Metacognition, in layman’ s terms signifies how we approach the world through our thinking, to think about our thinking in order to review and edit our thought process so that we can gauge, change, maintain or seek to improve our course of action.
Many of the students I work with do not place great value on social norms. Invariably, some of their traits and characteristics get ‘taken on by me.’ This is what happens when you are with someone for so long. Do we take on a bit of each other due to empathy? Are we like open books that we can write or code on each other a bit here and a bit there?
Processing (digesting code).
#theFieldGeneral, who is on the #autism spectrum is processing digested code on a a constant basis. We do it similarly, but ‘faster’ using a completely different cranial physical makeup. That is to say, our brain is physically made slightly different because of the way we use it to think. The train tracks are built differently and go in different directions according to the way we choose (or don’t choose) to actively operate our brain to think and act.
We are able to more quickly manifest into action our thoughts, feelings and intentions than him. He has had to rebuild his brain almost from scratch and so now has a completely different processing mind than typical people. The cause of this is supposedly hotly debated by science and the medical community, but conventional wisdom points to damage from ‘preservatives’ found in vaccines, such as actual heavy metals which have no business in the brains of bodies of infant, kids or adult human beings. These heavy metals rip and play havoc in the typical brain, causing it to begin a healing process. Early intervention methods become a race to connect the brain as fast as possible while the malleability of the brain is at it is peak. That is what I am doing with #theFieldGeneral. That is why we play strategy games, do the special soccer air dribble, and dance to both beat and rhythm in an alternating and synced fashion, or roll into calisthenics such as pushups and pull ups. As much as I am focused on helping to develop his independence and ‘21st century skills,’ I am focused on helping to develop the boy’s sense and ability to self-express, to advocate for himself, to be artistic and bold.
Currently, from my observations of him over the last five and a half years he is always present in the moment. Foresight and hindsight are not traditional big platforms for him. So I introduce activities to develop his executive function skills awareness and put him into the context that most quickly develops cross-hemispheric connectivity. These are activities that he finds fun, engaging, novel and can be repetitive (like soccer and dancing). I am seeking to increase the interplay between different views of thinking by having him use different parts of his body in very active 'in the moment' ways. At the same time, I speak to him using ‘street talk’ vernacular and insist on pressured hand shakes and quick, sustained eye contact upon introducing himself or speaking in general. Sometimes he becomes bashful as we practice our benign street talk. This is a form of awareness. I quiz him on why he loves his family, what he does to be a gentleman for his sisters and how he greets them. I set the bar high and expect him to meet it. We do a great deal of horseplay. I make sure it is appropriate. I may flip him, swing him or act like I am #theRock and give him suplexes, back breaking pile drivers, headlocks, spinal cord karate chops or head-on bone crushing tackles that include me talking a street jive hybrid of #theRock, Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Desi Arnaz and John Wayne all rolled into one. In fact, most of the time I talk to him like this.
I will have #theFieldGeneral play soccer air dribble with me and thereby activate both side of his body very actively and strenuously. The sequential, physical agility to move with a ball in the air and keep it in the air with another team player gets the brain to begin to create and deepen synaptic thinking track pathways and connections. Many a times, in the middle of the soccer play, I will have him immediately shift into dancing and then into jive-talking with me or regular conversation. This is mental flexibility. His coordination increases each session according to my ability to teach it to him effectively in that moment and I can tell he is proud of how far he has come and he knows he is on the road not to success, but OF success. We are going to begin moving into writing poetry soon. A challenging activity he has done in the past, and one I hope can gain traction over time. All this also develops the pineal gland within the brain, responsible for amongst other skills, healthy self-expression and strong sense of individuality.
The creation and development of the physical neural bridges become like new train tracts in the brain that can be used to increase such things as processing speed and the keener development of key 21st century skills, like the soft intangible skills- ‘grit,’ ‘humility,’ ‘teamwork,’ empathy,’ ‘compassion,’ ‘honesty,’ ‘integrity,’ and ‘lovingkindness.' These form the backbone to healthy social norms to have and code in to ourselves.
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