Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Neurologically Intact Brains

Learning more about Autism Spectrum Disorders has caused me to think. A lot. Lately I have been thinking about behavior-maybe because I deal with such badly behaved children (not my own) all day long. Kids who are "neurologically intact," who have the ability to make wise, appropriate choices but who don't always make wise, appropriate choices. But then I think about it in terms of "normal" bad behavior vs. "Autistic like" behaviors. Riley doesn't have any behavior issues. He has quirks, but they are nothing that anyone could consider as behaving badly, just ways of coping that are different than others. He certainly wouldn't even think about saying something mean to another person (his brother excluded). He hasn't been busted at school for talking non-stop to his neighbor-most likely because he's a man of few words, and has social issues. He's never had to sit as an "island." If his teacher told him to do something, he wouldn't argue. You wouldn't find him under his desk or crawling along the floor to get to lunch. He wouldn't touch people as he walks by them, or tell them he won't be their friend, or step on oranges, or squirt drinks, or use his water bottle inappropriately, or color himself blue. He may have "Autistic like" quirks, but his behavior is way more appropriate then a lot of "neurologically intact" kids.

Case in point. This student (the same one who colored himself blue last week), has glued MY tissue paper squares to his pencil box. Why? Well he wanted to of course. Oh and this same student, crawled to line up for lunch today, and was on the floor under his desk at another point today. He is "neurologically intact." I rest my case.

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