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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Building a world

We've been re-assessing some of our children's cognitive abilities to adjust their academics accordingly. I find it completely fascinating. I'm also not a mother that is in shock when I find out my children's academic abilities are below their initial clinical report. This week one of our children's IQ's was just that. Below what we initially thought. It's 41. An individuals normal IQ is averaging around 100. To get a sense on how IQ's work - one out of a thousand will have an IQ under 44. Decades ago, if a persons IQ was 44 and under, they were institutionalized. Luckily now we have programs such as CLBC (Community Living) resources available to help people with lower IQ's to socialize, and work within a community. Our child is only one of a few children we have with very low IQ's. I'm not shocked of course. I am very happy. Not because some of our children suffer cognitively but because with diagnoses, with a IQ number - we know what their future consists of. We know what our future (my husband and I) consists of. With knowing we're building a world. I mentioned that today that we were building a world - our examiner liked the phrase. It's exactly that. When you have a child with a very low IQ, a world needs to be built that consists of hand over hand supervision. So I've requested a functional life-skill appropriate IEP that will enhance, and be predictable on a daily basis from year to year. From Monday to Sunday building a binder with pictures from morning to night what life will look like. Building a world. Of course every year will be adapted accordingly by either adding or subtracting certain scenarios but knowing what every day looks like is proven comforting. It all goes back to routine, structure, and organization that equals success. I am a creature of habit. A special needs child needs a built world. They need repetition, routine and structure. As an experienced mother of special needs children I've noticed that days and time are recognized because of their routine, not because of the calendar. I've wasted sometime this year during homeschooling suggesting to teach the concepts of money. "Value" I've learned a lot of things that we tried to teach....that was really and honestly a waste of time. Finally questioning, "What will be functional for their future?" Leading up to building their world. See, I don't have the educational background to know exactly what to do, although I do have the daily and yearly experience to predict what I think for sure what's best for some of our children's futures. Writing about building reminds me about how some Countries streamline children starting in Middle Schools. Meaning they direct children into their cognitive paths. Some clearly are along the road to University, while others are directed into different trades and other work fields. I know the controversy and opinions are very high concerning this method although I completely understand the concept. Some adolescents fail the typical high school education requirements because they can only comprehend hands on. So I can agree that University isn't for everyone, and a trade is. A unique plan per child would be more successful then lumping every individual into the same class learning the same thing, the same way while half was lost long ago. It must be mind-boggling for teachers to teach all these different strengths, interests and cognitive abilities day after day with maybe a 60% success rate. So I definitely question our education system and onto why it's not streamlining here already! I think this is why many families are shifting towards homeschooling because we can help build their world regardless if it's special needs, behavioural, comprehension or interest - designing an education plan that best suits per student results in success. That's what I think for sure. PS, another alternative;  if you have a child that is academically lost, they can't comprehend written material - research the Blade Runners program for adolescents ages 15-30 who are challenged with high school, low levels of literacy/numeracy, language barriers and numerous (countless) related challenges because what I've read, Blade Runners is one of the most successful projects to assist individuals into a long term attachment into the labor field. If the high school education isn't working - there is alternatives - I'm all for building their world.

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