Tuesday, March 20, 2007
this post by Tom Beckett caught my attention (well, they all do, but). I know a boy, must be 11 now, who likewise holds writing instruments in a fist. he writes and draws, it seems, constantly. he suffers seizures, to which I hadn't thought to attribute that grip until now. the grip I guess helps obviate the physical difficulties of his neurological dismay. Erin suffered seizures after immunization (those 2 facts are true but the scientific (western) community disputes the correlation). it was a long, long road of physical therapy, various mental exercises and homeopathy to come back from that. a heroic effort by Erin and Beth. in the process of that therapy Erin, a natural righty became a lefty. I think it has to do with rewiring Erin so that a different part of his brain manages motor control. don't quote me on this. Erin loves to write, and does so with impressive verve and ease--he has always had a distinctive voice--yet he cannot write with a pencil. that is, it is just about painful for him. which obviously is a handicap, tho schools and scholastic testing agencies and such will make allowances. all this makes me want to say, perhaps obviously and tritely, that every child is a special needs child. being part of the homeschool community, we see many children afflicted with uniqueness. I say afflicted because in the public school setting they are often cast out: dweebs, weirdos, misfits. public school perforce aims for the average student, but you look at your child, or anyone's, and realize that there is no average. it is not true that homeschoolers are typical socially backward, if anything I'd declare the opposite (for one thing, they are used to dealing with adults). I don't mean to rail against public schools nor suggest that everyone should homeschool. Tom's fist grip is an adaptation to a specific physical need. one must be wary of the adaptations children make in school that are forced on them. it wasn't so long ago, for instance, that lefties were forced if not to use their right hand, at least to use the right hand grip when writing. anyway, so I ruminate.