- Dec 21, 2014
We're all on the spectrum. I was working on site with a lad and spotted him sorting eggs in a tray. Asked him if he was looking for old ones, but no, just "tidying them up". Had to be in symmetrical patterns. Minor OCD he had picked up from his wife who had to have the clothes pegs and clothes colour matched and sequential on the washing line amongst other things.The term 'Special Needs' is indeed a harsh 'blanket' for a wide range of learning experiences - much like when you're invited to the Heart Failure Clinic at your local hospital . . . Heart Function Clinic would be a term more easily digestible!
Without exception, we all have aspects of learning which we find more challenging than others, for some it may be extreme in terms of reading, writing or Social Interaction for others it may relate to the processing of quite complex or diverse information. Some may joyfully encounter the complex and diverse but fail to comprehend or accept the 'simple'.
My research was collated through interviews with those across the 'special needs spectrum'. From those with a diagnosis - ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism, Asperger Syndrome etc. and from low educational capacity to gifted and talented.
The simply expressed outcome from my research was that subsequent to a diagnosis and acknowledgement of a specific 'difficulty' or need, each category was more relaxed in the knowledge that they were not as weird, thick or stupid as they may have been referred to or they thought of themselves. If you like, the acknowledgement gave them a passport to move forwards, it wasn't a set of handcuffs designed to limit their lives. This enabled those that struggled to read and write to embrace strategies and make progress and the gifted and talented to appreciate they could make a 'mistake' or accept challenges where there wasn't a binary answer.