Today I woke up feeling happier. It’s really strange how I go from being so sad for no good reason to being really happy. There is nothing any different today from yesterday.
I want to talk a bit more about my job. I do enjoy what I am doing, but it is one of my biggest sources of stress. AdrianEric’s response to my last blog made me stop and think; There are so many good things about my job, and I need to focus on that.
I work with a six year old boy with autism. When I started working with him, I was told “he cannot learn”. At the time, he didn’t have any language, and spent a lot of time rolling on the floor & screaming. This little guy proved them all wrong (we ALL have the ability to learn!) and talks a lot more now. He still doesn’t talk as much as other children his age, and often isn’t sure how to respond to people when he is being spoken to, but he has made amazing progress in his ability to socialize. He never used to speak to his peers, or notice them at all, for that matter. Now, when his classmates arrive at school, he greets them by name. He has friends! He is starting to read, he loves math. While he does still cry & scream sometimes, it is much less frequently, and he no longer rolls on the floor.
The hardest part is trying to help him manage his obsessive compulsive behaviour. Some days he gets so upset over things like the position of baskets on the shelves in the classroom, or which electrical outlet things are plugged into. I have been told so many different things as to how this should be dealt with, but most people think I should never let him have his way with these obsessions. I feel like when I prevent him from “fixing things” that are incorrectly placed in his eyes, I am failing to to understand his feelings. He trusts me, and so when I fail to recognize how these things make him feel, he must feel so alone. Like there is no one who can understand him. So, if we have time to sit and carefully arrange things, I let him. If we do not have time, I tell him there is no time to fix things. Some days, he understands this. Other days he does not.
But aside from these episodes, which happen much less frequently now… I need to remember all the positive gains he has made. I need to look at his strengths. Most of all, I think I need to stop taking it personally when things go wrong.