Thursday, 26 April 2012

Sparks

Have you ever sat there with a student identified as Autistic or ADHD (aren't we all?) and simply let them talk?

You might find, as they recount the latest movie or TV series they've watched in almost microscopic detail, that you don't know what they're talking about - and your mind might wonder back to all bits of paperwork and emails in front of you. You might even feel impatient, too polite to tell them to go away, yet too busy to 'waste time'.

But sometimes it pays to ignore that high-importance information request glaring at you from your computer screen (one press of a monitor button should do it) and simply sit there, and listen - and watch - as the student enthusiastically delivers their spiel on Batman or Blake 7.

Why? Because often these students - with all their lack of self-awareness, their inability to recognise social norms - have an unbridled zest for life. They carry the sparks that Indian author Chetan Bhagat talks about in this amazing welcome speech to new students, and remind us why we're here...

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