Monday, October 20, 2008

Who Knows the Mind That Lurks Inside?

This morning I walked into the office of the SLP (Speech-Language Pathologist) who has been my guide to survival at the high school I serve. I noticed the cartoon-like drawings on her whiteboard and asked about it. Are you prepared to be fascinated?

Last week she was reading a chapter about Christopher Columbus to a group of students and one student, who has the diagnosis of Autism, seemed to not be paying any attention to the story. He was rocking and flailing his arms and looking everywhere but toward her. She felt an inspiration and asked him to stand up and draw scenes from the story she was reading.

He turned into Mr. Artist and drew these sketches. First, a boy reading a book about Christopher Columbus. Next, a boy thinking about the voyage Columbus made. Finally, Columbus preparing a map to chart his voyage.

Not only did the student draw this, he was able to point to the correct designs as the chapter was summarized by the SLP.

Who knows what's lurking in those seemingly inattentive, seemingly distractible minds of students we serve?


Fiona said...

I think this is amazing. It just goes to show how important it is to determine what kind of learners our students are, whether they are visual, kinesthetic, auditory, etc.

Margaret Rice said...

I love this story. Therapists and teachers all too often judge right away based on random observations or what they have read on an IEP. We have a great website for school based therapists at We would love to hear from your readers.