Sunday, February 13, 2011

The world of Autism

I have the awesome privilege of spending my days teaching children (ages 3-8) with you can imagine I have some "interesting days" at work. This was just one incident that I saw and had to share. At lunch, one of my little guys had a bag of Doritos but instead of eating them, he took each one out of the bag, licked both sides completely clean of the cheese, and then stacked them in a pile next to the bag. I missed capturing the precisely stacked chips by a fraction of a second before they toppled over. He never did eat the chips, so the only thing he had for lunch was the cheesy-spice he licked off.

The world of Autism is fascinating and I truly love working with this population of kids. They each have their quirks and it's my job to teach them how to function in this world, quirks and all. It's really cool to watch them use little tricks that I've shown them to adapt to new situations. For example. another one of my kiddos spent 20 minutes of lunch working up the nerve to eat his sandwich since the bread on top had a slight hole in it. First, I tried flipping his sandwich over so that he wouldn't see the hole. When that didn't make a difference, I held my hand over it and then guided his hand to cover the hole while he ate so that it "disappeared." It didn't completely alleviate his anxiety, but it was enough that he could eat the sandwich.

Sometimes, I just laugh all day at the things the kids say. When one little guy's dinosaur ended up in the toilet (placed there by another kid who thought it was the funniest thing in the world), the first thing the little guy said was, "Miss Colleen, my dinosaur can't swim! He's not at the beach!" I laughed so hard as I was fishing it out...and thoroughly cleaning it in a bucket of Pine Sol! His mind didn't see the whole situation ~ he saw: dinosaur in water, water is for swimming, swimming happens at the beach, the dinosaur is not at the beach, the dinosaur can't swim. Most kids would say "Ewww get my dinosaur out of the toilet"....but not my kids, which is why I love them :)

1 comment:

  1. What a special blessing for the special kids to have such a special teacher who loves them all.