“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower” ~ Alexander den Heijer
This quote resonates very much so in my practice with many autistic youth. Parents are told to plant seeds, but then when the flower doesn’t bloom the onus is then often placed back onto the parent or on the seedling. Who then considers the environment in which the seed is surrounded? If all the other flowers are blooming then so this one should too – right? Closely connected to the adage, What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. How then do we explain the flower blooming in some situations and not others? Some flowers will not bloom unless the conditions are just right – I am thinking of orchids. Neurodiversity is not about having all the flowers bloom at the same time, with monochromatic colours or even in the same place in the garden. Our jobs as educators is to sometimes allow ourselves to be educated the the garden and support workers to really work to find the best possible conditions for blooming to occur. Acknowledging and finding beauty in the many different kinds of gardens that exist. What kind of flower are you and in which garden provides enough safety, support and space for you to bloom again and again.