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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Teaching an Autistic Learner

Daniel had a rough day.  He gets so frustrated with subjects sometimes and reverts to unusual calming methods.  Some people call it "stimming" but it isn't a term I care for.  He rocks, clears his throat, purrs, whines, along with other things.  As he has gotten older, it is a lot less visible.  However, today was bad.  "Peninsula."  Easy enough to sound out. And you would think that you would get it after reading it 2 or 3 times.  Nope! Not the case!  He could sound it out and then read the sentence again and not remember the word.  I got frustrated.  This lead to Daniel frustration and he starting to make noises, then crying.  I hate it when he cries.  But I know that when he gets frustrated with himself, he will break through any barrier that is keeping him from learning.  I couldn't say what that barrier is.  I don't think there is an explanation.  All I know is that works, even though it hurts me.  He cries, then busts through that barrier.  Then for the next few days or weeks, he amazes me with what he learns.

This isn't the case with all people on the Autism Spectrum.  Each one is different.  Has different triggers, calming methods, learning methods, and ect.  I am very fortunate to have found and understand Daniel's patterns when he was young.  I suppose it is because I am so bull headed and won't let him give up.  Maybe because he is bull headed and won't give up.  Who knows.

But the rest of today, he has devoured books.  He calmed down, dug his heels in, and started pulling in information out of everything.  Now he is content. Calm. Resting in bed.

The rest of today, I was emotionally spent.  Right now, I am not worth being around.  But I am satisfied that he is calm, and we got through together.  I love him so much.  And I pray that he turns into the kind of man his dad is.  Wayne (though not diagnosed) is very symptomatic.

Rough day, I look forward to a better day tomorrow.

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