Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Chidren Are Like Snowflakes - No Two Are the Same

Children are unique individuals - no two are alike.
I wrote on this topic on the FCTD Discussion thread last night. Here is what I wrote:
"When attempting to apply the "One Size Fits All" approach to learning interventions, educators shoot themselves in the foot. I had made the comment above, in the title..., on a thread tonight where a parent commented that they hoped teachers would see their low functioning child for who she really is.
In assistive technology, I gave up trying to apply AT software and equipment to students with the OSFA approach shortly after I started. It just doesn't work that way.
Here's why:
1. Every child is unique and has their own personality.
2. Every child has their own unique learning style.
3. Every child has their own unique manifestations of a disorder.
4. Every classroom environment has it's own dynamic which is unique.
5. As a child grows, eyesight changes, nuscle tone changes, equipment must adapt and strategies must adapt as well.
I am sure you could keep adding to the list.

One size fits all? Hardly.
I am amazed when I go into a highly organized life skills room and see all the accommodating unique to different needs of students. I will see a lot of tools available: computers, clipboards, magnifiers, text readers, scanners for converting materials. simple switch activated communication devices, switch adapted toys and devices, printed copies with enlarged text, headphones for listening in private, small groups working in teams on a project - all in the same room. Students are finding the tool for the task and matching it to their learning style because they are unique and they need what works for them. When they transition out of the high school, those learned accommodations will help them continue to know how to function - as long as they have the toolbox to go with them.
To me, that is one important function I have, to create life self-accommodators out of students so they can function to their highest capacity out in the environment they will transition into. My highest calling is to accommodate the individuality and see it shine through in the learning styles of each child.
Hear from A man who found his own way for self -accommodation:I will be interviewing Don Johnston on my talk radio show Wed. December 3 at 2 PM Pacific. If you want to hear him share his own story of finding his own way in self-accommodaion and how he co-wrote "Building Wings" his autobiography, check it out at
The interview will be archived there so you can hear it later if you miss the live stream."

All the best to you,

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