Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Last Blog Before Graduation

I am pondering the cyclic nature of things today. It is my high school graduaton this coming week, an endpoint of achievement I once thought impossible to meet. It is an end, but also a beginning, one that has no direction planned. What does a motor handicapped autist do with his life?

There is a song, "Don't Blink". It is a country song I listened to yesterday, and it tells the advice of a 102 year old man about how quickly life passes. Life is its own journey and we are just passengers on the ride, a predetermined route mapped out by us in another form of consciousness. I sometimes wish the element of surprise was not a soul expanding necessity. I wonder what I've planned for myself, what joys and disappointments. I stand on the abyss that is the unknown of life and my only choice is to jump. I pray for soft landing.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chicken and Egg - It Is the Same

Tom Smitth writes:
So you say you're not totally independent yet? Te... So you say you're not totally independent yet? Tell me, how is one to learn independence using FC when even the communicators aren't supporting full support FC? First things first.

We have plenty of independent typers and that still hasn't done the trick. In fact full support FC was dropped by the FC community to support Crossley's FCT which is teaching independence. We got some independent typers but no FC.

I am capable of independence physical in typing, but I do not want to let go of my Mom's presence as an emotional support. Last week, Carol went to video and my ability evaporated when my fears of looking retarded in public were remembered.

To read you, you imply it is a process of acceptance one then the other. It is not. Like the chicken and egg it is - the life revealed proves the egg's content and which came first is really unimportant. Independence lends validity to all the steps preceding it including full support. But too, it is a growth process, one I am not sure all are encouraged to embark on. To see emphasis within FC placed solely on the process of support without inviting occupational therapists as copartners in it highlights this. FC can take many guises in practice if not theory. I do not undermine the value of anyone's efforts by trying to build skill understanding and practice for issues faced in typing.

Full support is both with value and dangers attached. A realistic perspective is necessary to growth in acceptance of FC. There is an understandable reason for the danger. For some, shared consciousness precedes individual consciousness. It is not something to be ashamed of, or something to be hidden, or denied. It is a necessary step in the process of growth for some and should be treated as such and assistance should be given in developing the self barrier. It is a learned skill like many other skills unseen by the neurotypical system.

To come together as one voice, is difficult but necessary and no one should be left behind. Mass progress is possible in both skill and attitude gains with shared knowledge and effort. OT is a means.

My last hurdle is one of self exposure. In doing this, I help myself as much as others. I am not equipped to do it alone, so I ask for help from others like me. But I am a start. And like chicken and egg, any start yields result.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Claudia's Question - How do you learn best?

Claudia asked : In non-technical terms, how do you learn the best?

The art of learning is a process of learning all its own. Like a giant game board it is - How to do it depends on one's position in play. But there are rules of fair play. 1) Always limit your moves to one at a time. Teach/learn only one thing at a time. 2) Use established routes when trying out new gear. Teach in ways the learner already understands to provide new information. New modes/methods of learning require old knowledge to test reliability. 3) Grading is teacher not student performance related and 4)No is an acceptable answer.

I am an evolving learning process. Currently, auditory is my favored modality for intaking information. Performance that omits intricate motor chains or orientation is preferred for response. I still keep to one thing at a time in lessons, but what is an "unknown" is fewer in number.

At start, I had to alternate my attention by sense, one then another to learn. Movement oriented response was impossible. We did a lot of learning that only became evident much later in time when my means of response performance finally developed. My greatest aid to learning has been OT related gains.

Making one listen is impossible, but we all have our own unique curiosity and passions, even motivations. Mine were escape and my string. Motivation is everything. It fuels effort. And effort results in aha moments for teacher and student which can be built upon. I am a huge construction project managed by my Mom. To understand my architecture, it is a better question for her. In some things even my perspective is limited.