Monday, July 12, 2010

"Higher Functioning"

We started camp today. A few highlights...

  • Andrew would like to join cousin Ryan in winning a prize for running. He is also pretty darn good at hiding.
  • Again, I repeat, most places are auditory and although my son has great speech, he is indeed hearing impaired. People forget that. (But they learn quickly when a child doesn't respond!)
  • Talking and intelligence does not equal "high functioning."

To elaborate on the last one a bit.. I struggle with individuals who 'assume' that Andrew's needs are different in the area of sensory or they assume he really CAN attend or CAN sit just because he has fabulous language and is intelligent. The folks at camp are grasping this but it is a hard struggle that sometimes even I deal with at home. He 'should' be able to do this or that..but CAN he? Is he being disobedient? does he need a break? does he need a new battery or microphone in his implant?

Because we homeschool Andrew isn't as apt to sit in a group or stand nicely in line. I am 'ok' with that right now. I am 'ok' with him being loud or running into me because I think he needs it. I could probably do a behavioral tool to get him to stop these things but they aren't important to me. In a group setting it becomes more of an issue but I still think there are ways to meet various needs. (update..as the week goes on they are really doing their best to do that.)

I sometimes walk away from these types of activities, being in the RDI /homeschool minority, and again wondering...are we doing something wrong? Would it be BETTER if he 'obeyed' and sat in the group more? I know other homeschool moms and RDI families question their methods.

Thankfully my morning prayer time came up with something interesting.. a whisper from God

It is a terrible thing to obey because you fear that disobedience could cost you something, or to look at an authority and do what you need to do to avoid pain or punishment. It is beautiful when you obey God because you know it brings pleasure to Him, and you experience pleasure in experiencing the joy and love of your Father.

I guess that is the reason we do RDI. Because at the end of the day, I want the obedience to be something 'beautiful' and not forced.

An added PS..and another whisper from God. I wrote the above yesterday and this morning I had yet another little jewel in my Blessings book

God knows everything He placed in you, and I bless you with being tutored and nurtured by the Most High God, like an apprentice learning a craft, not just information.

That is so much RDI. I was reflecting on what parts of camp Andrew liked. I asked him directly.."The watermelon" was the first response. The second answer was when they made a word rainbow of positive affirmations. Andrew loves to get reinforcement and give it. He hates punishment and punitive behavioral reinforcements. (We all do but Andrew takes it to the next level.) But this activity actually involved some regulatory patterns in placing the words in the rainbow. That gives comfort and predictability which he currently NEEDS.

A final note which I may have said before. I have a Peter here. Andrew would have been the first to cut off the soldier's ear but he also would have been the first to get out and walk on water. After Andrew's initial meltdown and race through the building, he saw another kid melting down and went over to comfort him. I 'heart' my kid.





1 comment:

The Glasers said...

Our church is reading Steve Brown's A Scandalous Freedom, which I think is going to focus on the issue of choosing to obey out of love rather than obeying out of fear and messing up because of what fear does to us.

"Believers too often stagger beneath a burden of behavior forced on them by other Christians, a standard that God does not require. 'I fear too often the church has become an organization of guilty people with a guilty preacher standing in the pulpit, telling guilty people that they should feel guiltier,' he writes. The oppressed and their oppressors miss the power of authenticity, especially the freedom to fail, the joy of God's complete forgiveness and the boldness it brings. God's liberty also lets Christians embrace those with whom they disagree."

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