Education by Peter Elliot
Are there some things, that you would never do?
Take flight in an ultralight perhaps?
That little boy who wanted to play with the kids next door is now grown into a young man and here he is is sitting in the back seat of an ultralight plane.Was he scared to go up? You bet he was. He changed his mind at the last minute, and said: “After you Mom”. To my amazement, Mom went up first. In seconds that little plane jumped off the ground and it was a dot in the sky. It scared me just watching.
After his Mom landed David decided to take a flight. Here he is after he landed. Proud of himself he had both hands in the air.
What can you learn from this? Well for a start you can know our kids are brave in the face of danger and they can decide to do things that any crazy teenager might decide to do just for a thrill.
So don’t assume they are limited or that they cant do something. They can know something is dangerous and still decide this is something they want to do. But David’s reading is rudimentary and his math is hopeless. So he is still learning these things while mastering other things like riding a bike.
What is the most difficult thing we learn?
We learn to communicate, this is a huge achievement and it sets us apart from every creature on earth. In our case we learn to speak English and this is a very complex language. Babies and very young children learn to understand language and to speak that language because they enjoy pleasing their parents. They quickly realise it gives us pleasure and they get smiles when they say some words. The feedback is immediate and they feel safe and happy. This is the kind of feedback that improves memory and the brain provides chemical feedback to make these memories. Fear and worry does the opposite. Many words are remembered and they are connected to people, places, things and actions. There will be many clues to the meaning of a word so the children remember these words more easily. Apple is just a noise until it gets in your mouth as food and it is tasted, every mother will tell the baby what they are eating. Mom even tells the baby it tastes nice. So here you have the best example there is of early intervention and mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters are the experts providing that early intervention. Not another expert to be seen anywhere. And you teach the most difficult thing we will ever learn.
Why children can’t read.
Learning to read is a big problem for all children.We teach the alphabet and assume this is helpful but it is just confusing. A-B-C-D-E sounds Ay, Bee, Cee, Dee, Eee. But in reading its different, A-B-C-D-E is Ahh, Bu, Cu, Du, Eh. Letter combinations are like a secret code. It’s really insane but it is what we are stuck with. The human brain is so powerful that after a number of letter combinations are memorised there
is an intuitive leap and we start to recognise those pictures of letter combinations and we connect them to the sounds of speech and then we can read. But what happens if you have a problem with memory and can’t remember those pictures of letter combinations or the sounds they make. Then you can’t read and by the time this happens the class has moved on and a few
children are left behind and some of these children will have Down’s syndrome.
Teaching acceptance & Inclusion
Everyone Counts is a program for schools that is designed to:
- Increase Teacher & Student understanding of Down’s syndrome and other cognitive disabilities.
- Promote acceptance & Inclusion of individuals with Down’s syndrome and other disabilities.
- Foster inclusive attitudes by celebrating diversity and individuality.
|This program uses fun, straightforward lesson plans and activities to encourage positive relationships between students with or without disabilities. The curriculum’s engaging video is an adaptation of the popular children’s book ‘My friend Isabelle’. Three 60 second vignettes produced by Nickelodeon teach kids that we are all different - & that’s what makes us all the same!||This program kit includes: Teacher guidelines, Resource lists, a poster and brochure on inclusion.
See it on-line at www.ndss.org
For our American visitors with older children interested in college courses:
AccreditedOnlineColleges.com has put together and published a comprehensive guide '2016 College Resources for Students with Disabilities'. This user-friendly guide explores rights and protection provided by law, the many different education opportunities as well as in-depth grants and scholarship programs designed specifically to support higher education in your state. Please click here for more information.
EDsmart.org's "Winning in College: A Guide for Students with Disabilities" This guide covers topics such as transitioning into college, rights of students with disabilities, disability documentation, scholarships, choosing the right school, and many other helpful resources for students with disabilities. Please click here for more information