Hello everyone, here I am again, after a long gap of one and a half months blogging again. The reason of my disappearance was the ongoing exam season, which consumed the entire of me, but as they say, all is well that ends well, so now with the results out and certain happy faces around, its time as usual to go back to business.
The examinations and the results have helped me look at Autism Spectrum from an entirely new perspective. Up until now, I was a massive supporter of the statement, “Keep it simple, keep it straight” but now I have realized that it is of paramount importance to subject a child on the spectrum from an early age to a myriad or a variety of ways of looking at and solving a particular problem. For example, it only helps if we as teachers , educators and parents ask the same question to say, a seven year old in three different ways such as, “where do Hindus go to pray?” while teaching places of worship-EVS Concept), then again, “Who goes to worship in a temple, a Hindu or a Christian?”, and yet another time, a question like, “ State whether true or false, Sikh pray in a temple”
The exams helped me figure out when we did concepts with children at length ; were very confident of good scores but the question when slightly twisted, by the examiner, resulted in this child not being able to answer and leave the answer-sheet blank. As an educator, my first impulse upon seeing the result was to go and argue with the system as to why the question had been twisted, but a little voice inside said, “how about giving it a fair try first by telling the student, this question can also be approached in yet another way, maybe the kid learns ,if we simply go ahead and ask the examination system to keep the questioning pattern simple and straight, of course, they would do it , because they trust us with the special child’s education but ultimately it is a disfavor to the child because, not always will the student get opportunities in life where everything would be put straight and simple to him/her. There are going to be times when the child would be required to use his presence of mind and logical thinking abilities, but if we as educators have not seized the opportunity and taught the child how to use common sense, then I am afraid, we have failed to do our duty towards the child in the long run.
So, I experimented with this student in question, and began teaching her various ways of looking at a given question. Sure it did slow down my speed as a lot of syllabus had to be covered in a short time, but between the parent and me, we decided to focus on less syllabus but doing it thoroughly. We let go of two chapters as it was practically impossible to complete all of them and began focusing on changing the language of the questions she already knew.
The result, in the next paper, this child scored much higher even when she left out all questions that were from the two unprepared chapters, primarily because she could answer the ones which had twisted language. I realized a very important aspect. If we make it a sort of a routine in life to frame and ask questions differently around the same topic, a child with Autism will develop comprehension skills much faster and we would be able to witness higher success levels as far as language is concerned.