Within a spectrum

I have had my daughter home from school since beginning of April due to suicidal thoughts. I’m a deep thinker and there’s a lot on my mind;
Thoughts and decisions. 33.jpg

Should my child go back to school and finish her 4th grade, or not. School will welcome her back and mom wouldn’t mind getting some alone time, but…
The improvement I have seen in my kid since she left school is truly amazing. The cutting has decreased and the girl I knew from about 3 years ago is sticking out her head again and that’s another reason why I’m not inclined to send her back to school. Unfortunately, her therapist seem to think differently and I would prefer we were on the same page (really; Christian therapists do NOT grow on trees in Tokyo!).

The decision to homeschool from 5th grade was relatively easy. I have been online searching for homeschool curriculums and – wow! The amount of “perfect for your kid” curriculums are stunning.
6fbb2cf6ec1e1128f16547bda099fe09.jpgHowever, only a fragment brings me peace and those are the unit based ones and… dare I say it… I found one that is s-e-c-u-l-a-r…
So I’ll add Bible to it, but hey – Beth Moore’s talk shows ought to spark some interest and then we’ll see where it takes us. I leave that peacefully into the Lord’s hands. I want my girl to get to know the Lord and find a desire to feel Him close. She is wired for that

Being out of school hasn’t been a cure. Therapy is still needed, medication likewise. But I have been reading up on psychology and the latest research and get this: Being an introvert could possibly be considered “being on the autism spectrum” – Now, don’t go frazzle on me now… An introvert isn’t autistic as such, but looking at the big picture I can see why a person with a diploma on the wall, would get the idea and explore it. b226fc0a61384c360840542c10732f0c.jpg

What is generally considered “normal” are people who talk, laugh, play, assert themselves, engage in activities – e.g. socialize, but that’s also (somewhere on the scale) the definition of “extroverts”: outgoing, sociable, friendly, unreserved and are energized by being around other people.
So when we encounter someone who is not particularly social, we see it as something “abnormal”. Was it “socially awkward” I heard the other day?

In schools, teachers try their best to teach students to assert themselves, play well with others and “have red cheeks after recess”. To make it in the world we live in, those qualifications are pretty important, but… In my case, my girl would much rather have a peaceful place for some quiet time. Why?
Because she’s an introvert and no amount of encouragement to become more social will change that.
How-to-care-for-introverts.pngBut it’s not allowed in school to bring anything out for recess, so kids who are by nature extremely introvert don’t really stand much of a chance (and no, there is no place to hide from friends…)
You guessed it; I have a beef with that!
It begs the question in my case – was the social anxiety partly grown because she doesn’t fit the “normal kid” standard?
Was she tying knots on herself for years trying to fit in and yet never did, causing low self-esteem, anxiety and depression?
I really think this is something schools in general ought to look deeper into.

If we do not allow kids to be who they are and help them grow into the person God intended for them to be, then we are just trying to mold kids to become what we have defined as “normal”. 

603652f640bb57a679069acb1bbc22e8.jpgBut God’s ways are higher than ours and even standardized school systems will have to recognize that, because the world is seeing more and more “on the spectrum” kids.
Can we afford to wait with adjusting our standards to meet God’s fearfully and wonderfully made children? 

 

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21 thoughts on “Within a spectrum

  1. I tend to agree that perhaps sending her back may not be the best idea? I will be praying for that…and YAY to finding a curriculum! I knew you would be led to one. A secular one is fine, just add in what you would like for Bible studies. :-). Making progress!!! :-). many blessings, Lene! So happy that your sweet, little one continues to improve. God is good!

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  2. I just spent a few minutes praying for you and your child. Thank you for sharing in such a vulnerable manner, and with great courage. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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    1. I thank you gratefully for your prayers and for stopping by. I intend to update as I write more posts, but sometimes time is too not the commodity I have most of. Many Blessings. Lene

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  3. 1 Timothy 5:8English Standard Version (ESV)

    8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

    This verse has always amazed me. “Worse than an unbeliever”. Wow! Praise God for the advocates you are. First in your home.

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  4. Sounds to me like you and Little One are both making good progress!

    I hope you will forgive me for not getting back to you with curriculum recommendations. Our son arrived from the States for a 3-week visit (YAY!!!!) and we’ve been doing some pretty non-stop traveling (Egypt, Petra, Wadi Rum, etc.) If you still want me to, I will try to look around tomorrow, but it sounds like you are getting pretty well set as to curriculum. 🙂

    BTW, there’s nothing wrong with using a secular curriculum – you are teaching from your heart, and if your heart is set on Y’shua, He will show up in every lesson!!! Those ‘teachable moments’ pop up regularly. Enjoy!

    Sending her back??? I have to agree with warriorforchrist – if Little One is doing better at home, please keep her home. Give her the breathing space and TIME she needs to work out her issues. God didn’t entrust her to a school or a therapist – He gave her to you because He has specially equipped YOU. And He trusts you to bring her before Him.

    I admit, I don’t put a lot of faith in modern psychology. I have seen it tear my sister’s family apart, not to mention destroying the psyches of one of my relatives and several friends. Aside from that, I can’t help thinking that part of the therapist’s goal is to see Little One become ‘normal’ – i.e., average. But she ISN’T average. She’s HERSELF, gifted for a unique role. She shouldn’t be shaped to fit a box – rather the ‘box’ should be fitted to her until she’s able to comfortably adjust herself to more ‘average’ and ‘normal’ situations.

    We’re not talking about coddling. We talking about healing existing wounds. You don’t send people with broken legs on hikes; you don’t graze injured cattle near a wolf pack; and you don’t send hurting kids into ‘kid territory’ cuz kids smell weakness and will tear hurting kids apart.

    Little One has these issues because she is particularly sensitive in a particularly IN-sensitive world. WE NEED HER! Shelter that sweet spirit until it has learned the coping mechanisms it needs for this crazy world. Then she will be such a help to the rest of us!

    Of course you’ll make mistakes, but they won’t be of the magnitude that a therapist might make. You and Little One will learn together from your victories and your failures, and you will both be better people because of them and because of the shared experiences.

    Be a careful listener and observer – as you learn more about her, you will be able to help her learn more about herself, about the world she lives in, and more about her role in that world. No one knows or can help your Little One better than you! You didn’t ‘break’ her, but you CAN help her heal herself.

    Finishing 4th grade? She’ll probably progress faster academically in your hands that she would in school, anyway. We know many home-schooled kids (including our own), and they’re ALL (literally without exception) considerably ahead of their ‘peers’ in the formal school sector. Many of them strike people as ‘geniuses’, but they’re not. They were just given the opportunity to learn in their own way at their own pace, and have been able to delve into topics that interest them. Their native intelligence has been encouraged, rather than hampered. That makes them UNIQUE – not like the cookie-cutter kids the schools try to turn out. The home-schooled kids we know are nicer people, clearer thinkers, and more creative than the public school kids we know. Why? Because people who love them have invested time and effort into them. There is a great return on that investment!

    Okay, enough of my ranting. If you got this far, you are to be commended for PATIENCE!! 🙂 My apologies! I am passionate about this because I have come to genuinely love you (and by extension your little girl), and because I have seen the wonderful benefits of homeschooling for my own kids and for MANY other kids. (We’ve been part of several home school groups, and there are 13 home-schooled children right here in our little community in Jordan.)

    Whatever decision you make, may YHVH be your guide, remembering that “ALL things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to HIS purposes!” That’s why we don’t have to worry or fear when we are doing our best to obey Him: “And we have known and believed [TRUSTED] the love that God has for us. … Such love has no fear, because perfect [trusted] love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment [or catastrophe from making the wrong decision], and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect [trustworthy] love.” (1John 4: 16, 18) Even the unpleasant consequences of poor decisions become opportunities for blessing and growth because of His Amazing and Trustworthy Love. As you trust in Him, Lene, you simply CANNOT LOSE!! 🙂

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    1. I’m all smiles dear Sue. Your passion and love for us here is amazing and I assure you – I love you ❤️ too.
      Thank you for your rant… mainly the therapist wants her to go back so she may conquer her fear and eventually one day, maybe, be able to return to school. Even if she can’t finish 4th grade, going back for just a day may help her… I have asked for a talk because I disagree, but I’d like for us to be on the same page. If we can’t get there, I have to look for another therapist. Hopefully it won’t come to that because my girl likes her therapist. But you are right: I too have the feeling she is trying to make her “normal” but seeing it in print here in your comment is actually more helpful than you imagine. 🙏 thank you!

      This year we will travel Australia. Next year in thinking about a 3 stop trip. She wants to visit watoto ministries in Uganda to help the little kids. From there to Jordan 😁 and then to Denmark to visit my family. But we’ll see… she doesn’t want to visit Jerusalem so please pray she’ll have a change of heart ❤️.
      Love you!

      Yay – family time! Sounds great 👍

      I think I’m good with curriculum. It’s called “Move beyond the page”. I have a good feeling about it though my girl isn’t gifted I think she can benefit from the connections within each unit.

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      1. Lene, I am so thrilled to hear that you and the therapist have come to a satisfactory agreement – Praising God with you!!!

        And thank you for your sweet reply to my overbearingly ‘buttinski’ letter. You are way too kind!

        To say I am excited that you’re planning on a visit to Jordan is an extreme understatement!!!! WOW!!! I’m gonna have a hard time waiting, but it will be worth it. 🙂 And we will pray about Israel/Jerusalem – Abba can change hearts and minds in a flash.

        I took a look at the curriculum you’ve chosen, and it looks really impressive – organized but adaptable, and I love the constructivist approach, which is what real teaching is all about. Good choice!

        With love and PRAYERS,
        Sue ❤

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  5. I would not send her back to school no matter what the therapist says. How can that therapist think it’s okay if the poor child suffers? Personally, I’d fire him or her, but that’s me. I don’t know if you will find a Christian therapist but I will pray God sends someone to help you. I think you are on the right track keeping her home. I believe in the long run this will work out for both you and your daughter. Have faith and I will keep praying for the both of you.

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  6. I was that one on the playground wanting to read a book instead. I “flunked” ‘Gets along well with others’ in kindergarten. Just who makes up the rules? They need education, education! Ultimately all need the Lord. In the meantime …
    And! How many parents know their children? How many teach growth, not to just fit in? Sure, which way easier? I think that was a rant, sorry. From one who isn’t even a parent. Peace.

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  7. School was torture for me. Im an introvert. Home-schooling was unknown in the fifties and sixties. I took my brother’s sleeping pills when I was 14 because I couldn’t bear to go back to school.

    The government gave me a home tutor. I got all A’s. I was sent back to school in grade 10 and 11, I got straight F’s the last year. I was an emotional wreck.

    There were a lot of reasons for my emotional problems, but being forced to go to school made them worse. This is just my story, I know, but I think there are a lot of children who would be better off at home.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story. Sounds excruciating! I’m having thoughts of changing therapist… but I’m not sure yet. Getting my girl back to finish 4th grade just seems daunting at best.
      Stay blessed my friends.

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      1. I have other stuff, doesn’t matter here. What I want to share is thinking about changing therapists. Took me to the 4th psych to be diagnosed correctly. They retired. Took the fourth try to find the right ‘fit’. It is so very hard to change. In my case invaluable. If you are thinking of changing but aren’t sure, maybe a second opinion is possible? It seems to have become cliche but, really, what would Jesus do? 🙏🏻

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      2. Jesus would take it to the therapist and have a talk 😉 Which is what I did and we are now on the same page. Thankfully, because her relationship with my girl is good. Praise the Lord for that!

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  8. “If we do not allow kids to be who they are and help them grow into the person God intended for them to be, then we are just trying to mold kids to become what we have defined as “normal”. ” I agree completely. I have a 5-year-old with Autism and for some, he is not “normal’ enough or “autistic” enough. He is uniquely himself. It is my job to figure out what works and use strategies and approaches that fit him best not make him match my son cookie cutter. Thanks for your post!

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