Category Archives: Child Development/Education of Children

The Math Class for the Special Needs Students

From the observations of a school teacher, translated…

From before, when I’d worked in a regular high school, I didn’t know what “Combined Occupational Training” is, until fate stepped in, and took me to another new school to teach, that, was when I’d gotten into contact with this group of amazing kids.  In the morning, when most of the students entered into the gates of the school, with their heads lowered, and a lack of facial expression, this group of kids would always use the most upbeat voice to greet me, giving me a good start of my day.

Later on, I’d attended a special educations seminar in the summer, there was a lecturer, who’d told us, “the culture in Taiwan awards the students who performed well, and in the end, there may be half of those kids who grow up, and go abroad to work, but, our group of kids will work and give back to the communities here indefinitely, and so, we must do EVERYTHING we can, to help them grow up.”, those words, they got into my heart, made me think, other than showing my passions toward them, and saying hi in the mornings, what ELSE can I do?

And so, I’d told the manager of student affairs, I’d wanted to teach the occupational math courses.  The manager of student affairs opened up his eyes wide, asked me, “Principal, are you SURE, you want to teach their class?”  I’d nodded, persistently, and that, was how my affinities with this group of kids started.

At first, when I’d started, I didn’t get ANY feedback from the students, after I’d explored awhile, I’d come to realize, that by having a lot of knowledge in the mathematics, still wasn’t enough, to teach the course to them.  For them, I’d written individualized education plans that tailored to their needs, and, I’d found, that the material must be able to be applied in real life situations for them.

On a practice exam, a student raised her hands, asked me if they could use calculators?  Without much thought, I’d told, if they can not use it, then, they don’t use it.  But, when I saw how she’d counted, using her fingers, I’d felt so awful, and, I’d immediately had her take out her calculator—and later on, I’d told her, that she could use ANYTHING, so long as she can manage solve the math problems.  Contemplating on the matters further, as teachers, we’d often use our own standards, to expect the students to perform well, did we use more empathy, and more patience, to make the learning process more student-focused?

At the end of the semester, as the students got out of their final class session, a student followed behind me quickly.  “Principal, this, is sausage with fish eggs, I’d made it with my mom at home, it’s for you, and, I’m only giving it to you!”, he’d stated.

“Thank you.  And, calculate for me, if a single sausage is sold for $15N.T.s, and, you buy one for all of the fifteen students in the class, how much would it be totally?  Tell me your answer, at the start of next semester.”  I’d replied to him with a smile, and, accepted this gift.

This, is the practical side of education, this principal worked with this group of kids with special needs, to help them have the basic abilities to make it on their own, and, although the lessons are simple, to normal people, it’d taken these kids a lot of time and energy to understand the subjects, and, being an instructor of special needs children, it takes patience, and compassion.

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Filed under Child Development/Education of Children, Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Education, Interpersonal Relations, Lessons, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Socialization, Translated Work

Parents Who are Open, Granting a Future of Possibilities for Their Young

The KEY determinant here, is still the attitudes of the parents, written by a school principal, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

As I’d held the meetings with the teachers, the first grade instructor said, “I’d used a lot of time away from class to teach Shih-Shin Chinese characters, but, as I’d turned around, he’d forgotten, I feel so beaten by this”.  I’d told her, “he’s a special needs student, there are bound to be things that happen with teaching him.”, another teacher next to me stated, “He has beautiful handwriting, an excellent artist too.”

My eyes became bright, I’d told everybody, “I’d discovered, that Hong-Hong too, is excellent in art as well.”  Hong-Hong was one of those kids who were often kept after school, to finish up his assignments; last year, for Teacher’s Day, the third grade class drew a ton of beautiful pictures, that amazed us all.

In teaching, the teachers might focus on the grades of the academic subjects such as Chinese, math, science, social studies, but ignored how the child is intelligent, and, there are even MORE teachers and parents who would restrict the child from exercising her/his other talents, because the child didn’t do well in the academia, this sort of belief of how “the scholastics will rule” is often killing the children’s areas of talent, and it’d prevented the child from developing her/his other areas of abilities as well.

Many years ago, a parent told me, when they’d taken the child to sing karaoke, she was surprised at how her daughter could sing all the songs, she’d seen her daughter, hitting the books, she wonders, when her daughter had picked up on the music; that year, the child got into an all-girl’s high school, and is now, a middle school teacher.  My friend’s older sister’s son, when he was back in the third grade, couldn’t figure out what five plus three is, and now, he works in the finances, and gold investments.  Bo-Yen loved researching birds, on the weekends of his middle school, and high school years, he’d followed the bird watching association, to all over the places to watch the birds, and, his grades are less than impressive to his parents, he’d signed up for the biology department back in the university years, had done excellently on his oral exams, was accepted by a namely public university.

Kai-Jie’s father is an officer, his mother is a homemaker.  Once after a parent-teacher conference, she’d told me, she’d let it go.  Because her daughter who was accepted by an all-girls’ high school told her, that she should allow her younger brother to go after the majors he’s interested in, otherwise, she will end up, losing a younger brother who is close to her heart.  Later on, Kai-Jie entered into the cooking majors, gotten his chef’s certifications, competed, became excellent in his area of expertise.

Bao-Jen since he was younger, had loved little critters, as he’d gone into the middle school years, as his classmates are out playing balls, horsing around, and running, he’d shared the time with insects, fishes, birds, or carried on in conversation about the topics of animals.  His grades are very high, it would be easy, for him to get into a namely high school, but the parents both stated, that they’re going to allow their son, to choose a major of his own choice, respected his decisions, and now, he’s studying, in the major of animal health, as he liked.

So, from this, you can see, how the parents must support the children in their areas of interests, and not just focused on the academic performances, because allowing the kids to pursue their interests can become a drive to learn for them.  And still, open parents are often keys, to a child, learning happily.

There’s an endless possibilities for the children’s futures, there are still a ton of unknown industries that we don’t know about, that are, waiting to be developed.  Focus on the moral education of the younger generations, cultivate their areas of interests, so the children can have more supports from the parents, making way, to happier families.

And so here, the attitudes of the parents ARE the keys to the kids’ success.  So parent, DO show your kids supports, when they come to you, all excited, because, that joy in learning will become their motivation in life later on, but, there are just, too many parents who PUSHED their kids to take the majors that they THINK would be better, and that will manage to SLAUGHTER the love of learning for their offspring.

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From When Her Son with Cerebral Palsy Was Three, She’d Accompanied Him in His Studies, for Twenty Years on End

The devotions of a mother, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

There was a mother-son pair at the Sales Majors of Shu-De Technical University, the son was Han-Wen Lee, with cerebral palsy, the mother was his accompanying study partner, Li-Hua Yo; from when her son was in the early intervention programs at age three, all the way to his college years, the mother would come to class to help her son in class, looking after her child, it’s the most beautiful scene on the campus.

Yo said, that her son was a premature baby, stayed in the incubator for two months, later on, the doctors confirmed the diagnosis of cerebral palsy.  Her son is of normal intelligence and she feared that isolating him will cause him to not learn as well, insisted on placing his son in the normal classes; for this, she’d quit her job as a receipts person at the hotels, and started accompanying her son full-time, all the way, to college.

As her son’s study partner, Yo and her son would sit in the front row each and every time there’s a class, and the mother became the “eldest” member of the class.  They’d never missed a session of class, upon entering into college, the mother was even MORE studious than her own son, she said, that on the one hand, this made up for how she wasn’t able to go to college, and, as she’d returned home, she could help her son in his studies.

Lee sits in the wheelchair, is immobilized, his hands, bent out of shape, other than being his mother, Yo also worked as his physical therapist, and tutor, would help work her son’s hands and feet, also helped him with his homework assignments too, “It’s an affinity, he became our child, and we must care for him”, “So long as his body doesn’t deteriorate, it would be an improvement.”

Yo would keep watch over her son, but, in middle school, her son’s classmates still threw trash on him, he was bullied, and, although Yo felt heart wrenching, she didn’t scream at them, “children are normally rebellious in the middle school years, rather than scolding them, teaching them the right way would be a better approach.”

The professor from the Sales Major of the Technical University, Huang said, that Mrs. Lee would drive her son to and from school every single day, moving him to and from class, guys their built would feel it was difficult, but she’d never complained, nor had she ever raised her voice at her son.”  Lee who was sitting close by said, “It’s just her luck!”, it’d made Yo laugh.

A fellow classmate, Cho said, that Mrs. Lee would help her son take notes, and, would encourage him to participate in class too, and sometimes, when Han-Wen could answer, the rest of the class couldn’t, they felt ashamed of themselves.  Lin, another classmate said, that Mrs. Lee not only took care of her son in class, she’d also treated the other members of the class who are handicapped, as if they were her own too.

There was a case where the parent killed his own son with cerebral palsy, Yo was deeply touched by the story, she said, the children wouldn’t want to be like this also, the parents MUST accept them as they are, so can the rest of the world.

And so, this mother had positive views, although her son has this condition, she’d not given up on him, instead, she’d made it her responsibilities to accompany him, and that, is the heart, of a wonderful mother.

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Filed under Cause & Effect, Child Development/Education of Children, Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Choices, College Life, Expectations, Life, News Stories, Observations, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Philosophies of Life

A Hug from His Mom, the Autistic Son Stopped Throwing His Temper Tantrums

From the Newspapers, translated…

With the coming of Mother’s Day, the district offices yesterday hosted a celebration, to commend twenty-five mothers who are role models.  Of them, Liu, who once worked for the banking industries quit her job many years ago, so she could focus wholeheartedly, on caring for her autistic son, Rich.

Liu said, because Rich couldn’t articulate well, every time when he couldn’t get what he’d wanted, he’d thrown his temper tantrums.  At first, her moods are affected by her son’s behaviors too, and she’d gotten angered, or punished him.  But once, she’d held down her temper, gave her son, a great big hug, and, it’d, calmed him down a lot.  She’d used her own example, encouraged other parents with disabled children, to make themselves into role models for their offspring, to not give up.

And so, this, is all because a mother, wanting to help make her child feel better, and, in the beginning, because she didn’t know how to respond to her son’s tantrums, she’d gotten agitated too, without realizing, that children are going to pick up subtle signals from the parents, but, after she’d figured it out, she’d kept her calm, and, her son was also, affected by the mother’s behaviors, so, he remained calm as well.

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Gone to School at the Developmental School, the Slow-to-Develop Boy, Jun is Improving, Bit by Bit

So, step by step, and you’ll still, get there, eventually!  From the Newspapers, translated…

A lot of the slow-to-develop children looked no different on the outside, and the parents couldn’t detect, they’re without any sense of warning, thus, delaying the treatment and intervention, the mildly autistic, child, “Jun” who couldn’t go to the bathroom on his own, who couldn’t talk, in the accompaniment of his great grandmother, got into the intervention program, he’d started getting interested by the materials, the new toys, and, had improved on his interpersonal skills, his progress made his great grandmother feel better.

The senior social worker, Bai said, most of the parents just wouldn’t admit that their children needed professional help, and, most parents have a lack of understanding of children who are slow-to-develop, believed, that everything will come eventually, and, delayed the treatment phases.

The community set up to help those children who are slow-to-develop by the Home and Family Org in Hsinbei City pointed out, that the expert of studies in delayed developments said, that before the age of six, the slow-to-develop children should be placed in intervention programs, compared the children who went into the intervention programs after the age of six, the improvements are thirty times better.

The eighty-one year-old great grandmother, Liu, for over two years, had taken Jun, the six-year-old great grandson’s hand to ride from their place to Asia-Eastern Hospital Station, and walked for half an hour, then, they arrive at the kindergarten.

Because Jun was from a lower income household, lacked the needed stimulus, so he’d developed slow, and was diagnosed with mild autism, and, his grandparents, and father died, and, two years ago, his physically handicapped mother got remarried, left him with his great grandmother, but, at the age of three, he still couldn’t speak, or go to the bathrooms on his own, his great grandmother felt that something wasn’t right, took him to get diagnosed, then, she realized, that he needed to be treated.

When Jun arrived at the developmental school for class, he’d lacked an understanding of his external environment, would get jittery, and start to cry, throw temper tantrums, but, after he’d gotten introduced to various classes, drawing, music, life training, he’d improved a lot, and when he’d come into contact with new materials, new toys, he’d touched them with excitement, and wouldn’t bear to leave, and, would start to think in holding conversations with others, and it’d made his great grandmother feel better, “He is improving, quite a bit!”

And so here, early intervention is still the KEY to effective treatment, and, because there’s NO physical signs from these children, unlike how some of the genetic disorders have a certain traits, there’s NO way that the family can know, and, this child’s parents just dumped him to his great grandparents, and, because the great grandmother wasn’t aware of the existence of the child’s condition, that, was why the intervention came a bit later, but, the child is making progress…

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Filed under Abandonment of Children, Awareness, Carelessness of Adults, Child Development/Education of Children, Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Lessons, Life, Observations, Socialization

My Son’s Bliss Deposits

On the education of children, translated…

When my son was still in kindergarten, once I’d gone to the banks for an errand, there was a promotion on “Making Deposits of Happiness for the Young”, on using the name of one’s children, open up an account, encouraging the parents to deposit the money the kids received for red envelopes, into this account, to accumulate up the “bliss” for the children.

This idea was fresh to me, back then, my son was still way too young, and, ALL the money he’d received as red envelopes from relatives, elders, and friends had all ended up, in our pockets, and, we don’t know how much was received exactly, if we could open up an account with my son’s name, then, deposit the moneys from the red envelopes he’d received in there, that way, his money will accumulate, then, in the future, we can use the money in the accounts for his allowances, so, why not!

Without realizing, that this decision had become, my son’s first lesson in financial management, my son knew earlier, compared to children his age group, that it’s better to place the money into the banks, than in the piggy banks, because the money in the banks will grow (with the interests).  Waited until my son grows older, when he started needing allowances, his “Happiness Deposit” started working.  No matter what the amount, I’d taken him to withdraw it out of his “Happiness Deposit Account”, then, taught him to make a note, of how his money was spent.

Like keeping the books, to let my son know, where his money went, especially, it’d increased his awareness of where his money went, so he wouldn’t spend it listlessly.

And now, he’d often taken out his bank deposit books, to discuss us with how he wanted to spend his money, and, he’d learned, to separate the “needs” from the “wants” too.

So, financial sense should start young too, just like everything else, isn’t it?  Because this parent realized the importance, of teaching her son to manage HIS own money, that, was why she’d helped him set up an account at the banks, and, this instilled that sense of financial planning in the young child’s mind, and, this helped him to be more careful with his money, and, he is, way mature in the areas of financial knowledge, compared to his peers too.

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Picking Out a Kindergarten, Don’t Be Mythical About All-English Institutions

We still ALL want our kids, to start off, with that MUCH-NEEDED COMPETITIVE edge, so this, is where the MYTHS come in, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

From the months of April to August, is the registration trend of the kindergartens, the National Teachers’ Guild yesterday suggested to the parents on the keys to picking out a good kindergarten using the following guidelines: no cramming on reading, writing, OR math; and that the qualities of the teachers shouldn’t be those newly graduated teaching department students; to NOT become superstitious about the foreign-born instructors, without the teaching certificates.

The All-Educational Organization’s department manager, Chang stated, that after the implementations of the new bill of early childhood education and care had set in, the realm of the early childhood education is slowly changing, the publicly funded kindergartens and the private kindergartens are the primary choices of the parents’; but, a lot of parents are still, WAY too superstitious on English education, and, there was this trend of parents, lining up outside those dual-language academies, to sign their children up.

The assistant director of the All-Education Organization, Yen said, that the chairs in the kindergarten facilities, if they were set up in rows like they are in elementary schools, that means that the children were being force fed the lessons, that it’s best, to have the chairs set up in groups, or learning sessions in each of the corners of the classrooms, to get the children to participate in their learning processes actively; and, there must be enough outdoors unit, in case the younger children don’t get enough time to exercise.

Yen reminded the parents, that if the kindergarten classrooms were decorated very well, but, the decorations aren’t related to the creations of children, or has anything to do with the lessons, then, the teachers were spending too much time on classroom decorations, along with other odds and ends activities, and not having enough time, to socialize or to interact with the children.

He’d stressed, that the first three to five years of a kindergarten instructors’ careers are spent on adapting, and discovering the work environment, and, if the entire kindergarten has teachers who’d only been teaching for no more than three years, then, it would mean, that the fluidity of the instructors is way too high; the kindergartens are banned from hiring foreign teachers by law, but, the kindergartens would set themselves up as cram schools, and that the foreign teachers may lack experiences in working with children in the earlier years, so, don’t blindly believe the words of the kindergartens.

These, are the few guidelines, that the papers had summed up, in choosing a kindergarten for the younger generations, but, because it is, a INTERNATIONAL world that these kids had come into, so, naturally, a TON of the parents would still fall for the advertisements of “All-English” education, and, by believing in getting a head start in another language is good for my kid, the kids still ended up, suffering, plus, aren’t the earlier years of childhood supposed to be play-oriented???  Uh, YEAH, so parents, STOP believing what those god DAMN institutions are selling you, but, because you still ALL want your kids to have that head start on life, and, you LACKED the foresight, that your kids may drop DEAD (b/c of how hard they were pushed!!!), way before they’re even ABLE to see the finishing lines.

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