Teaching neurodivergent children has been a very enriching and learning experience for me.
Listening to them, paying attention to their different ways of communicating and trying to understand their difficulties in a neurotypical world has taught me so much. I spend about 6 hours of my day amidst neurodivergent people, in a way I live in a neurodivergent world. Neurodivergent people make the majority of the people I interact with closely on a daily basis and this has helped me improve my communication with them. Especially since some days other than them I only see my husband and our two black cats.
I am lucky to meet brilliant children with unique ways of perceiving the world, communicating with it, learning and loving. I am starting this series called “Neurodiversity in my life…” to share some of the awesome moments I live with my students.
The months of August, September and October are called the ‘Second Summer’ in Gujarat. Post monsoon it gets really hot and you really feel like summer is back. One centre I work at is not air conditioned and one child I teach is very sensitive to heat. Several times in summer he insists he does not want to work with me and he wants to go home and he does. But most of the time his motivation to do activities with me beats his discomfort with the hot stuffy room. I really appreciate this about him. I know how hard it is to focus when it is 40 degrees. This week he didnt want to work and so we just did a few stories he loves and then he left. While he was leaving he tells his mum that he wants Mango juice which he absolutely loves. I agree with him the heat is only worth it if we have mangoes for reward.
While some of us associate the months of the year (April, May, June) to mangoes, some of us associate the sensations we feel (hot, sweaty, dehydrated) to mangoes and the latter is definitely a more accurate association.
For ex: In India Strawberry is a winter fruit because it grows in (cooler) summers in the west and (cooler) summers in the west are majority India’s winters. Perhaps in a few years we will have mangoes in Spetember too. Climate change has affected seasons severely and it is probably also affecting crop and fruit production, right? When this happens I know one kid who’ll be saying “I told you so” in his head!