Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Re: Discuss-sudbury-model digest, Vol 1 #214 - 8 msgs

From: Kathleen Stilwell <>
Date: Tue Nov 30 11:41:01 2004

Thanks to all who participated in this discussion and especially to Dr. Evan for your eloquent response.
I have a 15-year-old son who attends Fairhaven, a Sudbury model school in Maryland. We moved from Nevada last year just so that he'd have this opportunity. During my son's brief experience with traditional schooling he was labelled "severely dyslexic" and it was suggested he be tested for ADHD. I'm happy that his "learning disability" gave him the profound intelligence to ask me to take him out of school because "it's the most humiliating experience of my life". Knowing that nothing was more important to my son's development than his belief in himself and his freedom to discover, I turned my life upside down to keep him out of traditional schools and the toxic labels they hand out so freely. He chose to study taekwondo when he was 6, continued on to get his black belt, and by the time he was 13 he was a junior martial arts instructor. He studied with an acting academy and loved performing in stage combat scenes. Since our move east, he has abandoned this interest for the
I have no idea where his path will lead him. His reading, writing, and math skills meet his needs at the moment but would never get him into college. He knows the choice is his to learn what he needs to accomplish his goals.
I can't say that seeing beyond the advice of "experts", including educators, friends and family members, has been easy. I explored all the theories out there for dyslexia correction and spent a lot of money on materials and training for myself to instruct him. But I finally realized I couldn't have it both ways. I couldn't keep trying to fix a problem while at the same time insisting there was no problem to fix. My son would learn when he was ready, not when I found the perfect teaching strategy.
His experience at Fairhaven has been a wonderful, challenging experience for him. He loves being part of that community. Thus far, his life works for him and he's quite happy.
He may never have my writing skills, but then, he's never been impressed by them. He's too busy discovering his own passions.
Kathy Stilwell

"" <> wrote:

At no disrespect to the list members, I will not use spell check for this e-mail so you can see what my english looks like first hand.

Interesting post Todd,
The english language is an art form which has many facets. Obviously, I have not found it nessassary or usefull to develop the literary facet you concider so important. I have found time and time again that meaning, content and clear expression of my vision is all that is requiered to communicate with my fellow man(And woman.)
Honistly, if I cared about your evaluation regarding my writtings(Which I don't,) I would find a friend, employee or colegue to add their skills/ability to my work. In this case, meaning and content are enough.
"which was full of so many errors and gross violations of English
that I wondered, Dr. Hughes, if you have a learning disability?"
I am sure that within the confines of traditional thinking I would have a learning disability(Dislexia for sure. Most likely ADHD.) Now for those people still new to this topic, this is what my "disability" has brought me: I tutored Anatomy and Physiology in undergrad. I taught chiropractic technique and philosophy at Life University. Out of 214 poeple who entered my class to become a doctor by march 2004, I am one of five who graduated on time. I passed all 4 parts of the chiropractic national board first time around. I speak Japanese, and have lived there for a time to teach....drum roll please.... ENGLISH. I've been on local TV twice to talk about my work, and had an article written about a health talk I give regarding chiropractic and physiology (In English.) I have a black belt in Kenpo, teach Tai-chi and blah blah blah the list goes on.
Todd, would you define for me what "disability" means, and tell me how my life would improve by filling the void in my ability to articulate by your standerts... if you can make a good case, I will take time to improve what your write about.

It really bugs me when people say SVS is for special children. I have never met a child that was not special, have any of you?
There is no such thing as disability! There is only Ability to various levels.

Dr. Evan

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Received on Tue Nov 30 2004 - 11:40:55 EST

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