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The Spark > 3. Main Message

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message 1: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea | 562 comments What was the main message you took from the book? How can this help teachers/parents?


message 2: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 522 comments First of all, I worried the whole time I was reading that this book would make parents or teachers feel that they were failures if they had raised or taught an autistic child and his not been able to achieve miracles the way Kristine did. Her success just seemed a little too good to be true. It would be interesting to hear from some of the parents of the children she worked with and get their views.
Having said that, though, I took away from this book that we should never give up on children and that "experts" don't always know what they're talking about. "Experts" in the past have pushed everything from blood-letting to lobotomies, so that ought to tell us something!


message 3: by Carol (new)

Carol  Jones-Campbell (cajonesdoa) | 690 comments Mod
I took from this book the idea that so much is possible with kids that are able to perform and learn new behaviors that are seen as acceptable. She had learned methods that had worked with her students, and was very successful. I again was in awe at her tremendous methods that she was able to use. I didn't get the feeling that any of her methods were caused with pain. As Cindy has said, "I took away from this book that we should never give up on children and that "experts" don't always know what they're talking about. "Experts" in the past have pushed everything from blood-letting to lobotomies, so that ought to tell us something! "


message 4: by Carol (new)

Carol  Jones-Campbell (cajonesdoa) | 690 comments Mod
I've thought the same thing Cindy, in that learning how their outcome was would be. From what was written, the success was phenomenal and do all the kids and patients have such similar and amazing results. Would like to know how they all did and did all of them do so well.


message 5: by Pam (new)

Pam | 218 comments I loved the focus on what a child loves and CAN do, instead of focusing on what a child can’t do.


message 6: by Barb (new)

Barb (deckerbunch) | 227 comments Pam, that is what I loved, as well. Nearly every autistic student has something that he or she is "obsessed" with. I also see that they are only allowed access to those things as a reward. I absolutely see the value of using those things as a focus rather than a reward. That is what the students are obsessing with while they are receiving therapies and during instructional time. That could definitely be used to everyone's advantage.


message 7: by Angela (new)

Angela (angeladecker814) | 104 comments Oops, see my last paragraph on #2 for my answer to this:

"Her son is extremely rare, and parents need to be extremely careful before pulling kids out of therapy. I don't think the vast majority will have the success she did, simply because their kids are not savants and most parents are not willing to or capable of going to the lengths she did. Yes, absolutely listen to your gut and your mother's intuition, but do it in partnership with the experts (like she did with her friend). I do think her focus on kids' strengths was good, because discouragement is good for nobody, and it makes so much sense to teach kids in ways they'll be best able to understand. Unfortunately, this is really only possible with extremely small class sizes or individualized help, so it's not hard to see why it's difficult to get kids who need it this sort of help."


message 8: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea | 562 comments I felt like the message was find your way to reach your child's full potential because every child can achieve greatness as long as you can find their spark.


message 9: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 522 comments I think your comment is very important, Angela. I can see a parent reading this and thinking, “oh, my child would do better if I pulled him out of school and let him do whatever he wanted to do at home”. Every parent should try to help her child achieve his potential, but this method of doing that was just the right thing for their family.


message 10: by Carol (new)

Carol  Jones-Campbell (cajonesdoa) | 690 comments Mod
Going on - what works for me, might not work for you. Tagging into Angela's as well. These are not fool proof, but it is impressive that the results are so great with what they have. Pretty cool.


message 11: by Carol (last edited Mar 30, 2018 08:46AM) (new)

Carol  Jones-Campbell (cajonesdoa) | 690 comments Mod
Note to Ruth: Feel free to chime in here. I've been thinking a lot of you and as a parent your challenges. We have Barb, Chelsea, Susan, and Amy as teachers in our group and have heard some of their points, Angela as a sister. Wouldn't mind hearing from Ruth if you feel prompted and/or inspired. Thanks - CJC


message 12: by M.E. (new)

M.E. Hembroff (mhembroff) | 93 comments The main message would be never give up on your children but work with the therapists. To many people focus on what the child can't do instead of what they can do.


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