Wednesday, September 19, 2007

amazing, but true

One of the kids I have in my group has some real behavior challenges, and he's always saying "I don't like...", "No, Anne", and "Anne's not feeling well" (when he wants me to be sent home!). I had just put him in his third break in a row and when he said it again, I just put my head on my knees, and he put his arm around my neck and said "Hi, Anne." His eyes were pleading and I realized that I just cannot show frustration, because he can't help it. I just have to try a new road with him. At recess he and I had such a nice conversation, and he looked me in the eyes and asked me questions and answered my questions. He slays me.

On a hugely positive note, one of the more severely affected kids in our class made a huge breakthrough today, when it was discovered (through pointing to words) that he could read.

When his aide told me, at the end of the day, and then showed me the note he wrote (with her help) to his mom, I burst into tears.

Then to top it off, I get to come home to my kid, my sweet, happy boy, who is starting (don't tell him though) to love first grade. He snuggles next to me on the couch and tells me about everything, and I am so happy I could pop. It's a far cry from last year when getting him to tell me what went on was like pulling teeth. He's even picked up on the book he started writing last spring break called "A Cat's Adventure." He found the pages he'd started back in April, and looked at his words and said "Mom, I was sort of a babyish writer in kindergarten, wasn't I?"

These kids will be the death of me.


Laurel said...

Ok, since I couldn't figure out how to send you a direct e-mail (even though I do consider myself pretty computer savvy), I guess I'll just leave a comment.

I'm wasting time tonight while my husband is working late and found your blog through my friend Amy Franklin's blog. Amy and I share a lot in common in that we both had a child, then 2 years later a set of twins. We differ in that my oldest child has autism, hence the reason for me responding to your post.

I just want to say thank you as the mother of a child with autism. I happen to be biased and think anyone would be lucky to be around my son all day, but I know he can be difficult and I am truly in awe of people that work with these kids as a career!

Kimberly said...

Annie could you think of a better way to go?!? I know that for all the frustration Mikayla gives me over the smallest things that the one moment of "Ah ha" that was so easy makes it all worth it.

She's every bit as special as they say she is through clenched teeth, the difference is she's mine and I love her dearly and meeting those who come to love her by working with her are tops in my book so "Hats off to you superwoman" "Hats off to you!!!!"

suttonhoo said...

oh -- but I couldn't imagine a finer death than that. ;)

love these stories...

anniemcq said...

laurel & kimberly:
thank you for your comments - they mean so much to me. I have never been exposed to autism, I took this job because something inside me told me to, and I'm counting my blessings every day. I love the kids in this class so much - their frustrations are so heartbreaking and their successes make me want to jump for joy. I am still such a newbie at this, and I'm learning new things every day. But I know in my heart this is the right place for me.
Oh, and Laurel - how lucky that you know Amy in person. She is my twin that I've never met!

I, Rodius said...

Yay, a writer! Recently, my mother gave me a story I'd written when I was 10 or 11. What a treasure. He's already looking back at his work with a critical eye; that makes it awfully difficult to ever finish anything!