It’s hard to believe it's been a year since I made perhpas my hardest decision ever, the decision to teach my son who has CHARGE syndrome and is deafblind in a team-driven, home and community based educational program.
As I took that flying leap of faith from school to home, I thought I would be teaching Dylan. In fact I have been Learning from Dylan. Perhaps Dylan being the teacher, and my being the student, is key to the joy we experience in what we call School-Home, as well as a key to Dylan’s noticeable and measurable improvement and progress in health, well-being, language, independence, and even in relationships since we started this adventure.
Learning from Dylan provides an opportunity for other parents, educators, and therapists to learn from Dylan as well. Dylan’s stories demonstrate:
putting deafblind principles into practice,
adjusting the environment to support engaged learning,
supporting the development of friendships,
teaching through routine, relationship, and Dylan’s interests,
responding to the medical and behavioral challenges of CHARGE, and so on…
In sharing these stories, I hope you will gain ideas of what you can do for your own child or student, no matter the setting. More importantly, I hope you experience hope. No matter the label, people can function at a higher level when their internal and external needs are balanced to minimize stress. Dylan shows us how.