Thursday, 6 March 2014

Ghettos Are Not The Answer...


Have you ever been told that a child with Cerebral Palsy will never walk, let alone talk, and then spent two years proving them wrong – I HAVE and the little girl walked to school and talked the hind legs off a donkey (and old English saying).  Have you ever been told that a child is being ‘treated’ for ADHD and has no concentration span greater than 10 minutes – I HAVE and then seen him spend three hours building an obstacle course and being proud of it, then saw him become a thriving child off of medication.  And this is only two examples of thousands (and since I have been doing this since 1969 ‘thousands’ is a fact not an exaggeration).

So what magic do we have that makes this happen.... it’s easy really, it’s about treating all children equally and giving them exposure to everybody and everything. We mix all children together equally, irrespective of their ‘labels’. 

As soon as you label people together you create a ghetto in my book.  That could be a ‘rich’ ghetto or a ‘special needs’ ghetto or a ‘lowest 25%’ ghetto and the outcomes are normally the same – the labels stick and the children develop into their mould...

So put a baby with Cerebral Palsy into a room full of children with CP and guess what.... Medicate a child with anti ADHD pills and they will always need them..
The extreme proof, if you need it, is to look at what happened when you put perfectly healthy Rumanian babies into ‘orphanages’ where they are left in cots 23 (if not 24) hours a day and see how they develop....

The great big melting pot we heard about in the 1970’s song was right... If you expose everybody to everything – give them an opportunity to shine and share – what you can focus on is giving everyone a real equal opportunity..... and watch them grow... 


                                                                             Tom x