Trading e-mails with my wife today concerning the education of our daughter and she’s of the opinion that we should be ready if she needs to move into a group home. I’m not willing to accept that possibility.
The problem as I see it is that my daughter has the full potential to live a perfectly acceptable life on her own and with a future as bright as any being on this planet. I’ve been watching her growth for 10 years or so now and almost to an event her learning process is following the same path as mine but considerably more delayed. _That_ is why I’m so against her being put into a learning environment that will _only_ focus on life skills. She deserves better and she should get better.
Her current “autism” class seems to be focusing on life skills, which I have no problem with, but I can’t tell if they are focusing enough on learning how to learn.
This betrays one of the biggest problems I have with the current crop of “special needs” educational programs. I can’t tell what their end goal is and that is one of the things I will have to take a hand in because if their end goal is in any way less than what I think it should be for my daughter I will start hammering away at people and doing ANYTHING I CAN to make sure that the goal changes into something acceptable to me. My wife says she has to currently use the hammer with SEDOM and if she has to that’s fine but I will also use the hammer, the tongs, screwdrivers, and the rack if necessary. The right tool for the right job.
As for my daughter I’m convinced that she has the skills and has the abilities to function far better than myself. My problem is that I don’t know how to teach her how to do that. Yet.
I’m not saying that my wife hasn’t been teaching our daughter just that perhaps she has focused on the wrong thing. There has to be a balance and while my daughter is doing wonderful learning life skills she needs to learn more regardless of if people think she isn’t doing well in those areas. It’s all a matter of figuring out how to teach her those things. I wish I could get my wife to see that...
Regardless at this point I need to change all of my goals and put aside most of my projects and personal goals so I can learn how to teach my daughter and make a place at home where she can learn. I think I will take a day off some time soon and observe my daughter and her one-on-one tutor to see what she does and how my daughter responds. That might be hard because my daughter will likely react differently when I’m in the room but I think I can minimize that to a great degree. The object is for me to understand the process involved. Once I understand the processes that work for her right now I can come up with sessions I can do at home for other goals using the same process.
As for my wife...our daughter is going to be a genius in whatever field she chooses so she need not worry. I will see to it that this happens despite all obstacles.
And to those people out there telling me that she has only a limited capacity for learning or saying “What if she stops learning?” I call bullshit. My mind is always learning. In my opinion if the mind can start learning it can continue learning. Period. My mind is very very similar in some ways to how my daughter’s mind works and I’ll be damned if she won’t learn how to take advantage of the gifts this kind of mind offers. And believe me when I tell you that despite its problems it offers some serious advantages.
The only mind that fails to learn is the one that is closed off by others....