Neurodivergence · Radical Unschooling

#100 Days of Home Ed…Day 86

I wish I could be more like my #neurodivergent #autistic daughter!

What?

Yes, I wish I could be more like my PanKwake.

20160914_162012After a HUGE Friday with ice cream at Joe’s, home ed sports, Dominos, soft play, swimming, board riding, climbing at the LC2 and a walk home along the beach, PanKwake refused to walk our young student to the train station.

My eleven year old #Ndivergt child did what few #neurotypical adults can…

She recognized her own boundaries/limits…

She communicated them clearly…

And stood up for what SHE needed.

I am so proud of her. It is the culmination of years of home education and all I ever wanted for my daughter.

You see I learned when she was six or seven that…

PanKwake may not be able to do everything that is expected/demanded of her…

But she CAN do anything she wants to do!

I learned that valuable lesson the day that my #autistic daughter who could not tolerate fifteen minutes in a shop because of the lights, noise, smell, temperature and people waited outside in the January cold and occasional drizzle for three hours to audition for Britain’s Got Talent. We then had to wait another hour and a half in a packed room with those same florescent lights and loud noises.

All for a two minute audition where she sang and danced to her little song that she had made up herself…about being different. The girls who told her ‘thank you, but no…not this year’ were barely out of their teens. But PanKwake left that room smiling…they said we could come back next year, Mommy.

Then when we went back into the main room a young neurotypical girl was crying. My #autistic daughter put her arms around her and consoled her. Don’t worry. We can come back next year.

I knew in that moment that my child was going to have a wonderful future…and I am more convinced of it each and every day.

I saw first hand the power of the #neurodivergent brain at #autismfestival17. Four truly inspiring adults who were successful not in spite of their autism but because of it.

The thing is…there is always a price to pay for success. 

One of those speakers tweeted the next day about the struggles that follow such expenditures of energy. It was the same speaker that taught me about spoon theory. Now I do disagree with one point…#neurotypicals or at least this one (am I though?) have spoons too. Maybe they have more or maybe they are not as aware of theirs…but I have seen #NTs exhaust themselves just the same.

I have done it. In fact…I KEEP doing it. Even though I know better. Even though I have been the one that taught PanKwake this self-regulation and standing up for her needs. I have not adequately learned the lessons I taught her.

That is what I meant when I said I wish I were more like my #neurodivergent daughter. I wish I had taught myself when and how to say NO. It is a skill that is not just for the #NDivergt. We all need to be aware of our boundaries/limits. And to give ourselves permission to say NO when we need to.

Just another example of how much PanKwake teaches me…but that is the best part of #RadicalUnschooling. No students and no teachers. Equals. Learning together through life.

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