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Integration because of social mimicry
  • Lixina
    Posts: 289
    I was reading Elizabeth Newson's advice about teaching PDA kids, and most of it sounds great, but one thing that really bothered me was her statement that because of how imitative PDA kids are, integration is very important.
    What's so wonderful about normal kids, anyway? If I'd imitated my normal classmates, I'd have been whispering insults at people, 'accidentally on purpose' pushing them and then saying 'watch where you're going' when they weren't moving at all, and so on.
    I've benefitted so much from meeting autistic people, and yes, even from imitating them. I started hiding my emotions to not seem weird (because I express myself differently and react to things differently) and imitating a severely autistic boy helped me show joy more fully.
    I've also benefitted so much from being around other disabled kids, because that's the only time I've felt like I'm not the outsider. Even if I'm the only autistic, or the only high functioning autistic, or the only PDA person, if the group's diverse enough it doesn't matter. I don't stand out because of having a different mind, because there's so much variety (but if there's a big divide, I might fall in the cracks of it).
    Please, don't use social mimicry as a reason to keep your child isolated from people like them. Integrate them or not based on what you think is best, but make sure that at least some of the time they are with other developmentally disabled kids, in a group where their PDA doesn't make them the odd one.
    Ettina
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,566
    Hi

    I found your post very interesting and I do agree with you.

    My own son is PDA/Autism with learning difficulties and is in a school for Autistic children 3-19 yrs. He appears to be very able compared to many at the school but I know he feels at home there and can be himself. He also feels one of the most intelligent which boosts his confidence no end!

    He has never, to my knowledge picked up any inappropriate behaviour from the other children. Infact it's the reverse, when he gets angry and has a meltdown he swears and the teachers say a couple of the children in his class have echoed the swearing!!!

    Paula
  • mango69
    Posts: 967
    Ettina,
    How right you are. Max is mostly in the mainstream part of his school but the integrated resource also does its own thing and the kids are in there for their own stuff and where they can be themselves at certain times.His best friends are autistic - possibly because he feels they are similar to him, or because they don't question his behaviours, I'm not sure but he is certainly more comfortable because of being with other autistic kids. It's not the mainstream kids he has over at weekends although he does have other mainstream friends from other schools. I feel this is an ideal situation for him and he has never been happier at school.
    Margo
  • mango69
    Posts: 967
    Ettina,
    How right you are. Max is mostly in the mainstream part of his school but the integrated resource also does its own thing and the kids are in there for their own stuff and where they can be themselves at certain times.His best friends are autistic - possibly because he feels they are similar to him, or because they don't question his behaviours, I'm not sure but he is certainly more comfortable because of being with other autistic kids. It's not the mainstream kids he has over at weekends although he does have other mainstream friends from other schools. I feel this is an ideal situation for him and he has never been happier at school.
    Margo
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