jame_alec: A stick figure typing rapidly on a keyboard (TAKATAKATAKA)
Sometimes I really despair at the quality of K-12 education in my neck of the woods. My sisters are frequently taught things that are flat out wrong because the science books they're using haven't been updated for at least 5 years. Usually more. When I went to school, the newest books were at least 8 years old. Some were as old as 20 years old.

It kills me because there are so many opportunities in science and math-oriented fields. When I ask my middle sister (14 in a week) why she doesn't like science, she either says she doesn't get it or it's boring. She's certainly not unteachable, so I have to wonder if it's a case of bad teacher or bad teaching environment.

When I was in my senior year of high school, the classes had way too many students. More than was legally allowed. They couldn't do anything about it, though. The population in my area has only continued to grow as more and more families have moved to rural areas to get away from the "hustle and bustle" of the city. Between that and education cuts, it wouldn't surprise me at all if class sizes are still way too big, even if they are within the legal limits. You just can't teach a classroom of 30 thirteen year olds and address all the different needs.

Right after I graduated, gang-related fights began erupting in the school system to the point that the schools had to call in police officers to walk the halls and monitor the cafeteria. It got so bad that students weren't allowed to talk during lunch and had to raise their hand and be escorted to the trash can to put up their trays.

It's relaxed more now, but it's still hardly a good learning environment. I'm sure this is old news to people elsewhere, but this is a rural area and it's just started becoming like this here and it's all rather shocking to me. And it totally makes me understand why some people want to homeschool their kids (even if they can't teach for shit).

In lieu of busting down the doors of the education department and doing a hostile takeover, does anyone have any advice on how to inspire at least understanding of, if not interest in, science/math for a 14 year old and/or a 6 year old?
jame_alec: "This is a cat. It is not a defective dog. It is very happy being a cat. Autism: It's a diffence, not a disease" (Cat - Autism)
It's been on my mind a lot lately, so I'm going to kind of dump everything I've found out about me being on the autism spectrum here.

After finding out what stimming is maybe a month ago, I talked to my school shrink. She said I probably had Asperger's. My main concern was that this isn't in my head and I'm not being a hypochondriac, so that was all I was really interested in.

This is all pretty interesting to me because of the anecdotal link between autism spectrum disorders and trans-ness. Most people that are trans seem to have someone that's autistic in the family, or on the spectrum themselves.

When I first found out I was on the spectrum I had a sheer panic attack of "Oh god, what if I'm wrong and me thinking I'm trans is just my reaction to not getting human interaction and my role as a woman?" It didn't take long to shake that off... there are plenty of cissexual women on the autism spectrum who have the same social difficulties I do and have no inclination to chop off their breasts and take testosterone.

I also felt utter relief at having an explanation for why I react in certain ways to things. For 20+ years I'd convinced myself that I was being a whiny jerk for always wanting the TV volume down, for hating any kind of bright light, for being more inclined to stay in my room than go to a friend's house.

For 20+ years I've also had the worst guilt about stimming. I thought it was something that only I did, and it made me a weirdo. Now that I recognize the need to do it (before I thought I was just horribly tired at the end of the day rather than overstimulated) and actually do it when I need to, I feel so much better.

It kind of bothers me that my parents, family, and teachers until 2nd grade (when I learned to suppress my stimming in public) saw my stimming and social problems and thought "odd but intelligent kid" rather than "something's up here". I feel like I spent 20 years in limbo because nobody noticed. Though I suppose given that I'm in rural Georgia, I'm lucky I was pegged as a weird smart kid rather than an autistic kid.

idk. I'm open to questions/comments about the subject. (And no, I don't believe I got this from being vaccinated.)


jame_alec: A young Magneto and Professor X looking at each other. Magneto has a snazzy hat on (Default)

March 2010

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