There is absolutely, positively NOTHING wrong with your PDA little human?
That in fact she is highly gifted and talented with virtually unlimited potential for success?
The very thing that this world needs most at this time in human and ecological history?
What if I told you that PDA stood for…
PRETTY DAMNED AWESOME/AMAZING
Well, I am. Every last bit of that is true. All of it.
You see the problem is not with our little humans. The problem is with us. Specifically, our unrealistic expectations of children…all children. It is just that our Pretty Damned Awesome ones have the ability to see through us…through those expectations…and they know better. They refuse to just go along like their peers…like children have for centuries.
That is called…
LEADERSHIP! Vision! Paradigm Changers!
The problem is…that is not how we have been taught to view them. What to expect from children.
Again that word…EXPECTATIONS…is our total problem.
Do you have any idea the power of expectations?
In 1964, a Harvard scientist named Robert Rosenthal did an experiment in an elementary school in San Francisco. He administered a standard IQ test but he changed the name of it. He told the teachers that it a new test which would predict those students about to make huge jumps in their IQ/academic performance.
Then he randomly selected students as ‘showing potential’ or gifted. Randomly means that some of those were normal intelligence, some ‘trouble makers’, and some were actually gifted. But the teachers did not know that.
As he followed the children over the next two years, Rosenthal discovered that the teachers’ expectations of these kids really did affect the students. “If teachers had been led to expect greater gains in IQ, then increasingly, those kids gained more IQ,” he says.
But why? Rosenthal looked further into this phenomena. Here is his findings…
As Rosenthal did more research, he found that expectations affect teachers’ moment-to-moment interactions with the children they teach in a thousand almost invisible ways. Teachers give the students that they expect to succeed more time to answer questions, more specific feedback, and more approval: They consistently touch, nod and smile at those kids more. (Source: NPR)
Teachers expectations determined outcomes!
How much more so for parents…the most influential person in little humans’ lives.
The problem is…we have no Rosenthal to trick us into believing our little humans are Pretty Damned Amazing.
Instead we have ‘experts’ telling us they have ‘developmental delays’. We have schools and teachers telling us that they cannot manage our child’s behaviors. Oh, and throwing in a large dose of blame the parents for good measure. We have our families telling us how ‘children should know better that that.’ Heck, we have complete strangers in parks thinking they have the right to tell us what we are doing wrong as parents.
No wonder it is hard for us to make the leap of faith that our little humans are right…and ALL of them are wrong!
But when you do…when you finally let it sink in that your child is different, his brain thinks differently, and that is okay. Heck, that is what we actually need at this moment in time…a different way of thinking, a new paradigm. When you do that…then your child changes…you change.
You can use words like #HappilyAutistic and #ProudlyPDA.
And mean them…even when you have been up eight or nine times throughout the night. When you have not had a single REM sleep cycle. When you have #RadiCool Unschooled your #neurodivergent little human at 3:00 because for the first time in weeks, she shows an interest in letters and words. When you are bursting with pride that she is finally beginning to show ownership of her room by organizing her special things on the shelves…at 6:00 a.m.
You know why? Because you can see those things…even her unusual sleep schedule…as the workings of a brilliant mind in training. And your role is important. Crucial even.
This has been a week for debates and discourse with others in the #neurodivergence movement. Not always pleasant ones. But in addition to arguing that Pretty Damned Awesome/Amazing was a ‘thing’ and not just trauma/PTSD/abuse in an autistic person, I also defended my stance that PanKwake is the next step in human evolution.
X-Men has become a spiritual experience for me. A prototype of #neurodivergence. The parallels are frightening…including the drive for ‘a cure’. The fear of humans that culminates with a war…not only with mutants but humans who care the gene. It paints a frightening possibility of one future.
But I gain hope from this one…the finale of Days of Future Past:
A new and uncertain world…
A world of endless possibilities…
And infinite outcomes.
Countless CHOICES define our Fate…
Each choice, each moment a ripple in time.
Enough ripples and you change the tide.
OUR choices now can determine not only our own happiness in the moment, but the future of our Pretty Damned Awesome/Amazing little humans…and I believe the very tide of humanity and this planet.
I am a ripple. PanKwake is a ripple. But to change this tide we need more ripples…more parents willing to go against prevailing tides…willing to see the utter, sheer, magnificence in their Pretty Damned Awesome/Amazing little humans…we need to band together in unity with sometimes damaged Pretty Damned Awesome/Amazing big humans too…those who may have been failed by their own parents and ‘systems’…where possible we need to work with the #ActuallyAutistic and #neurodivergence movements…but not to the exclusion of our unique part in the human saga that is unfolding.
For the future is never truly set.