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How we learn

I have a vivid childhood memory of a day after school with my favorite babysitter Barbara. We loved when she came to watch us as she always brought our favorite game "Life". She would make us laugh when we had to name all of the kids that we earned in the game.

One day she was letting us play with her make up and I powdered my nose while saying:

"I'm going to make it nice and shiny!"

and Barbara laughed and said

"Well, that's the first time I ever heard someone wanting to make their nose shiny!"

I remember thinking,

"Hummmm that was obviously the wrong answer"

and now I understood that women powered their noses to take the shine away. I tucked that information away for future use.

Children on the autism spectrum have a hard time picking up on these types of social cues. They would have just moved on to the next thing and not learned the information that was being shared with them in a non-explicit way.

There are so many things that need to be taught explicitly and then they also have to be generalized. For instance, we spend a lot of time teaching children the importance of making eye contact and shaking hands when you meet someone new. This is a great skill and much needed. But, this is not the right information in the men's room.

It can feel so overwhelming to realize all of the things that need to be taught, step by step, until they are mastered but it is so rewarding when the task is accomplished.

Thank you to all of those amazing educators who take the time day after day to teach all of the small nuances that our children need to learn. Hope you get to enjoy a relaxing summer and are recharged and refreshed for the new school year to come.

Love you more...


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