Thursday, December 22, 2011

Aftermath Analysis - Strengths And Weaknesses


Song:  Dream Chasers

Group:  Future World Music


As I had promised...
an after action report.

I shall only give this in general terms as I must honor 
the Davidson Academy's spirit of their examination process.

Alex was very strong in the Math portion.

However, as he is now a sixth grader...
we must prepare him for his College Entrance Exams in a few months.

The Davidson Academy requires a very high score in the SATs
for prospective students who will be in the 7th grade by the time the next
round of testing initiates late next year.

We must ensure Alex keeps up on his Math...
we will keep having him review his Algebra I and II
while we have him advance in Geometry and into Calculus.

We don't have much worry with Alex's Quantitative Reasoning capabilities...
Alex excels in this area.

The area which the Davidson Academy exam had shown Alex's 
area of weakness was in his Qualitative Reasoning.

In general...
he must be able to infer meanings...
whether expressed through direct or indirect implications...
 by its inclusion or by its exclusion.

He must master the hows and whys...
the base rationales behind the facts.


We had just started working with Alex on his Expository Writing
two weeks prior to his exam as we were given a general outline of
the exam expectations at that time.

In retrospect...we should have been working with him on this from long ago.

We were allowing him to work on some Persuasive and Creative Writing...
but we had not worked with him on his Expository Writing skills...
and we especially had not worked with him extensively on the
fluid reasoning necessary to have something to write about
in the first place.

However, what Alex needs most of all is... critical reading, thinking, writing...
and the fluid reasoning to fully dissect meaning and inferences as applied
to discourse on the text.

As gotten from a public Academy document:

Critical Reading, Critical Thinking and Academic Discussion

Interpret and discuss readings, avoiding invalid inferences...
redundancies, and statements of the obvious.

Build, sustain, and support controlling ideas that are arguable based
upon the logic of the text.

Demonstrate abstract thinking ability in independent responses to text.

Demonstrate ability to apply abstract reasoning to texts after instruction
including discussion.

My wife is researching short stories for him to analyze and report on.


In short...
we must get him highly skilled at English Composition.


His particular area of weakness was his effective usage of language
in Academic Discussions.

In short...
his ability to utilize a supportive or argumentative stance
in response to the presented text or discussion.

I'll be working on his analytical oral argumentative skills through formal debate.

I shall also work much more with his oral and written presentations of stories read...
a synopsis...
an actual analysis...
and a predictive analysis 
(possible outcomes with situational changes)...
as well as the hows and whys of human behavior...
the real reasons for the actions or inactions of the characters...
even that of the author.

One last area of weakness that Alex had demonstrated at the exam...
one which they observe closely throughout the day...
the ability to operate independently and with a high degree of receptivity
to his instructors.

His great weakness was his...
 inability to not get distracted from his tasks...
his level of engagement with his environment and with others around him
(ask for help if needed / engage in discussions)...
and to do it autonomously.

I, in no way, disagree with the expectations in this area.

Alex being on the Autistic Spectrum is no excuse to not have to meet
all standards as applied to everyone else.

Alex must learn to adapt to the world.

Our goal is for him is not to merely meet expectations.

Our goal for him is to exceed expectations...
in all aspects.

Sometime in the future...
when our lesson plan solidifies...
I will layout his programs and exercises in detail.

We are not mere dreamers...
someone with a goal without the drive or plan
to actually tread the necessary path.


We have a dream...
we are always ready to modify and to adapt...
we know the path necessary to reach our goal...
we shall steadily tread the path...
undeterred...
until our dream is fulfilled.

We are...
Dream Chasers.









2 comments:

  1. Knowing that Alex is on the autism spectrum makes his accomplishments all the more amazing. Kudos to all of you for how far he has already come.

    And while I understand that you cannot use autism as an excuse, the areas of Alex's weakness are particularly difficult for those on the spectrum. And so, it will be quite a challenge to attack those areas.

    But, I know that you and your wife will put together a great plan, and that Alex has the drive to continue to pursue this dream. I looke forward to following along on your journey.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you very much. We have been researching various courses and books. Yes, the challenges we now face shall be difficult...but even the tallest mountains may be defeated with enough time to climb a little each day.

    P.S. ...
    I also enjoy reading of your journey.

    ReplyDelete

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