Welcome to yet another week of SPED 310! I'm going to focus mainly on the two simulations that I did last week (because I'm late in this blog post I actually mean the week of November 28 through December 2, so the week before this past week that we're finishing up today). Also, sorry for the lateness of this blog post:)
First things first, here are the main topics that we focused on in lesson 12:
- A sensitivity to the needs of and compassion for those with special needs.
- A multidisciplinary view of exceptionality, cultural differences, individual and family dynamics, poverty, and abuse.
"There are times when we have to step into the darkness in faith, confident that God will place solid ground beneath our feet once we do. And so I accepted gladly, knowing that God would provide." - President Dieter F. Uchtdorf ("The Why of Priesthood Service," general conference, April 2012).
Well, now to the simulations, IE, "putting ourselves in the other guys shoes":
Visual Impairment SimulationThe mask that I chose to wear, or I guess the one that was available, was the mask that looked as if it had a fog over it, to simulate problems with the lens (i.e., astigmatism) – causes loss of visual acuity. I felt totally lost most the time. I could not make out any actual faces, just blobs of color that I knew was a person. Unless they were directly in front of me I could not tell what they were wearing or how their hair might be styled. From far away all I saw were masses of moving color. Lights looked like unfocused, glowing orbs and details became impossible to notice. It was like I was walking through a fog. I definitely did not enjoy it. I felt confused when someone was talking, trying to put a blurry face to a name and wondering if maybe they were giving me funny, confused looks too. I can see how this impairment would be an issue in daily life, as well as in the classroom. Our visual perception of the world is a big factor on how we make relationships and help us to solve problems. I can only imagine how complete blindness must set you back a few years in your social growth and cognitive development. Overall though, I found this a very rewarding experience. It helped me to relate more to the difficulties that individuals with this handicap might go through and what I, as teacher, can do to help these students who might have this issue.
Learning Disability SimulationFor this assignment I chose to do two separate tasks with my "learning disability".
When I was doing both tasks the rules were to not use words with an /l/ or an /n/ in it. This task was EXTREMELY difficult. I had to pause and think before I even spoke to word my questions correctly. At first I felt like I had a speech impediment. SO many words have l's and n's in them!
So for the first task I asked for help to find the MC. (I felt like it was safer then asking where the Manwaring Center was per both words have an "n" in them). I simply asked, "Where is the MC?" no l's or n's in sight! Ok, so maybe that was too easy, haha! So I decided to ask for help to find a notebook at the bookstore. I went up to the clerks desk and said, "Hi! Where are the books that you take...(then I paused because no matter what word I thought of it had an /n/ in it). I made the motion of taking notes on my hand. The clerk caught the hint and said, "take notes?" I nodded and said yes. I continued by attempting to describe it, "It has curvy hooks that keep it together. What's that..?" The clerk looked at me like I was an idiot, haha, it wasn't the best experience. I did the motion of a spiral to give the description of a spiral bound notebook. She caught on again, "A spiral notebook?" "Yes", I exclaimed. Then she pointed me in the direction of where they were. I couldn't even say "thanks you because it had an /n/ in it! So to further on my embarrassment I said "merci"! Hahaha! But man, it was kinda funny. I feel though that if I actually had a learning disability, where I just could not find the words, that I would not feel the same towards the situation. The same goes for people who have English as their second language. It must be hard for them to communicate with solely English speaking people.
I had a similar situation for the second scenario as well. I got a lot of weird looks and confusion when I tried to articulate what it was that I was trying to say. This experience made me really appreciate no having this challenge in my life.
I learned quite a bit from doing these simulations. My eyes have more so been open to the difficulties and challenges that occur with these handicaps.
Until next week!