Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Very Special Day

Hi Everyone,

So this morning I visited my Aunt's classroom where she is a teacher's assistant for a special education class for children ages 3-5.  Some of the children have autism, some are deaf, others have cerebral palsy, or retardation, but they were all precious.  I was there to observe the childrens' speech therapy class.  Now for most of these children, they are unable to speak, so the speech therapist works on their cognitive skills to see if they can determine choice.

She set it up so that she had a ball and bubbles.  With her she also had a button system that when pressed would correspond to either the bubbles or the ball.  She would ask each of the children would you like to play with the bubbles or the ball.  Some of the children were able to successfully pick what they wanted, while others were assisted.  The great thing was as soon as the ball or the bubbles were in play, each of the children's faces lit up.  The bubbles were a big hit.  The children enjoyed feeling the bubbles hit their face, or they watched the bubbles float to the ground.  Some of the children even were able to reach for the bubbles nearest them.

While I was in the class, I met Charlie.  Charlie is a child with a few disabilities.  He is deaf, has a heart defect, is slow in his cognitive abilities and other things I am not sure of.  He took to me and wanted to hold my hand through the lesson.  He is a sweet boy, with a funny sense of humor and a great smile.  I learned a few words in sign language.  Both of us were learning to remember signs.  He liked to be poked and hug.  I was more than willing to accommodate.  My aunt likes to tease him because she rolls up his sleeves and he quickly pushes them back down and then she will do it again and he repeats.

A lot of the children get no attention at home due to the family size already and a lot of the parents did not make the time to learn how to understand their child.  Also, the families are low income families.  The teachers and helpers do what they can and my aunt, I know gets attached to the children, but when they are 6 they are moved to a different school, so it gets hard sometimes.  It was nice to see what my aunt does all day and the toll that the lifting and positioning does on her body.  Having had to lift and carry Erin for 30 years, my aunt has had more pressure on her body than most people endure their whole life.  It is a humbling experience and a wonderful one at the same time.

Until tomorrow.  Take care and be safe.

All my love,

Tara

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