I would suggest that the majority of the problems we have stem from lack of knowledge. For instance, who in their right mind would give one teacher fifty kindergarteners?
What knowledgeable person would warehouse groups of five or more moderate to severe behaviorally disturbed children in any one's classroom?
What knowledgeable person would let a little girl with cerebral palsy set in a giant baby seat all day? She never gets a chance to lay on the grass, to touch it...look at its color...to taste it?
Remember, there are many strong forces that are not acting in the best interest of children, teachers or parents...only the best interests of a small subset of taxpayers...
Now I will hopefully provide some solace to you...you who bring beauty and clarity and help children develop their inner and outer thoughts about the real world.
I know many of you believe in bibliotherapy and are
deep thinkers, so I would like to add some recent
insightful experiences of my own...for whatever it is
worth. Call it videotherapy.
A few years ago, Kathleen Turner starred in a movie called House of Cards.
It was based on the real experiences of a little girl
and her family who fought the authorities to prove that
she was not autistic...she was working on something
deep within...the tragic death of her father...she
could not fit that in her life schema so she reverted
to autistic like behaviors...freezing...the shrill
monkey type screaming...etc.
This is an awe-inspiring movie that moves me to glad tears every time I see it.
Having said that, I want to share a remarkable show on
PBS that I watched last Tuesday, 9-08-98. The series is
called Oliver Sacks: Mind Traveler. It will be on tomorrow night with another rare group of special
children who have Williams' Syndrome, and last week's
edition was called "Rage for Order".
The girl described in the show is a woman now, and they
tell of the family struggle to help her live as normal
a life as she can. "Jessie is autistic. She also
paints fantastic pictures of the white clapboard houses in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where she lives.
Jessie's life is full of obsessions and her story offers profound insights into the nature of human
relationships. Sacks also visits Eric Courchesne in San Diego to explore the biological basis of autism.CC,
Stereo, TV-PG Educational Taping Rights: 1 year -- For
more information see PBS TeacherConnex.
Thanks for all your inspiring stories,
--- "You can observe a lot by watching." Lawrence Berra
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