What blows my mind is that sometimes I sit down with a kid that hasn’t met a goal in years, can’t sit still, and is loudly vocalizing and something amazing happens. They are actually more advanced in some ways than myself who has a teaching credential, masters degree and the title of Board Certified Behavior Analyst under my belt. So why then would I feel equipped to teach them?
I have seen amazing things! One kid can blow through advanced Unblock Me before I even process what’s on the game page. Another can look at a Google map for 5 seconds and then draw it perfectly from memory. I know a student who can memorize the birthdays of all 30 kids in the class. Another can hum any note you ask him to at the drop of a hat and with perfect pitch.
Why then are we not capitalizing on their abilities? Why are we keeping them boxed up and educating them alongside other students who are completely different? Instead of focusing on what they can do, and building education off of that, we stick them in classes with students with severe intellectual disabilities and ask them the same questions over and over again to mold them to what we think they should be. We need to stop focusing on making these students fit into our box of what we think they need to know and start challenging their minds where they need to be challenged. Parents and educators are both guilty here. We could be holding back the next Einstein or Mozart and missing out on something amazing and innovative.