Radical Unschooling

#100 Days of Home Ed…Day 17

Yesterday, I introduced you to the little known but I believe increasingly prevalent form of autism that is PanKwake’s gift.

Gift? You say.

If you read any of that website, you perhaps felt sorry for her…and us.

DON’T!

I believe that Pathological Bullsh!t Avoidance (my light-hearted term for it) is the greatest gift that my daughter…and those like her bring to this world.

Let me tell you why…

It is called lock-in and the keyboard in front of you is the best example in technology and economics.

QWERTY is the top row of letters…left to right. But why? Would it not be immensely easier for everyone, especially our children if instead it were…ABCDEF?

But QWERTY goes back to the earliest days of the typewriter. When it was first invented the arrangement of the keys…and their corresponding typebars…was extremely important. Prior to the computer keyboard or even the electric typewriters, these typebars had a tendency to get jammed against one another. It was not a pleasant experience as you had to stop your typing, perhaps lift the case and then straighten them all out. A process that most often left you with ink on your fingers. It mussed up many a neatly typed page. Back in the day when you had to begin all over from scratch. QWERTY and all the other letters are neatly arranged to minimize that occurrence.

BUT we don’t live in the days of manual typewriters anymore. QWERTY no longer serves any purpose. Of course, it could be and was said with the first computers…but it is what everyone is used to.  So that first generation of techie has ‘trained’ and determined the course of every other after them. FOR NO USEFUL PURPOSE!

But lock-ins do not just occur in technology and economics where brand cache can prevent other superior products from becoming widely used. I should know…Cookie Monster’s whole career has been a battle against one tech lock-in…even though the product that is his passion is FAR superior to the prevalent brand which everyone complains about incessantly but which continues to thrive.

Society is full of lock-ins!

  • Don’t talk on the bus/train.
  • Respect your elders.
  • Get a job.
  • Sit still.
  • Wear this.
  • Do that.
  • Don’t do that.

And other venerable institutions such as marriage, offices…and since this is #100 Days of Home Ed…most definitely schools. Perhaps it could even be argued that organized religion and government…corporations are lock-ins.

The problem is…

It is ALMOST impossible to change things once something has achieved the status of a lock-in.

Short of violent overthrow…messy revolution…or outright revolt against the status quo.

And that, my dears, is where autism, in particular high-functioning autism…and specifically Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) comes into the picture.

The other day I used the following clip of Mister Spock’s demise to explain school systems and society in general…

The truth is…Our PDA children are REAL-life Mister Spocks.

They are half-breeds…part emotional human and part completely logical beings. Their minds are in constant war between these dual sides of their nature.

And as parents, we have two choices…

  1. We can turn them over to the ‘system’ and allow it to beat them into shape (even without corporal punishment, most of us leave the school systems…beaten and broken).
  2. Or we can take on the monumental task of fostering their unique gifts…ones that this world needs now more than ever.

Albert Einstein, one of the greatest minds ever known to man…and likely high-functioning autistic himself, had this to say…

top-10-sustainability-quotes-with-bob-gottfried-2-638

I believe that PanKwake and the ever increasing number of those like her…represent that NEW level of awareness that we need to solve the mess that will be their inheritance from us.

And I believe that second option is the best choice for fostering their gifts…

That is why we #LoveHomeEd.

Tomorrow, I will share with you more about why home education may be the best (and perhaps only) option for those high-functioning autistic individuals with…

Pathological Bullsh!it Avoidance.

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