Autism: “A hair-dryer kid in a toaster-brained world” (Part II of III)

Bud’s Grade 5 class, in disguise; photo from: …………………………………………………………………………………………….
I am grateful for this guest article I am borrowing today, Thursday, July 22, 2010. This is Part II of a 3-Part series about Bud, a 10-year-old with learning differences.
If you missed Part I of Bud’s Mom’s poignant story, you can click on the title below to read it now: Autism: “A hair-dryer kid in a toaster-brained world” (Part I of III)
Bud, who has been labeled autistic, has been placed in a regular Grade 5 classroom. His Mom’s brilliant interactive discussion with the kids in his class (with Bud absent of course) is detailed here.

This is the best description of autism I have read anywhere

Thanks Mom! We are grateful for your creativity, your courage, and your willingness to share!
Excerpt from:
What is autism? (Part II of III)

{If you missed Part I of this Mom’s poignant story, you can click on the title to read it now} Autism: “A hair-dryer kid in a toaster-brained world” (Part I of III)

Bud’s Mom is interacting with Bud’s classmates at school:

“So, in our pretend world, even though Bud has a perfectly wonderful hair dryer brain, it’s going to be hard for him, because we toaster-brained people have decided that the most important thing that people do in our world is make toast. And Bud probably can make toast with his hair dryer, right? But he is going to have to work a lot harder to make toast with his hair-dryer brain than we will with our toaster brains. It will probably take him a lot longer to make his toast. And no matter how hard he works, his hair-dryer toast will probably always look different from our toaster toast.”

The room filled with murmurs of understanding.

“But, on the other hand – think about THIS! When we toaster-brain people have wet hair? We are REALLY going to hope that Bud and his hair-dryer brain are around.”

Nathan piped in. “Because we could get ZAPPED if we tried to use our toasters!”

“Exactly,” I continued. “And the same thing is true in the real world with our real brains, that are made of tissue and neurons and grey matter and, uh…”

“And important stuff,” offered Travis.

“Yeah, and important stuff,” I said. “Because for most of us, when that important stuff gets put together, we have a certain type of brain. And we have created a society that says the most important things are the things that most of our brains are really good at – things like:

“Talking and communicating with people;

“Making friends and spending time with people;

“Doing lots of different kinds of things, having lots of different kinds of interests, and trying new things.

“Because our brains are really GOOD at those things, we try to spend most of our time doing them. But those are all things that, because of his autism, Bud’s brain has a really hard time doing.

“Language is difficult for him and he doesn’t talk the same way as other people.

“Being social and knowing how to interact with people is difficult.

“Changing his routine and trying new things is difficult.”

The classroom resonated with affirmation. Bud’s classmates knew exactly what I was talking about. They knew, without me explaining any further, what kinds of behaviors I was talking about. I could see the understanding in their faces.

Photos By Bud

Photos by Bud, from:

I posted a comment on this Mom’s blogsite:

Doc Meek said…
Does anybody know the tune for “A hairdryer kid in a toaster-brained world?” I predict that, like “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” this Mom’s “Hair-dryer kid in a toaster-brained world,” will go down in history. I’ve been helping kids mitigate learning and attentional problems for over thirty years now, and it is an axiom with me that “Mother knows best.” This Mom makes that point sharper than a surgical needle, right? – Doc Meek, Learning Consultant, May 7, 2010, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA
May 07, 2010 11:38 AM

Blessings, Doc Meek, Thursday, July 22, 2010, at South Jordan, Utah, USA ——————————-

J. Collins Meek, Ph.D. (Doc Meek)
“What if you are smarter than you think?”
Learning Specialist

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