This is what Kevin brought me to see from the window of his home office. You could tell by the evidence that Aidan had already been toiling for a little while.
|See the recycling bin already at the top?|
|The icy slope and weight of his burden brings him down, but he gets up again|
|He is undaunted.|
|But it's still a long way up there.|
I thought of this story Montessori told, about an infant, but applies even more to a special needs12 year old:
Once in our public park in Rome, the Pincian Gardens, I saw a baby of about a year and a half, a beautiful smiling child, who was working away trying to fill a little pail by shoveling gravel into it. Beside him was a smartly dressed nurse evidently very fond of him, the sort of nurse who would consider that she gave the child the most affectionate and intelligent care. It was time to go home and the nurse was patiently exhorting the baby to leave his work and let her put him into the baby carriage. Seeing that her exhortations made no impression on the little fellow's firmness, she herself filled the pail with gravel and set pail and baby into the carriage with the fixed conviction that she had given him what he wanted.But I also know that Aidan, being in the stage of pragmatism, also really wants the job done. His desire to "do it himself" is mediated by his desire to "get it done". It's a balance between supporting him and just taking over.
I was struck by the loud cries of the child and by the expression of protest against violence and injustice which wrote itself on his little face. What an accumulation of wrongs weighed down that nascent intelligence ! The little boy did not wish to have the pail full of gravel; he wished to go through the motions necessary to fill it, thus satisfying a need of his vigorous organism. The child's unconscious aim was his own self-development; not the external fact of a pail full of little stones. -- from THe Montessori Method, p 355
Finally we decided the symbolism would work better if we asked his older brother Kieron to go help him. Brothers are different than parents. I think that because Aidan is always trying to imitate older people, and hears me request help from his siblings, he thinks that giving orders is part of getting things done, too.
|Aidan is still supervising|
|But he trusts Kieron to get the job done.|
He was so proud of what he had done and when he saw the pictures his Dad and I had taken he looked at them over and over again! Whew! I hope he gets the message that he can do what he sets out to do, but that he has a family that will be there for him, too!