Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Job

This is a couple of weeks late, but I got a new job! I am a teacher at a school for autistic kids called Clear Horizons. I work in a classroom with 7 kids and 6 other teachers so it's a lot of one on one time with the kids which is great. They are all low functioning, meaning that they have very limited speech abilities and also have a lot of difficulties with their spatial and temporal perceptions. For example, one of the girls is 12, but is at the level of an 2 year old.

It's hard some days because the kids become disregulated quickly so what we do is help them become regulated and then try to engage them to play with us, rather than with a toy or by themselves. Some days are better than others. It's been a great patience builder because you have to work at the kids pace and since they don't have great verbal abilities, you have to learn to read their cues.

But over all it's a great job. Today I got to wear an Elmo costume which most of the kids loved. (It did freak one little guy out) I made a girl spit her gum out one day and she looked at me and said "How dare you!" with a big smile on her face. I sing LOTS of Disney songs, wrestle, dance, give lots of kisses and tickle and try to convince kids to walk when they collapse on the floor.

And I've finally learned if I don't want my hair to get pulled I should wear it in a pony tail. This has been a blessed revelation.


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