May 30, 2014

(Non)Fiction Friday again: SPARK

I finished another library book! I haven't read two books in a month since college. I'm on a roll here. It's because my doctor told me I'm so stressed out I need to find ways to relax. That means more reading.

I read a memoir, SPARK: A MOTHER'S STORY OF NURTURING, GENIUS, AND AUTISM. The author pulled her son out of early intervention and decided that if so-called "normal" children are allowed to just be kids and do what they enjoy, so could her severely autistic child, even if the things he enjoyed seemed weird to everyone else. While she let him stare at light and shadows on the wall instead of sending him to therapy, he was teaching himself how to read, memorizing the United States road atlas, and figuring out advanced physics.

I love child-prodigy stories because it makes me wonder what all our brains could be capable of if they were wired just a little differently.

My favorite take-home from the book is that the more the author encouraged her son to do what came naturally to him, the more he excelled in *all* areas of his life. The more she and therapists tried to force him down a particular path, the more he withdrew and struggled in *all* areas of his life. She saw the same result with other preschool children she taught who were not autistic---that once they were validated in their passions and given creative freedom to pursue them, these children became happier and more cooperative when having to learn the stuff they didn't like as much.

So what do you do to relax and be happier? I like to read books made of paper and not computer screen. I'm glad my friend Michelle told me about the app that turns off the blue light on your screen at night, though, so maybe I can keep playing Song Pop before bed.

If you missed last post, the 2-Sara Zarr-book-pack is still up for grabs! Comment to be entered to win. So far there are two comments this week, so your odds are pretty good.


Michelle D. Argyle said...

Yay for no blue light at night!

That book sounds really interesting. I've been reading more nonfiction this year, so I might have to look into that one. I think it's so important to "back off" when it comes to kids. I thought it was just *my* kid, but it looks like I'm not alone in this. Mine really does do better when I let her follow her heart.

Catt said...

So which app turns the blue light off of your phone? I could use that too!