I’m currently volunteering helping a child with severe ADHD (a genuinely jumpy and nervy aspy-type kid, seven years old and still toewalking) to get appropriate supportive ‘occupational therapy’. I’ve had such a kid myself, so know how hard this can be and also know how important routine and focus and calmness are for success at school. The therapy now consists of getting this intelligent child to focus on holding a pen and writing letters and words and then sentences in the manner in which I and my peers were all taught at school: between four lines, with the two middle lines carrying most of the pencil action for lower case letters. This child didn’t even know the difference between lower and upper case letters when he started, let alone word spacing. Big teaching failure there, as he is in a ‘normal’ classroom where the teacher, a ‘guide on the side’ type, expected them to pick it up somehow by osmosis, without practice. I judge that she is far more interested in giving full flight to her charges’ for ‘creativity’ than in correcting them or in ensuring they knew what they were doing with a pencil. This child is now flying away with his reading, because I’ve been teaching him phonics in this program as well as sight recognition.
It seems that what was once part of normal teaching duties (focus by sitting in rows, explanation, listening, repetition, practice, rote and regulation by authority) is now ‘remedial’. Children on the edges of autism are poorly served in the ‘normal’ classrooms they are currently in, given current teaching attitudes, and would do better in calmer and more focused settings. Noisy ‘creativity’ in small groups with a basically absent teacher is overdone these days and while some kids can survive and even thrive on it, autistic spectrum children can’t.
Pauline Hanson has raised an important issue.
Source: Disruptive kids in the classroom | Catallaxy Files
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