I my SELF?

April 29, 2007 at 5:02 pm | Posted in atheism, Autism, creation, Deleuze, Derrida, Gadamer, Genesis, Hegel, hermeneutics, Ivan, ktismatics, Lacan, nurture vs nature, Piaget, self, Tomasello | 9 Comments

In a fascinating post and discussion on what constitutes ‘the self’ Ktismatics has topped off a series of posts (developed over some time) discussing the ideas of Hegel, Derrida, Gadamer, Lacan, Deleuze, Tomasello, and many others, and charting out some new territory too on subjects as diverse as language, hermeneutics, psychotherapy relationships, and the self.

Particularly in our work with autistic children, but also with those who have other developmental problems, we often encounter the process of discovering and developing the sense of self. Our interaction, though, is always on the practical side. We are trying to ‘correct deficits’ and the norm is always what the majority of kids of that age group would attain.

How much is ‘just’ genetics and what effects do changes in nurturing style and other ‘inputs’ have on these children? Even if one is inclined to see the self as largely genetically programmed, one is still reminded that an awful lot depends on skill, and skill is something that is very relationally learned. But, my own feeling is that it is not even 50% genes. I believe that environment and social context make a huge difference. I have witnessed what effect some focused therapy can have on a child. We also see marked changes with modifications in physical factors like diet and sleep and exercise.

Children should indeed be encouraged and helped to reach their full potentials. How exactly we go about doing this is something that every parent, teacher, therapist, or anyone else that is around kids a lot, needs to keep struggling with. The child’s sense of self and the child’s developing personality do require and demand our attention and care.

I am very thankful indeed for Ktismatics’ massive effort to help to clarify some very confusing issues even though a large part of my confusion still remains! Indeed very often the discussion has gone right over my head but always in the process setting off various trains of thought and bringing much needed fresh perspectives.

I won’t even attempt to summarise what I am now thinking on this fascinating subject. I find that my reliance on a few thinkers such as Piaget has left me with an inadequate foundation (not Piaget’s fault!) and so much rethinking is now going on in my mind that whatever I might say now would be just garbled. So, do read for yourselves…

I have some other selfish reasons for frequenting Ktismatics’ blog one of which is the ongoing discussion with Ivan that was graciously hosted by Ktismatics shortly after a spam catcher on another blog set some of us adrift as we began a discussion on atheism, religion and evolution-creation! Which then led to the discovery of ktismatics nascent book on creation and in turn, that fascinating topic morphed into a fullscale, ongoing, exegesis of Genesis at OST. Right now, of course, the creation of the self is what it’s about!

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LD1 – DYSLEXIA

April 1, 2007 at 3:34 pm | Posted in ADHD, Aspergers, Autism, Challenge Centre, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, learning disorder, reading, spelling | 7 Comments

There are many, many things that can disturb a child’s ability to learn. The commonest cause of learning disorders is improper development but genetics is also thought to play some roll…

Today, I want to highlight reading difficulties or dyslexia as a common and troubling disorder.

Signs can be detected from about 3 years of age onwards as children fall behind their peers in reading. Commonly one will encounter any or all of the following:

  • May have poor reading ability or poor comprehension
  • May often misread information
  • May have problems with syntax or grammar
  • May confuse similar letters or numbers, reverse them, or confuse their order
  • May have difficulty reading addresses, small print and/or columns

The amount of disability and its causes will have to be determined by experts individually for each child. Various standardised tests are available to help with the diagnosis. Depending on the cause, many childrens’ disability can be lessened or even sometimes eliminated. Early detection and treatment are keys to success but our experience at Challenge is also that it is better late than never!

Dyslexia IS TREATABLE!

Almost every town now has professional help available for affected children. To ignore a child’s difficulties will simply consign them to a life far below their true potential. Any child that is considered “slow”, or “disorganised” (stupid, dumb… are words that should never be used of any child!) should be screened for a learning disorder.

If you have questions please do feel free to contact me (my email address is down in the footer) or post your question as a comment here.

I will soon do short highlights on each of the following – Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, Autism and Aspergers, nutrition for kids with LD, and finally a few posts on tips for parents and especially for those who do not have access to professional help, at PonnVandu, so please follow the rest of this fascinating series there

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