Monday, June 6, 2011

A recipe and a book

I haven't been reading much, aside from the things I was teaching, in the past months, and I missed it terribly. So I went to the library the other day and found an intriguing book in the new books area called Neurodiversity. Apparently, while I was elsewhere occupied, a movement has developed that emphasizes the strengths of people who are neurologically challenged, like so many in my family, discussing the special abilities of people with ADHD, Aspergers and Autism Spectrum disorders, etc. I wish we had had this when I was advocating for Jeremy in the schools and bringing him up. It would have been very helpful, though we did figure out some of the things such as encouraging active play by ourselves. When he was about 10, we used to give him (by his own request) a styrofoam box and a hammer and send him out on the patio to break the thing apart. It prevented rage attacks and occupied him for a while. He never destroyed anything else in the process, including his own toes or fingers. We just had to sweep up the mess afterwards, and everyone was happy. It was rather like the three hour baths he used to take with bath chalks, writing all over the walls in soapy letters that were easy to wash off. It's a good development, this attitude toward neurological difference. I'm happy to see it.

2 comments:

marlyat2 said...

Yes, many new ideas out there... Although I must say that I'm not fond of militant Aspie groups that say they're fine the way they are and don't need to adapt to the world--surely it is better to be bilingual than monolingual, and better to stride two worlds that one that is closed to so many people.

Robbi said...

There have always been TS groups like this too, in which people with severe tics that aren't helped that much by meds anyhow say that if people don't like to see them when they tic, that isn't their problem. They insist the world has to like them or lump them. It is true, as this book argues, that many TS individuals have incredible energy and talents of many kinds.
But I agree with you that it is better to be able to get along in both worlds. If someone is very impaired, he needs to be given help as long as he will assent to it. As soon as J turned 18, he stopped taking his medications. He seems to be fine; his tics were never bad, and his rages have all but stopped.