Scaffolding children with Neurodiversity and promoting inclusion
Continuing on the awareness and acceptance of everyday challenges that neuro diverse children face in typical settings, we would like to share a recent incident .
Ten years old Latika (name changed) is on the Autism Spectrum. She is well adjusted in her mainstream school, excels in academics, is often selected by her teacher for responsibilities in the classroom. Latika's teacher is unaware of her underlying condition. Latika has been receiving support from our team for some of her challenges with higher aspect of language. She has worked her way through understanding the size of the problem and having a proportionate response, appreciating that is is alright to make a mistake, bonding with her younger sibling, understanding sarcasm and humor etc. She has made excellent strides but challenges do crop up.
Two weeks ago, Latika’s school had a parent teacher meeting. Latika was assigned the task of ensuring parents waited their turn as per tokens that were handed out to them. It was an unexceptionally crowded day and Latika did an admirable job of ensuring parents toed the line.(anyone who has attended a crowded PTA can appreciate what a mammoth task this is!)
One parent had a medical emergency and requested Latika to be permitted to jump the line. Latika appreciated the situation and allowed her to do so . The problem occurred when another parent jumped the line saying that if she did not do so, she would miss her younger daughter’s PTA which was in a distant location and on the same day.
Latika was unable to accommodate this grey. This was the proverbial last straw that broke the camel’s back. She had a meltdown. Her mother who had completed her turn with the teacher and was in another part of the building had to be called to help her calm down.
As we see it, we will not only have to help Latika to expand her repertoire of greys but also to recognize signs of anxiety(within herself) that may be building up. How to modulate the anxiety, how to take the requisite breaks.
It takes a village to raise a child. In that spirit, I am reaching out to other neurodiverse individuals who are connected with me on this platform to share their thoughts on this. What more can we do to help Latika?