Last night Sweet G wanted to go out in the backyard and “RIDE” the swing. He said, “Mom, I haven’t rode my swing in a long time.” How could I resist such a sweet request. So, he and I headed to the swing set. As we were walking out there (it takes a LONG time for G to walk that far) we had a very interesting conversation. The first thing he said that I thought was funny was, “Mom, is that where Dad bar-b-ques?” I thought that was kind of a strange thing for him to say until I thought about it for a minute. I don’t think G has ever seen J use the grill.
Throughout my education classes I was continuously required to study different theories on learning. I have a unique perspective of children’s learning because I am a parent. That is one advantage I have over most of my fellow students. The fact that my oldest child is now considered an adult (don’t understand how 18 is considered legally adult) has allowed me to look back over his development and see the results of how he learned. Homeschooling also gave me a different and advantageous view of childhood development. Now the biggest advantage is G. His disability has made me slow down and by slowing down and thinking about how he is developing (while studying how children learn) has given me a distinctive view of childhood development. I can see how his experiences have shaped him. I have always known that G is smart. He has an amazing memory for certain things. But he always scores below (sometimes way below) where he should when he is evaluated in all areas. Speech is one of the areas and that has always blown my mind. I am grateful that he does score low enough to qualify because he does need to be followed by a Speech Pathologist for his oral motor deficits but the language thing just always confounds me.
My poor child has been evaluated every six months in Speech, fine motor skills and gross motor skills since he was about 8 or 9 months old. To him it is just another day at therapy. It is playing to him but to me it is another punch in the gut. It is hard to hear that your child of 7 has the motor skills of a 22 month old baby. It is what it is and those numbers don’t really mean anything but still it is hard to hear.
The speech evaluations have always ticked me off in a sense. He is given a scripted question in lots of instances and is expected to give a very precise answer. He is shown pictures and asked to identify the object in the picture. Well, you may say how hard is that? It is not hard but it is culturally biased. It is discriminatory toward people with physical disabilities and others who have not had certain experiences. Take a rake for example. The therapist shows G a picture of a rake or of someone raking leaves. Pretty easy huh, well what if you had never seen a rake or how it is used? Not so easy to identify something you haven’t experienced. Okay what about this. I will show you a picture and see if you can identify the object.