For the next few weeks, I am going to be re-blogging my series explaining why radical unschooling/self-directed learning is the best option for neurodivergent young humans. I amke no bones about the fact that schools are not designed for the neurodivergent. Honestly, they are designed to break all of us. To turn us from creative and positive beings into mindless zombies for ‘the man.’ Also known as worker bees for the 1%, even those at the higher levels.
***I will say though that, sadly, for some little humans, schools are safer than a toxic home environment. This saddens me. And I hope that somehow we can come up with workable community based options for those.***
I would also remind parent-mentors that you are the biggest obstacles for success with unschooling and self-directed learning. Most of us were indoctrinated into that schooling mentality. We have narrowly prescribed beliefs on what learning is based on that. For the sake of your little human and yourself, it is crucial that you seek out a community of like-minded families. That you educate yourself on the law in your area. And that you read and self-educate yourself on the advantages of unschooling for your young human and yourself. You will find a starting point for that on my Resources page.
I hope you enjoy this series from 2018….
When I checked out my Twitter feed a bit ago, I saw RED!!!
There was a blog link. The autistic little boy was not wanting to go to school. The mother was having difficulty getting him up, ready, and off to school every day. He was even able to tell her some of the things that bothered him.
The wall are wrong. It is not like nursery. I am not the type of boy that goes to school every day.
But that was not what bothered me. The mother’s response was…
I said that all boys and girls go to school…
I screamed. Well, not out loud, PanKwake and Cookie Monster are still asleep. But my spirit did.
NO, not every boy and girl goes to school.
Especially not #ActuallyAutistic ones.
While I believe that #HomeEd is a viable option that parents should consider for ALL children, I have come to think that it should be THE choice for #Neurodivergent ones. #RadicalUnschooling especially for the Pathologically Demand Avoidant (#PDA).
In fact, I had that ah-ha moment earlier this week when the amazing Dragon Riko, an adult PDAer who guest posted for me a couple of weeks ago, wrote a blog on PDA and radical unschooling. She ended politely as you always do…
Of course Radical Unschooling isn’t for every family, there is no right or wrong answer and every family is different so finding what works is most important. What’s important is finding the things that meets the child’s needs and abilities.
Honestly, I have done the same thing…many, many times. But in that moment, seeing those words on the screen, from someone…I thought what a sell out I had been. Not Riko…ME! Because the truth is this is what I believe…
RadiCool Unschooling is the BEST choice for #neurodivergent little humans.
IF the parents can put aside their own prejudices and trainings and place the needs of the individual above all that society values.
Of course, there are a couple of problems with my theory…
- Not all parents of #Neurodivergent children are aware of #HomeEducation and especially #RadicalUnschooling. How can you CHOOSE something that you do not even know exists?
- And obviously…not ALL parents can set aside those prejudices, training, and expectations. Honestly, it is not easy. The pressure to be a certain way in our societies are intense. It takes both enlightenment and courage to swim against the tide.
But the truth is…
Schools and the education system CANNOT put the needs of your child first.
Only you can!
I always use this clip from Star Trek…
The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…or the one.
That should not come as any surprise. It has been the central theme of much of philosophy since Plato, Socrates, and ancient Greece. And it still is. Of course, philosophers have taken differing sides on the issue…pro-society or pro-individuality. That is all good to know…from a historical perspective.
BUT we live in a time unlike any other in history. This age-old argument takes on new meaning for us all. And at its roots accounts for much of the greed, prejudice, and even war in this world.
Society is afraid of anyone who is different.
And you see that more clearly in schools. Conformity and obedience are rewarded. Creativity and originality are punished. That is especially challenging when you do not have the ability to conform to rules that make no sense to you.
There are so many, many reasons why #Neurodivergence and schools are a bad mix…that is another blog in fact.
But for now, I am going to end with my core message. This time NOT watered down. With all its power.
Schools cannot by their nature met the physical, emotional, or educational needs of #Neurodivergent little humans. Systems, any system, is about the needs of the many. Home education and especially radical unschooling is a better option for parents looking to give their #Neurodivergent person the best opportunities, greatest chance of reaching their full potential, and ultimately good mental health/happiness. While home education may not be possible for all parents, it should nonetheless be recognized as in the best interest of the child.
Next time, I will give you that long, long, long laundry list of WHY schools are second-rate and no place for our precious #AutisticSuperHeroes. As PanKwake says…
#Autistic forever, ‘normal’ never!