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see the person, not the disability

the lovely poppy [[the blog]]: see the person, not the disability

Friday, August 12, 2011

see the person, not the disability


yesterday was a life changing day for me. i've spent the last six months preparing to teach social skills groups to children with autism. i woke up yesterday morning, feeling like it was christmas. i was so excited to be able to spend an afternoon with some of my favorite kids and help teach them lifelong skills. overall the class went well. the kids i taught were great and had great senses of humor. i wanted to spend the rest of the day with them, and then come back tomorrow.
while we were practicing the skills they learned with neurotypical kids, a young man with cerebral palsy came over to me and handed me his iPod. he uses his iPod to communicate with others and had typed "you should come here more often, you seem nice". i smiled and started a conversation with him. he understood everything i was saying and we had a nice discussion. later on, after he started feeling more comfortable with me, he typed "i have cerebral palsy, i try really hard but sometimes it's hard for me not to live a normal life". working with parents and being surrounded with a variety of families with disabilities, i've learned that sometimes it's not appropriate to focus on the positives. sometimes you need to acknowledge that it's difficult and that they are doing the best they can.
i walked away from this young man thinking about how i was going to help change his life. so much potential and talent, yet he was sitting in the corner of a gymnasium- with no one to talk to. been thinking about him ever since i left. he's such a smart young man, who has some great skills. his language and communication skills through his iPod were clearly higher than the average child his age. maybe it's part of my job, but i've been thinking non-stop about all of the great contributions he can make to society. one of my biggest pet peeves and saddest things is that most of society underestimates what a lot of people with disabilities can do. i'm a dreamer.. thinking this man could be a great computer programmer, design video games, or apps for iPods.. the possibilities are endless.







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2 Comments:

At August 12, 2011 at 9:03 AM , Blogger Sarah Dawne√© said...

This is so good and so inspiring!
I'm sure there will be times your job is extra challenging (just as an teaching job is), but I'm sure it is even more satisfying by knowing that you are able to bless and invest in such unique and talented students! (I have a feeling they are going to bless and inspire you too.)

Before I had health issues one of the things I had thought about doing was some sort of children's therapy.
All children are special and talented in their own ways.

Thank you for sharing! You blessed my heart and brought back good memories with this post.

Blessings,
Sarah

 
At August 14, 2011 at 7:25 AM , Blogger Kath said...

<3 this post.

 

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