Flat Stanley is a character who has been around awhile. His first adventure occurred when a bulletin board falls on him and he becomes flat. He finds he can have fun and be useful after being a kite and capturing some robbers. Stanley was flat and pretty cool things happened because of it.
Ironically, there is another Stanley who was around awhile and then recently no longer. He was actually a real person. In a small way he is like the one in the children’s story. He recognizes the coolness potential of being “flat”. I shall define flat in his terms as being mundane, dull, nothing there to speak of. Let’s just say the not so typical child could be flat and its hard to see the potential in someone so flat. Face it. Who knew that Flat Stanley would later become a writing project for many third grade students?
Stanley’s last name is Greenspan. (probably no relation to the financial guru guy) I must admit when I first linked this guy’s name to autism I wasn’t thinking “cool” thoughts. It was on the onset of my daughter’s diagnosis and just wasn’t sure this expert had anything to offer my child. Stanley invented what is most needed for her in order that she experience the adventure of life and be far from “flat”. Stanley invented Floortime.
Floortime was defined by Greenpan as basically, sitting on the floor and playing with your child. But wasn’t as simple as that. It was teaching turn taking, conversation, play schemes, eye contact, body language, and more. Floortime was the number one therapy needed to get her well … rounded! Enter the Center of Childhood Development Center and the experts at floortimes. Imagine a trained Occupational Therapist and a Speech Pathologist working with your child in a play like setting. That in a nutshell is the therapy my child receives each week. To explain more would take a dissertation.
Flatness has turned to roundness with such therapy. My daughter has initiated play with others: “Come on please come over here and we can play with my princesses.” She has carried on conversations that last several minutes using appropriate questions and comments: Did you see the swimming pool over there? It was so big. I want to splash in that pool! ( more on that therapy topic later) She has giggled her way through a play scheme of basketball and hoops. She has requested again and again to play tennis. ( thus a twenty or so investment in the sport) So it has been worth the mortgage payment each week. ( No offense to the workers at Center for Childhood Development- you have to earn a living too)
Flat Stanley is a hero in my book teaching the non- typical child that though “flat” there is potential. Stanley Greenspan is another one unlocking the potential despite the flat. A stretch to compare the two Stanleys? Maybe. But thanks to both, the “Stanley” in my life is not flat!