I had a very interesting summer. I taught in a program that services children with multiple and/or severe disabilities. Most of my students, ages 7-15, were non-verbal and are at a Pre-K level in terms of academics.
It was very challenging and required me to be creative at finding ways to reach each child.
I was humbled when after a full-days work a student would suddenly produce results at that moment, however, the next day that child would have no recall and I was starting from square one.
Often, a big smile would spread across my face when the students with autism were able to produce work that revealed they are learning and aware of the world around them. It was also very special when they would make eye contact with me. I felt they were acknowledging me.
A family member had asked me, "Why are these kids in school?" I responded by saying, "They deserve an education. We never know what content will click in these children's brains or their potential if we don't try."
I also talked about the fact the kids responded to the affection and attention we gave them, and it made them very happy. And, that in working with them I learned to give of myself to others on another level.
So, next week I return to work,and my K-4 students. I am looking forward to seeing them again. I miss them.