Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Can Reading Lead to Making Friends?

Get TsukiMoon some friends at school.

It is my belief that if TsukiMoon can talk about himself it means that he is understanding himself, if he has an understand himself he can then understand others.

On The Ground:
It is difficult to identify the issues that TsukiMoon needs help on.  It is easy to get the general issues; he has a challenge with social situations, but what are the parts of that?  How best do we address them.  

Mr. TsukiMoon and I have to use our high levels of observation and empathy to understand what TsukiMoon might be thinking and feeling.  We imagine how we would feel in similar situations, with similar disabilities.  It's a challenge and we are always making new distinctions.  The interesting thing is that both Mr. TsukiMoon and I excel at this, it is one of the reasons why we both excelled in our jobs.  We are sensitive to people's feelings, careful that there is no loss-of-face when delivering bad/difficult news, and why we could get the best from the people we worked with--especially Mr. TsukiMoon   It is interesting to me that TsukiMoon has such a challenge with this exact skill, but with our help he gets better.

An issue that has come up is that TsukiMoon has a really hard time understanding fiction.  He can't relate to the characters or the circumstances that protagonist finds himself in.  It is my belief that if TsukiMoon can put words around the feelings and motivations of the protagonist he can then put words around his feelings.  If he can understand himself he can better relate to others-- with the ultimate goal of having friends at school.

I expect that this will be a long process.  It took me 5 years to get him to be able to read, maybe this won't take as long as that.

Action Plan:
- Continue working with the Mrs. K, the pathologist around reading.

- Get TsukiMoon's in class reading ahead of the class so that he can have more time to absorb the text and can better relate to the text and be able to answer the questions in class.  We had TsukiMoon observed in the classroom by the Mrs. K and he was slow to write, if at all, to an assignment that was given.  We need to prep him the night before so that he has more time to think about what is needed.

- Find fiction, no-picture texts to read to him around topics that he interested in.  He is really interested in Dungeon & Dragons.  There are reams of books dedicated to this interest.  Yea for that.  Star Wars is an interest-- we also regularly say the prayer "Thank God for George Lucas."   In addition books around WW2, another interest.  Use these books to create a dialogue around interests. 

- He hates to be asked questions about the books (graphic novels-- the pictures help TsukiMoon understand the text) that he is reading because he truly can't answer the questions.  Questions like: What is your favorite part of the book?  What did the character do that was funny?  Was there any part that made you nervous?  You get the picture.  What I need to do is read these books and start to talk about what I like about them, what I think the protagonist objectives were, how they speak to my life or how I relate to them.  In Common-Core parlance: Text to Self.

If any readers have additional suggestions I would love to hear them and put them into use.

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