Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Einstein's Genius

well, I let my tangential blabber power get the best of me. I didn't really get to the point of Einstein did I?

I told you it was a long story...

There is nothing more irritating to a doctor or psychologist than a mother who calls their diagnosis into question. I learned very quickly how to dance and skirt around the issue without offending the doctor's professional pride. In the end I think I prevailed. This label has been ostentiably dropped from the consciousness of those who work with him on a daily basis - his teachers, T.A's and Resource Teachers. Owen still has challenges regarding language - so I do not deny that he needs assistance in those areas. I may deny the "A" label, but I still see him as is a square peg in a round hole. As you can see, I consider Owen's "diagnosis" to be an empty label devoid of any inherent meaning and content.

At some point,( I think it was before he started school, ) I came to believe that Owen's brain architecture was different than most. That did not mean that he was "disordered", "diseased" or "disabled". Sometimes the educational system is quick to medicalize difference. Sadly, I think this is the only way they can justify getting assistance in the school system. At least, in the school district where Owen attends, they do not have the personal or financial resources to tailor their curriculum to every child. Owen happens to be on another curve. He also is highly adaptive.

Enter Einstein. Somewhere along the way, I found out that he did not learn how to speak until he was 4, and did not speak well until he was 8. There are many who would advocate that Eintein was a high functioning autistic. That interpretation did not matter to me as much as that one isolated factoid that he was a late speaker like Owen. And if Albert Einstein could develop the theory of relativity, while working in a Swiss Patent office, think of Owen's possibilites. Owen has as much chance to turn our understanding of matter, space, time and reality on its head. Who knows what all that gazing and studying geometric patterns will develop into? His oddness, I find completely exciting...not something to be feared, or worse "cured".

So Thanks Albert Einstein. You not only altered my understanding of subatomic phenomena, but you also radically reshaped the way I interpret my kid. That is your genuis my sir.


Kim said...

Great post! Owen is so lucky to have you as his mom. All parents should be so understanding and informed when it comes to what makes their children unique.

Gia said...

I really liked your posts. I am nervous about my daughter entering school and having her natural artistic talents squashed. When I was in school we had art and drama classes and they were my saving grace. I don't think school is always all it is cracked up to be - for all sorts of reasons.

Good job keeping labels off your son. We should all do the same.