Tag Archives: Spanish

Autism and Ignorance

Two things that are often paired with one another, autism and ignorance. There are many people out there who are ignorant on what autism is. You can’t just look at a child and say, “They don’t have autism” or “Oh yeah, they have autism alright.” You have to either be familiar with it, or get to know that child well enough to see the signs.

Some look at my daughter and think there’s nothing wrong with her, that she’s just quiet and reserved. Some tell me that she’s just slow because she couldn’t sing her ABC’s to you. Some tell me that meltdowns are a part of her being a child and that I’m not doing right by properly punishing her and letting her get away with bad behavior. If there was a class to learn about what autism is, I would suggest it to these people, but unfortunately there isn’t. There isn’t a class for us parents who have autistic children, to learn how to deal or cope. There ARE support groups, but not enough out there and some aren’t even nearby.

There are many sides to autism, not every child with autism are the same, it’s that broad. That’s why the doctors call it, autism on the spectrum. One child may display anti-social behaviors, while another child many not be anti-social. One child may like to hug, whereas the other child doesn’t want to be touched completely. Lack of eye contact, inability to understand emotions, delayed speech, all those that I’ve said above are all autistic behaviors.

My daughter has progressed so well since having started therapy. I commend each of her therapist as I’m starting to understand my daughter better and she is able to understand me better. After picking her up from daycare each day I’ll ask her, “Did you have a fun at school today?” It took her many months before she would reply with a yes. A small word that many parents may brush off as being normal, but for me that’s in a sense, moving mountains.

Just yesterday at breakfast we were eating eggs and toast, our usual breakfast meal as she would only eat just that. She looks up at me with cinnamon on her face and says with a big smile, “I like toast.” It threw me for a second as this is the first time she’s ever confirmed liking anything. Better yet, this is the first time she’s used a full intelligent sentence with every word being understandable and clear. She usually talks in babbling sentences with one or two words that are understandable or mumbled to the point I have her repeat what she said just so I could try and figure out what it is she is trying to say. This is where it gets upsetting, her inability to communicate clearly and my inability to understand what she’s trying to say.

Another thing ignorance doesn’t see is that majority of children with autism are very, very smart. Every day I can see just how smart my daughter is. She may not be able to communicate very well, but she does not forget anything, especially if you told her something this morning, she’ll remember it at the end of the day. She can put a puzzle together really fast on her kindle. She can understand three different languages, even say a few words in another language. She can even count to ten in Spanish without missing a beat.

A person should never judge the capabilities of a child with special needs. That child may look at us as the one with a special needs. My daughter continues to amaze me every day. I have never judged what she can and can’t do. I myself will test that, just to show others that you can’t tell me I can’t do something. My exact response is always, “watch me!” My daughter will learn this from me, and I will be there to encourage her every step of the way. Autism isn’t a disability or something to be afraid of. Autism isn’t a label. It just gives a child their own uniqueness. The ability to show those that are ignorant around them that they are just that, ignorant for not believing in what they can do and for judging and doubting them.

Oui, oui, I’ll be learning French in a classroom

I’m having to take a online French class while I’m here in college. It’s required to get my Bachelor’s. I’m not crazy about learning a foreign language online, but I have to have it and online is the only way it’s offered.

In this online French class we’ll be asked to make a journal/blog entry. I didn’t really want to start a new blog just for one class, so why not just add it to the blog I currently have, it’s up and running, and it’s active.

So, sit back and learn the French culture and language along with me.

Journal question:

“If you’ve studied a foreign language before, What was the most difficult part of the experience? Be specific. What made that as difficult as it was?

If you haven’t studied foreign language before, what specifically do you expect will be the most difficult for you? If you have no idea, take a few minutes skimming over the course content, and base your answer about what seems trickiest. Don’t forget to include why you think it will be difficult.

Finally tell how you plan to approach this learning experience differently because of your experiences or expectations. ”

I grew up learning many languages verbally. I couldn’t read nor write them. It was good enough that I was learning a different language other than English. What is even better is that I was able to speak and understand it. I didn’t have a problem until I had to learn a foreign language in a classroom. The worst part was conjugation; changing the ending of the word, the using the appropriate he, she, they and make sure the word has a similar ending. That sentence sounds just as confusing as learning a foreign language in a classroom. It was also awkward seeing how the word was spelled different than how it sounded. I was lost in translation, literally. I honestly didn’t learn anything from taking two courses of Spanish in high school. We really didn’t speak Spanish to one another, we spoke English. Then I had to move again and I didn’t have anyone to speak another language with, other than English.

When I decided to go back to college I found out that I had to have three years of a foreign language just to get my degree. I just knew I wasn’t going to do well and I didn’t, but yet I passed the class with a B. I still didn’t learn anything that I hadn’t known before taking the class.

My third attempt was taking Spanish 2 in the classroom was beyond ridiculous. I had a hard time with the teacher, as did everyone else. Not to mention she always showed up twenty minutes late. She then tried to rush the assigned work because we only had twenty to thirty minutes left of class, what should’ve been a fifty minute class. She refused to help anyone…seriously! It was beyond sad and so I ended up dropping the class. I couldn’t have one class ruin my GPA on the sad fact the teacher didn’t want to help her students out when they were having trouble. I was one of those students that needed help. I did ask for a tutor, but I would have to drive to the North campus, to which is way out of my way.

I find French much different than Spanish, though I am familiar with both. I was trying to learn Spanish because of the many Spanish speaking people that live here in the United States that I may work with in my chosen profession. Though I have never learned French from a classroom, I have learned it from being around people who speak it and also from watching many French movies. I’m hoping it’ll be a different challenge, but a good challenge. I’m not crazy about taking online classes, as it’s much harder to learn that way, especially a foreign language. But alas, I have to have it to get my degree, plus I want to be able to learn more about the language and culture.