I have been considering homeschooling, and/or a 40 hr per week intensive therapeutic program…nixing academia altogether for right now and focusing on what I feel really matters. I send my boys to school each day and I find myself wondering if it’s even worth it. Especially for Aidan. They are spending 8 hours day learning things that aren’t meaningful for them (at least not now). Emphasis on academia and not much else. This isn’t the fault of the schools, their primary purpose is to teach academics. But is learning all the colors of the rainbow, 8+2, and how a cloud is formed affecting what really matters? It’s not. A reading disorder Autism is not, nor is it a science disorder, or a know your numbers disorder. It’s an interpersonal, interactional, social disorder. At its core, a communication disorder.
I don’t dream of the day my sons will name all the planets or know every element on the periodic table. I dream of the day Jojo tells me he has a friend or the day when Aidan plays with another child. I want my children to live happy, healthy lives, full of meaning and purpose, surrounded by those who love them and they love back.
So here they are, spending 8 hours in class trying to write their name and pick a the color red and yet that isn’t what really matters. Connections matter, people matter…they don’t have a grasp on that yet. Social relational skills are what’s most appropriate for them, what’s most important….everything else will stem from that, including academics. My focus has been off for years. Too much time I wasted trying to get my child to “pick red” on cue when that could have been used to get my child to relate to me instead. To SEE me. Too much time I have wasted not connecting with my children and motivating them to connect to me.
This isn’t to say that academics aren’t important, I am saying that in order for my children to even be remotely successful in the realm of academia they must first master social interaction and connecting with others. I need to motivate, inspire my lovely boys to cross the bridge from their world into ours before they will even begin to retain all of what has been taught to them.