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“Neurodivergent Kids Are My Favorite Students”

neurodivergent kids. Often, their parents will drop them off with an off-hand, “Oh, by the way, my son has autism,” or “My daughter has dyspraxia,” as if this critical information were an afterthought. It’s also usually stated when we’re about to hit the pool with 20 other kids, most of whom have no desire to behave.

My “training” never prepared me for this, but it suddenly became a me-problem.Challenge accepted!I absolutely love my neurodivergent students. I have one kid who won’t stop ducking underwater while everyone else leans on the edge of the pool watching him. I can be as sarcastic as I like about his behavior because he can’t hear me — he’s underwater.

We now fist bump to make sure he’s listening to the short instructions I give, and he’s the best in class. It’s great!I live for these breakthroughs with a child and my neurodivergent kids give me complete creative freedom over how I teach to get there. It’s like I’m working on a psychological puzzle, searching for that one puzzle piece to get them to do what I (and they) need.

They may keep tearing my imaginary puzzle apart, but I’ll be damned if I don’t finish it. One way or another, little Timmy the Terrible will become Aquaman under my watch. It’s on![Self-Test: Symptoms of Hyperactive Impulsive ADHD in Children]I didn’t always have an affinity for teaching neurodivergent kids.My career always has had two simultaneous prongs: teaching and writing.

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