Just 2 cents worth without knowing the boy you are talking about.
> << Accomplishment is empowering. >>
> Such a wise analogy. Now help me with an over-acheiver. He gets into
> trouble in
> art because he says "he isn;t good at art" (is also very spoiled by Mom).
> This child can draw better than most fourth graders but often won;t - wants
> to torment other children instead. I have tried to challenge him but he
> won';t accept the challenge. He doesn't like my positive comments on his
> - shuts down when I am near. I talked to him today and asked what he
of himself. He said to do better than anyone else because that is
mother told him in all subjects. I held my hands as far apart as I
said I see you expecting yourself to be as skilled in art as a
artist but you are a fourth grader and this is where your skill level
expected to be - held my hands about 1/4 of the distance. So how
look for this amount of skill and I held my hands a little farther
as he can
easily achieve higher than a fourth graders skill level and said he
the expected. Am I encouraging this guy or discouraging him. My son
been an overachiever in his mind but an underachiever in life - I
find an answer for him - so am lost with this type of student. Help
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Apr 12 2000 - 19:15:38 PDT