Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Today's post is brought to you by Kleenex...

I subbed today in a preschool autism class. What an incredible whirlwind of a day! There was screaming, crying, laughing, spinning, clapping, running, whining and spitting. And that was the first five minutes!! We had 4 autistic 3-4 year olds and 2 non-autistic kids who are in the class to model good behavior to the others. And TWO aides (you know how I love a class with an aide - two is even better!!). One boy was brand new - this was his first day ever in school. He turned three YESTERDAY. Poor baby, by the time he left school at 3:20pm, he was hoarse. He cried the entire day, well, except for the hour or so he napped. He decided I was the one he liked and he clung to me. That is unfortunate because I'm a sub. So, poor little guy, his only friend won't be there tomorrow.

That makes me sad. Makes me feel bad that I ever even held him. Honestly, it would have been better if he had no friend today than have his only friend never show up again. I was trying to help, but I think I did the wrong thing. I can imagine his little face dropping when he comes to that horrible place where he cries all day and the only person he could tolerate at all and who hugged him tight and whispered to him to calm him down isn't there. (sigh)

It was a good day - I love special ed, and the autism class is quickly becoming one of my favorite classes. But, I realized today that I can do more harm than good even when I have only the best of intentions. I'm going to say a prayer for Brian tomorrow that he will LOVE the regular teacher right off the bat.

Poor Brian.


Kristine said...

That does suck, but I think you're being too hard on yourself. A change (like a change in school or entering school to begin with) is hard for a regular kid, adding autism can't possibly make it any easier. Even a regular kid can take about a week to adjust and feel ok in a new environment, I'd imagine it will take this kid even longer. So yeah, pray for him, but don't beat yourself up for being his friend.

s.i.l. said...

I'm glad you were able to make such a connection with a student. I think you're being too hard on yourself, though. Kids, even ones with special needs, are pretty resilient. And Kristine is right, they all take time to adjust to school--sometimes longer than you think. With any luck, you'll get called to sub in hat class or at the school again and you'll get to see him.

I'm also glad to hear you're starting to really enjoy subbing. Maybe you found a great career, after all.

s.i.l. said...

Okay, not hat class, that class. It's very early here and I'm sans glasses. Not a good combo.

Vegetable House said...

Hey STQ! Your loyal readership is breathlessly awaiting more blogposts. :)