Have you ever thought about what kind of smart you and your children are?
We Are All Smart
In college, I was fascinated by Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences (based on his book Frames of Mind). The concept explains why people might have different aptitudes and abilities. I find that idea compelling and liberating because I believe we’re all smart, just not in the same ways.
Intelligence types (i.e. linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, personal, and beyond) are meant to be empowering and inclusive.
“Know[ing] thyself” better (as suggested by Ancient Greeks, such as Socrates) can provide clarity, regarding work choices, hobbies, and friendships. Since I seem to fit within the intrapersonal (self-reflective) category, I understand why I’m a writer and diarist (and thus relate to fellow authors). Interestingly, I’m also of the interpersonal sort (interactive and communicative).
Furthermore, I enjoy learning about societal-variety and self-improvement. My astrological star sign is Leo. I’m aware of my Love Languages (thanks to counselor Gary Chapman’s books) and my Tendencies (meaning my response to expectations, based on a quiz by happiness enthusiast, Gretchen Rubin). I realize I’m a perfectionist – of sorts, and I’d be curious to see my scores on personality tests, too! Of course, the data is different than a measurement of IQ. These labels help me make sense of myself and others in relation to the world. Fun fact: my immediate family members have taken the Love Language assessment as well!
What do you and yours prefer: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and/or Physical Touch?
Learning Styles, Compassion, and Considerations
As a substitute teacher, I’ve seen students exhibit various strengths and modes of expression. Educators are encouraged to construct a thoughtful classroom environment and to lesson plan with Universal Design in mind. By increasing access to content and using multiple modalities to convey material, teachers can accommodate a range of learning styles, like audio and visual. Cultivating space for plurality involves empathy and support for students who struggle.
Come to THINK of it, my novel is set in a high school, and the writing class is comprised of colorful characters!
We all have different ways of acquiring information and demonstrating knowledge. Methods of communication make us each unique and creative. As parents, we can try to recognize, honor, and celebrate these aspects within our assortment of kids.
Self-advocacy and connection are important. Autistic people and allies of the Autism community are contributing to the ongoing conversation as is evident in these recommended resources: a blog by local author Jennifer Gay Summers who regularly contributes to the ADDitude magazine; a Facebook group for Divergent Parents formed by life coach Jennifer Butler; a website built by support specialist Kristy Forbes; and a “neurowonderful” YouTube channel produced by activist Amythest Schaber.
Thank you to the multitude of thinkers who are working toward making our world a more inclusive place!
Since we’re on the subject of neurodiversity, I want to give an additional shout-out to the Brain Injury Center of Ventura County. Once upon a time, I worked for the organization, and I recently got to lead a writing workshop for survivors and caregivers in Camarillo.