Hello. Welcome.

I'm a very determined kind of individual. Sometimes my determination is misplaced and things get very ugly. But, sometimes my determination leads to laughter, deep thoughts, and words on paper.

I write everything. I'm not very good at filtering ... so you will see it all. Maybe there will be a little inspiration for someone else along the way. I hope so. My sister also likes to guest blog and I'm sure you will appreciate her wit and wisdom.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

nobody wants to be 'just average,' but everybody wants to be 'normal'

Nobody wants to be just average. But, as a student in school, you want to be "normal."

We could argue about definitions and connotations, but the bottom line is that no one wants to be left out. Tonight, I'm struggling. I'm in the office, hurriedly searching for resources that relate my knowledge of behavior to a teacher's knowledge of the classroom. I'm looking for ways to reach out to students who learn differently - those students who have a rough time concentrating in class, finishing homework, or simply require a longer time to complete a task.

These students are on my heart tonight. The other day, I came across this description of Asperger's on this website. I thought the visual picture extremely helpful in understanding the different ways students' minds might work.

In order to better understand Aspergers Syndrome, an analogy can be used. Imagine an office containing several cubicles and a hallway down the centre. This represents the two hemispheres of the brain. In the majority of the population, information flows freely between the cubicles on either side of each other as well as with the cubicles on the other side of the hall (exchanging of information from the left side of the brain to the right side and vise versa). In this scenario, each cubicle has a working computer, fax machine, telephone, filing cabinet and bulletin board as well as the ability for each worker to step into another cubicle to talk to a co-worker. That is how information flows in most people’s brains.

In someone with Non-verbal Learning Disorder or Asperger’s, and in some cases of Autism, the office is there, all the workers are there and the information is there as well. The difference is that some of the cubicles don’t have phones, but have fax machines instead. Some of them don’t have e-mail, but have information on that computer. Some of them can only fax their information, which is on paper in a filing cabinet that is not in alphabetical order, but rather in chronological order. 35% of them have boxes stacked up in front of their cubicles, so they can’t get out. That means not only does it take longer to find information, but it also takes longer to compile it, process it and transfer it to the place that it is needed. Add to that the fact that each person has more than one boss, giving them different objectives. If you worked in an office like that, you would dread going to work everyday.

Just thought I'd flat out tell you what's keeping me at the office.

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