I’m having the best day. My student, who is autistic, is happily co-operating with everything today. Autistic kids don’t usually like change. This boy in particular likes things the same. In past years (before holidays) he’s been fed up and not enjoying school.
The first thing he encountered this morning was a supply teacher. Then the “Best Buddies” who are a group of teens who enjoy working with kids who have special needs, threw a party. There was painting, wrapping the kids up in streamers to make a snowman, cookies and juice. He had so much fun. You’d think that would be the norm, but not for kids who have sensory overload and are resistive to change. In the past he would try to leave at the first opportunity. Today he stayed for the entire thing.
The class is going to sing in the concert on Friday. My student not only put on a pair of antlers but stood with his class swaying to the song, not once, not twice but three times, to practice. He smiled the entire time. Last year he ran away.
Then came lunch. I didn’t think he’d be interested in getting his picture taken with Santa, but there he was, grinning for the camera! I’m so proud of his success. This is why I do this work. I get a real sense of joy and fulfillment when my students flourish.
*An update to this post* Today was the concert and this student was the first on across the stage swaying to the song. I was SO proud of him!