ParaEducate is once again honored to take part in the Autism Positivity Flash Blog for 2015. This year, contributors were asked to consider this:
We want to know what you are celebrating about yourself, your Autistic family, friend or loved one or what you want to celebrate about Autistic community – and we think it is empowering to share the posAutive ways that we respectfully honour limits and pay attention to self-care for ourselves and for our friends and loved ones.
From the casual observer: you are trying to hide. You pulled your sweater over your head. Everyone else in the classroom is head uncovered. There might be one or two baseball caps, but you’re the one in the corner, dark and brooding.
You’re the one in the classroom who has chatted up every other girl in the classroom. They smile when you talk to them, but you haven’t figured out they aren’t really listening. However, when asked, the girls don’t mind. They get that you need to say something to someone even when it is the same five things all day.
You’re the one in the classroom who hasn’t said a word all year. And yet you’ve written this wonderful poem. You wouldn’t present to the class, but you stayed in at lunch and read it to the classroom teacher. He praised your work. You walked out the door with a huge grin that quickly turned to a scowl whenever someone mentioned how happy you were for the praise.
You were sitting by yourself stimming in the lunch room. And a classmate came over and asked to sit across from you. You didn’t really seem to notice, and they didn’t care that you took a bite of your crackers, jumped for three minutes and then ate some more. For months this student asked to eat with you, took a seat across from you and never said a word to you. When others would offer, the classmate wanted to sit there, with you. Just last week, you stopped your pattern enough to realize you didn’t know your classmate’s name. “What’s your name?” you asked.
You had the school wide dance competition. You were the last boy without a partner. You asked a girl in another class to dance with you. She replied, “I already promised [other boy] I would dance with him for the first two dances. Can I dance with you for the last two?” You agreed. The guys in the PE class came over and were impressed that you asked her and high fived you.
You hadn’t seen a specific paraeducator since you were knee high to a june bug. She cried when you said “Hello” and chatted her up about your successes because she remembers the little boy who was curled in the corner under the bookshelf who screamed and never came out even when your parents were called at the end of the day.
You were sitting across the table at a family dinner with a family friend. You were bored out of your mind when the family friend got down to your level and showed you something in your pocket, a broken transistor. You suddenly had a million questions about all the little parts that had originally made this device work and you want to make it better, so it would never break. “Your mind and my mind work the same buddy.” was all that family friend said.
You were so excited to go on the family trip. The transportation system was late, so your parents walked a block away to a sandwich shop. But you really wanted to get back to the transit station. You almost ran into the street, if it hadn’t been for someone who worked with students with disabilities, suddenly turning around and asking you to stop. Your parents caught up and apologized.
The community you live in already cares for you. You might not know. The communities look a little different for each person. But many more things are possible with everyone working together than they would if there weren’t people working with you.
ParaEducate’s Blog will sign off for the summer on May 28, 2015. Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? ParaEducate just joined Pinterst! Find ParaEducate online here, here, here and here. ParaEducate is company interested in providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published weekly during the academic school year on Thursdays, unless a holiday. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.