I had just updated our ‘Chronicles of our Journey since 2013’ page and felt compelled to write this entry. We met with son’s school teacher for parent’s teacher meeting session held every semester.
The teacher commented that our son is learning well academically but has a mind of his own.
Our eyes widen as we proceeded to ask the teachers what they meant.
The teachers goes on to explain that they were teaching about the weather and had asked our son to draw a picture of dark clouds.
Our son did draw a picture of dark clouds, followed by a stick figure holding an umbrella and a lift door with the indicators ‘DTL’, which stand for Downtown Line (name for one of the train system lines). When I heard that, I went “Wow”. However, the ‘wow’ was not met with the supposed response from the other end.
The teacher proceeded to say, “That’s what we mean when we say he has a mind of his own”.
As C was there, we proceeded to ask him why did he draw the picture that way?
My son explained that since there were dark clouds,
it means that it is going to rain, so need umbrella, then need to take lift to Downtown line station as it is underground, so won’t get wet.
Honestly, I loved his explanation. I loved him. I wanted to give my son a big hug there and then.
His teacher proceeded to explain that while it was a good explanation and she understood why he wanted to draw what he drew, she wanted to point out that in formal schooling next year, it is sometime we need to be mindful of. The basic requirements of a child is to be able to listen to instructions. C enjoys interpreting the instructions and fit it according to his liking.
My mind wandered off for a second to his ‘Straight line or Flying line?‘ worksheet, whereby C would draw his lines as Flying lines instead of straight lines. I love it that C is out-of-the-box but I can’t help but wonder how many out there will celebrate this trait of his?
Husband proceeded to ask the teacher if from Jan till present, has C shown signs that he is able to adapt and change? The teachers responded yes.
We thanked the teacher and said we will work with him on the instructions part.
We left the session with a heavy heart.
We understood where the teachers are coming from.
As hubby and I spoke in the car, we wish there was a system, which allowed him to blossom at his own pace. It is not that C is unable to learn. He has his social and communication issues, and yes, he has a mind of his own but he is also a child filled with creativity and curiosity. He is also a child who is still at awe with this world and what it has to offer. I hope that one day, we can, celebrate the beauty of out-of-the-box, flying lines or mind of his own just as they are. Beautiful.
“Perhaps the greatest gift we can give to a… ASD [emphasis mine] child is a teacher who recognises the need, who is not threatened by it but rather rejoices in it and who works with joy to foster it”. – (Miraca Gross, 2004, 264)