I quietly sit waiting for the end of the work day, the last five minutes is an endless warp of time and waiting for it to pass, it somehow seems longer than the entire rest of the day, but that is all that is left. It never ceases to amaze me how fast the days go. Rarely do I remember a day that has not passed by and do not end in a whirlwind of commotion. The commotion is chaotic but a well choreographed close to the day.
The days start much the same way they end, as a whirlwind of commotion, as we all set out to start the day fast and furious, at least until everything is established. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I love the organized chaos that ensues at the day begins. There is something relaxing and dependable in the frenzy of the morning routine.
The children seem to feel at home and comfortable with all of us that the chaos of the day goes unnoticed. That is until one of their friends changes the dynamic by doing something out of routine. Much to my amazement however they all seem to adjust rather easily, just like any other child. But unlike the majority of children the kids I am blessed to work with have special needs and are the epitome of everything good in this world.
I’m sure you are thinking, uh they have special needs, how can that be? Yes they do have needs that are not what many children require, but they are the most sincere and honest group of people you will ever meet. The children I work with, as for the majority of children with needs like the ones we have, do not know any other way to be, but honest and forthright. Their emotions show clearly without any pretenses as it is there only way of communicating. (All the children I work with are nonverbal)
It has only been a few years I have been fortunate enough to work with the kids I do in the setting I am in, but previously I did work from home watching children. As I have aged I have developed a strong drive to give any child, especially the ones I work with a chance to be as successful as possible. I strive to be a clear and persistent driving force to aid them in achieving as many goals as are within their power of achieving, that indeed many others underestimate they can obtain.
For me teaching my children how to do something new requires I work on observing everything that goes into the actual act of performing that task, down to if they are right or left handed. I take mental notes and see the child’s limits, for example if they are left handed but do not use their right hand for anything. In this instance it isn’t practical for the child to not use their right hand at all. By teaching the child how to use their non-dominate hand, by teaching them how to cross the midline and incorporated used for both hands, they can function in an optimal way.
Much of working with children who have needs is working on changing behaviors. While I am not trained as a behaviorist in special education, I work with one, as well as a team of specialists who have taught me aspects of my job I would not normally know. To be clear many of the techniques I have learned can and have cross over to help in many aspect of my life.
The preconceived notion by the vast majority of society is that kids with needs don’t understand what is going on around them and are dumb and ghoulish people. Nothing can be further than the truth. The condition of your body has nothing to do with the capacity of your brain and how intelligent you are. I am blessed every day to work with and learn from the children and staff I do, and as a result I have become a much better person.