Perspective

Dana in her corner view touched on this issue a little bit with her video. Her and I must have been thinking on the same lines. This weekend I watched a movie that really touched my heart called Temple Grandin. The story is a true story based on a young woman who has Autism. When she was 4 years old, the doctors told her mother that she would never speak and that she should be placed in an institution. Temple's mother would not take this as an answer and with much love and persistence was able to teach her daughter enough to get her into school. School was not easy for Temple or for those who had to teach her, but once again with much love and care Temple was able to graduate from high school. Her mother didn't stop there and pushed Temple to go to college. The college wanted to expel Temple not because she wasn't smart, but because they just didn't know how to work with someone like her. Temple and her family fought to keep her in school and won. Eventually, Temple went on to receive a Ph.D. and changed not only how Autism is looked at today, but the meat packing industry here in the United States. She was a huge animal lover and did not like the process. Anyway, over the years my husband and I have had a huge debate whether to home school our children, send them to private school, or send them to public. In the end, we choose to send them to public though it hasn't been ideal. We want them to be able to have contact with other children, and want to support our community. The biggest obstacle for us has been that our children are very bright and don't fit into the cookie cuter mold of obedient students who just sit there and accept everything they are told. We have been told to put our children on medication for ADHD because the teacher thought they fit that category. I finally broke down 2 years ago and took them to a psychologist. We are glad we did because what he told us was that no our children did not have ADD or ADHD. He said our children were extremely bright and just bored out of their brains, and with this information we were able to go back to the school and have one of them retested for the gifted program. I love teachers and I think they have a hard job. They are often restricted by the system. I guess the thing is I wish there were more teachers who could look at teaching the way those around Temple did which is to celebrate the individual and try to bring the very best out of them. I am tired of people labeling not just my children but other peoples children as being bad just because they may be different. I am not saying we should celebrate inappropriate behavior, but what I am saying is that wouldn't this world be a much better place if we would just change our perspective a little and be more understanding. I guess I better stop here. Sorry for this long rant, but it has been something that I have been thinking about for a long time. Thanks ! To see more corner views visit Theresa who is babysitting corner view until Jane comes back.

Comments

Good for you for getting them tested. Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving.
Maddy said…
I'm glad there was a happy ending to this story. I, too, was in the gifted program as a kid thanks to a teacher who noticed and cared enough to inquire about alternatives. After a year in the giften program, they decided it was best that I skip a grade altogether. Now, I'm no prodigy. But I was much brighter than the other students in the low income community school. I think if it weren't for the insight of those teachers that saw something in me (and gave me a challenge) I might have fallen on some difficult times, like so many of the other students in the neighborhoods, just out of sheer boredome!
Dana said…
Gosh. It's all so difficult and complicated. I sometimes wonder if education in America has always been difficult and complicated in one respect or another. I've seen things change quite a bit in the nearly 15 years that I've been teaching, and it never seems to get easier. We never seem closer to "the answer." I think that it's important that we continue to strive, though.

I hope that your boys are able to find success in education. I hope they find it young. I hope that they are able to shed the labels. I know it must be frustrating for your family. I know it would be so for me.
D
Arctic Mum said…
Hi, I couldn't agree more with you. I think people label children with lots of energy too to quickly. You know, before there were restless children, now they have ADHD at once. It's like it's the diagnose of our time. I think children who have lots going on tend to be more creative later on. So great with the gifted program, in my country there are no such thing and no private schools either, so the options are few. But I guess you have both good and bad things with all systems (except un-democratic ones of course), and in a way I'm glad I don't have to make the choice of private or public for my daughter when she starts school next autumn. I trust our local one - so far..Anyways, thanks for sharing. Love from the north.
Anika said…
Well put! Each one of us is so different and learn in unique ways. I guess it's hard that, like you said, the wonderful people who go into a profession such as teaching have so much to deal with that the really important parts of their job and what they love about their job gets lost in the rules. I think that was a real great thing you did for your children-to be persistent, try all avenues, and continue fighting for what's best for them as individuals. Interesting post, thanks, I enjoyed reading it.
Francesca said…
I find it scary how many infant (and adult) diseases have been created for the wrong reasons! Teachers in the public sector are often underpaid and overworked, but I'm so grateful that we live in countries where anyone can have access to some education, disregarding their socioeconomic status. I hope will thrive in school!
jgy said…
Sounds like you have a good perspective, ultimately finding 'answers' or following the questions back to what you know in your heart
no long rant!
i read your comment over on dana's and understand you find yourself before a challenge in the system. there is an adhd problem here in belgium, medecins are giving far too soon and liberally... as if we want to shut up a manifestation of children that is ony natural, and spontaneous.
i mean, i'm no psycho ananlyst nor doctor, but being an individual, strong and different is not something to be restrained. ever!
good for you you took your own course, and good luck!
Flowtops said…
Oh, please, don't start me on the "system"! You've followed your instincts and that is the only system that counts...
tanïa said…
For me it's really bloodcurdling to read about all these increasing amounts of ADHD and medication of children and makes me somehow think of people that bring an action to schools, kindergardens and playgrounds in their neighbourhood because of noise disturbance...
Joyce said…
It is so hard to break the mold when one is labeled as a quick fix such as ADHD and medication. If only there was one teacher to take a moment to see the talent your children have. I'm glad you have a loud voice for your children and speak up. I hope there is a school nearby that will be able to meet all of your childrens needs. Hmmm... that could be another topic labels. Many hugs my friend. xo
We are all equals and different and we sometimes have to fight to say it. I don't know a lot of things (and I have some difficulties to tell you all the ideas I have in mind reading your story) but I know taht your son is lucky to have you as parents. I'm "with you".
Tally said…
I even didn't read your post, but nevertheless I want to thank you for your heartful comment.
I do fell quite unconnected and I miss CV and the contacts around it.
Right now I'm sitting at work, alone in a big building, so I can catch up at least with my private mail.
I come back to your blog once I have internet at home again, hopefully soon
Mlle Paradis said…
Great post K.! I do love the story of T. Grandin so glad you shared it again with all of us. And I'm glad too, that you chose public school and fought for your kids cause that is at least one way that public schools can be made to be better. Unfortunately for kids and for the community in the end, if parents don't have the time, or the confidence or conviction to do what you did, noone benefits. Bravo for you and your kids will thank you!
Grey Lemon said…
I could not agree more! Sometimes these labelings are really scary... Great post!
I'm going to check the Temple Grandin film and the books you've recommended - Thanks!
PS: I've added you to the 15-fav-authors tag (I remember you like to read!) - if you want...
Tzivia said…
Thank you for your perspective. Temple Grandin's story is indeed inspiring and reminds us all to think for ourselves and make our decisions from a place of love ... as it sounds like you have done and are doing!
Theresa said…
Incredible story. Good for you! Sky just did report on autism...
Cole said…
In a way on both ends of the spectrum the schools are inept to support them. I always have thought of myself as a public school proponant- but when it comes to your own kids values can be forced to change I think. I'm extremely worried for how my kids will do in the system- at both ends of the spectrum- neither fit the cookie-cutter mold- I look forward to the film- Temple is such a hero!
Danelle said…
I love Temple Grandin (the movie and the person). She teaches at the university here, and having 2 autistic nephews, I'm so thankful for what she has done to help people understand autism. Great movie!
Daan said…
I'm so glad you found the key for ypur kids and didn;t put them on medicine!!
Susanna said…
what a story and lucky with a happy ending! I guess it is good to follow your own perspective in life!
Victoria said…
A wonderful story about Temple, and an inspiration to many. And great that you followed your own instinct with your children. ADHD etc is banded about too much these days and I'm sure there are so many children categorised in this way when they shouldn't be.
Cabrizette said…
I totaly agree with you... Please, let us be differents and celebrate that difference !!!
Melly Mel said…
I agree with you 100%
sunnymama said…
Thanks for sharing your different perspective with us. It's an honour to read your corner view. :)

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