This post was inspired by a conversation I had tonight with someone who has one of these amazing kids.
Mine has been a fantastic teacher.
My 9-year-old son has been labeled 'gifted' and 'autistic,' but I've come to realize those labels really mean he's extraordinarily sensitive. And I've come to understand and massively appreciate he was born that way on purpose.
Lesson #1: people are here to experience physical life in their own way.
His natural, physical vibrational sensors are extra sensitive to smell and to sound and to visual input and to tactile objects and food (which manifests as hypoglycemia).
But he is also much more aware of how others feel. He gets vibrational cues from thoughts (of others and of himself) and he feels his response to thoughts (as feelings--- feelings are the vibrational interpretation of thoughts--) acutely.
He has the ability to read my thoughts (and others, too), and he says them out loud regularly. He doesn't do it on purpose, he just picks up on them if they're on the same vibrational wavelength he's on.
Lesson #2: Thoughts are things and they are similar to radio signals which are on different frequencies.
When anything goes awry and he feels bad in any way, he takes it very hard. However, when he feels good (which is most of the time now), he feels very, very good.
We, as parents, have had to learn to leave him alone to let him feel negative exaggerated responses. As long as we provide him with food and a safe, loving environment, we've learned to let him work it out. Because one, there's nothing we can (or should) do, and two, any amount of interference just prolongs the emotional episode.
Lesson #3: Positive expectation of others' well-being uplifts them.
He has become adept at making himself feel better. What's most wonderful about that is that he knows he is the one who has control over how he feels. And the more control he has over his feelings, the more powerful he feels.
He has a myriad of techniques to feel better. The quickest and most effective of which is to stick his head out the window of a moving car!
Lesson #4: Everyone has his own method to feel better, and there is no timeline required.
Now I understand the reason for leaving him alone with an emotional (thought)struggle: when you observe someone who's out of the vortex (feeling bad) and you try to help them, you just amplify the feeling they're having.
Lesson 5: There is nothing wrong with being out of the vortex (feeling bad). You, or they, are simply 'asking' for an improved situation more intensely, which only results in a more specific positive outcome.
Let's back up a little to give you some background about our awesome kid.
Early on we gathered that he was different in that he had a rich inner life. He wanted to be alone and he wanted to play by walking and talking to himself.
We chose a Montessori kindergarten because we thought it would give him more physical movement and tactile options with which to learn.
His teacher thought there was something wrong with him because he always wanted to have something in his mouth, like a paper clip, and he wanted to spend the day flying imaginary jets around his body. He didn't want to participate or listen to the class discussion.
But when he was tested on the subjects discussed in class, he could answer all the questions correctly.
Lesson #6: Everyone learns differently.
We had him tested for a 'gifted' school, and he scored in the 98th percentile.
We transferred him, and this school let him have a lot of freedom, which he loved. His teacher understood who he really was and that it was okay that he was different. 1st grade was very successful.
His 2nd grade teacher thought his inability to sit still and listen and do the written work on command was unacceptable. She sent him out of the room as punishment. Consequently, every day for the first 2 weeks of 2nd grade he was wandering around the school campus.
His 1st-grade teacher saw the problem and volunteered to allow him in her 1st-grade classroom as a 2nd-grader. That year he had the psychological hurdle to overcome of being a 2nd-grader in a 1st-grade classroom. He managed brilliantly. I'll have to say also, I had to first make peace with the idea of his ability to handle it.
As it so happened, that same teacher then became a third-grade teacher, and low and behold, he had her for the third year in a row.
He did fine in terms of testing, but he didn't do class work and he didn't do homework. And I began to see that he was bored.
Lesson #7: While in the vortex, ideas that occur to you are good ideas.
This year, for 4th grade, I had a wild idea to transfer him (and his twin brothers) to another school in order to shake things up. This school is an accelerated school, which means the curriculum is really at least a year or more ahead of the grade. It also meant, little did we know, that they would be given loads and loads of homework.
(I relayed this in an earlier post, but I'll repeat it here for continuity)
For the first few weeks of school, the teacher literally yelled at me because of Paris' lack of attention in class and for his absence of homework. I nodded politely, knowing any conversation with an angry person would have no good outcome.
Lesson #8: Don't give a rip about what other people think of you.
His teacher clearly thought I was shirking my responsibility to 'make' my child do his homework.
Lesson #9: You can't control other people (including your own kids)
Any amount of threat or bribery or rationalization to cajole someone into doing something is simply conditional love. "If you do this thing I will feel better." (my happiness is conditional upon your actions)
And no, you can't justify it by saying it's for the kid's happiness, because you're still asking for an outcome that will make you feel better.
Lesson #10: Make peace with what is
This is by far the most important lesson there is to learn, and is really a requirement in order to achieve any of the preceding lessons. Or anything you want, for that matter.
I made a conscious decision to stay out of it. I had been harboring plans to say things or do things to make Paris' life easier, and I had been harboring venomous thoughts toward the angry teacher, but I decided those thoughts were about taking action to solve a problem rather than changing my thoughts about it.
I decided to make peace with it. That meant I said things to myself that made me feel better about the situation. I said to myself that Paris was encountering these challenges for a reason. I realized that he was on a path that is uniquely his own. I acknowledged that he didn't need me (or even want me) to feather his nest for him.
I also realized that the teacher was learning from Paris just as I had. That thought made me very happy!
The very day after I had made that happy resolution within myself, the teacher texted us to say Paris was suddenly paying attention in class.
He began doing homework every night without prompting.
By the end of the next week he was awarded Student of the Week.
High vibration trumps low vibration. Someone who's in the vortex is more powerful than millions who are not.
My high expectation of my son's well-being became a visceral feeling to him, which influenced his true self: interested, invigorated, passionate about learning, open, happy.
I had also made a point to think appreciative thoughts about his teacher.
Lesson #11: Making lists of positive aspects about a person attracts those aspects to your every encounter.
I'm sure there are more lessons my son has taught me, and will continue to teach me.
And by the way, everything that happens in your life is an opportunity to learn.