For the Young at Heart

As one who has researched and worked with children for a while, I often took notes about the way people behaved and why they behaved the way they did. I volunteered a little bit with the Children’s club in 2014, and I’d also like to self-reflect a little on consciousness when I was but an infant.
So, to start this out, I’d like to introduce you to the idea that babies can probably talk in their minds before their hyroid bone is lowered. Because of that, I thought it pretty interesting when I read how Louis Sachar described how the substitute with the third ear attempted to hear what was coursing through the baby’s mind. Since the baby had no organised language, they could only think in terms of sensations, much like how my brother would. He can’t see or hear, but he can still form thoughts and ideas with his other senses. But since Sharon M. Draper said in Out of My Mind, you need thoughts to have words, and you need a voice to express those thoughts, obviously my brother’s only voice is his behaviour.
As an example, a child may not have the necessary information to express their true feelings about what they really want. It’s common in many parent and child relationships. Neither the parent nor the child is able to establish a clear understanding for one another when one or both of them lack the vocabulary needed to express a certain emotion. That is exactly what happened in that book, so I highly recommend you read it, and look at the first scene when the protagonist is at the toy store, and again when she is trying to warn her mother towards the end.
Another thing I found fascinating was what would happen if we didn’t learn the things we took for granted. Here’s another example about my brother. Since he’s never learned any kind of abstract concept like time, how does he perceive time in his mind? What if we decided that we would teach our future children everything but a certain item? Let’s say that in a hypothetical situation, we had many groups ready to start raising children. One group focuses on eliminating colour, another group removes time, and another removes sound and music (which already exists in Deaf culture). How would these children act when someone outside their group exposed them to the concept they never learned growing up? I probably mentioned this when I was talking about how Jonas didn’t know what colour was in the Giver, by Lois Lowry.
So, if you have a child(ren), and you are at your wits end, I’d suggest that you find out when your child is misbehaving, what prompts them to misbehave, where they are doing this, why they are doing it, who is it that they are targetting, if applicable, and how to solve the issue once it has been found, possibly by redirecting the behaviour instead of spanking. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/02/parenting/child-discipline.html As someone who has worked with a behaviour technician to develop a behaviour support plan for my brother, these things are very intriguing, especially since not a lot of people have experience working with deaf-blind individuals who do not communicate with words.
If a child is having problems at a strange place like a day care centre, perhaps it is the way that they are being treated, and maybe it is affecting their overall development by giving them false information that leads them to make assumptions. I think one of the best ways to intervene is to give the child something they enjoy doing, or provide extra stimulation for something they don’t like doing. For example, most children don’t like to do chores, yet they must grow up learning how to do them. This is called the Premak Principle. It simply states that you must do an unfavourable task first if you want to earn a favourable reward. I have found through my own experience that providing extra stimulation, such as listening to music or reading an audiobook can help surpass the time.
I’ve once thought of implementing a GPS system on bus routes that would be available on an iOS or Android app, or even a Windows phone app. It would work on the same principle that Uber and Lyft uses. Since today’s kids are attached to their MIDs, which I like to call the iWorld, I thought it would be great if they could get realtime updates of when their bus was coming and track its progress on a map. However, some opponents of this would say that if we did htis, kids would depend on their phones rather than their own self-reliable resources and learn responsibility. I mean, what if your phone died?
For many blind kids, where walking around is not permissible in a private daycare home, or even when visiting parent’s friends, one has to be stimulated in other ways because of the lack of sight. Based on my experience, I found that whenever I visited other blind people, the children there were treated as family instead of strangers, and they understood the need for extra stimulation that they could not otherwise obtain just by seeing. So as long as they behaved they were free to walk around and feel what was around them. When I was little, my mother used to take my brother and me to my paternal aunt’s house so she could work. Similarly, she always dragged me to her friend’s houses. Sometimes I’d stay in the car while she did whatever it was she needed to do. However, my aunt made me sit all day, every day, without anything to do. I couldn’t simply look around me and observe the action. I could’ve used the time to write in my diary, as my writing was exceptionally good in sixth grade because I’ve read a lot of classic literature during that time. However, I didn’t have a computer until a year later, and it was but a desktop. I didn’t get my first netbook until I was beyond old enough to stay at home alone, so it was already too late. If any of these apps were available at the time, like title=”Aira Homepage”>Aira, which tells people what’s happening around them through a trained agent, or Be My Eyes, which is solely based on volunteers, perhaps my life might have been more enriched.
Here’s an interesting experience I had when I was four years old. I remember living at a house that was a two-three storey building. I cannot remember which one it was. I remember exploring a vacuum cleaner, feeling a closet, and things like that. One day, I happened to be outside, and I climbed two fences that was out on the second deck. I was walking until I felt the floor disappear, and I plunged down-down-down. I do not remember feeling any pain except for a big jolt on my bottom half, but I remember crying pretty hard until I was eventually found. Someone must have seen me fall off the side of the house. I probably fell asleep or fainted, because it all felt like I was in a dream or haze. It was a miracle I could not feel pain because I was so distant, not to mention it was a long fall, yet I am still able to recall almost everything that happened to me. It was as if I were on sedatives 24/7! So, what do babies really remember? My mother told me a story about a time I was in Mexico when I was running down five steps. It is queer how I figured it out because I never recall. What happened was that I ran, and fell over the first step. I stood up and tried again. On the second step, I also fell, and so for the third, and fourth. However, when I got to the fifth, I did not fall. I slowly put my right foot out and noticed that the ground changed and so I did not fall this time.
Now, here’s something else I learned. According to some hypotheses I’ve read, children who grow up listening to intricate forms of music stimulate deep parts of their brain, which helps improve their personality (emotions, cognition, and identity). At this point in time, most children go with the flow. It won’t be for a few more years when they will have enough schemas to think for themselves. I would take this moment to approach this situation in a rational and logical manner, and briefly set your emotions aside to allow you to think more clearly. Some children sometimes like to test the limits to see how much attention they can get, because that also provides a sort of stimulation as well, even if that might be a bad form of stimulation. It’s all based on the reward and pleasure centres in the brain. Some people with ADD or ADHD respond better to punishment and intimidation instead of reward. Others are the opposite. Being swamped with several projects, though, I can wholeheartedly understand the pressure being added to meet everyone’s expectations in very little time. I’m sure there are some ways one can do to lessen the workload. People seem to be too fast-pace nowadays, so we do not have time for any family get-together traditions. That needs to come back.