If you read our blog regularly you may remember something Erin posted about a couple of months ago – at 211° water is hot, but at 212° it boils; that one degree makes all the difference. We have taken that concept and applied it to our instructional programs. This week in our blog we’re going to share with you why we chose this concept for our new learning / instructional programs. Each of us has our own story and a specific reason this concept hits home with us. Here is my story:
As a classroom teacher and school-based autism consultant I had a lot of strategies in my “tool kit” for building skills in my students. I was able to get students to complete tasks independently, to follow classroom rules and routines, reduce inappropriate behavior, play board games, eat in the cafeteria, participate in regular education classrooms, play with peer buddies at recess…the list goes on. The problem was, even on my best days I was not able to get my students to the next level of learning to think, to be flexible, and to have true friendships. I was able to achieve a lot of things that were viewed as “improvement” in my students, but at the end of every day I knew there was something very important that was missing.
I set out on a journey to find out what I was missing. I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for, but I knew there had to be information out there that would allow me to take my students to the next level. At the time I thought I was looking for some new strategies; maybe a new kind of social skills curriculum; maybe another approach to teaching communication. I had no idea that search would bring me to a completely new understanding of autism, actually of neurodevelopmental disabilities in general, and a completely new way of conceptualizing treatment.
I found the missing piece when I stumbled upon RDI one day while doing some on-line research. I began reading about a new way of understanding autism – a research-based way of understanding autism. It became clear to me almost immediately that DYNAMIC INTELLIGENCE was the thing I was missing in my work with students; that remediation of the obstacles of autism could be accomplished instead of constantly compensating. I can’t even describe what an awesome feeling it was to finally conceptualize autism in a way that made sense to me – made sense in terms of what I knew about the human brain, child development, and my experiences every day with my students. It was so clear that what I was doing with my students wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t nearly enough to achieve a quality of life. I needed to be teaching kids how to think about things; to have the motivation to engage with others; to become competent with change; to learn from the guidance of others. Those were all things I wanted to get at, but knew I wasn’t.
To me the concept of 212° Learning captures the “AHA!” moment I had when I discovered the possibility for remediation through the development of dynamic intelligence. That was the moment I discovered the degree that makes all the difference – the “thing” that would allow me to turn hot water to boiling water. My goal at Horizons is that we continue to provide families with remediation-based program options that assist them in meeting their goals for their children. We are a place where parents and children can have their own “aha” moments on a daily basis – providing the degree of difference that keeps families moving forward on the path of remediation.
Maybe something in my story has resonated with you. Maybe you want to explore some options for either beginning on the path of remediation or adding to your family’s remediation program. I hope you will take a few minutes to look at our new 212° Learning Opportunities on our website ../212.html.
Explore how you can “turn up the heat” for your child!
Until next week,