January 15, 2009

My place in life is maybe my shortcoming. "A blessing in disguise."

Have been reading posts today of other Autism blogs and it got me to thinking..., I did look up information on "Traditional Irish Soda Bread" and we are doing it all wrong. But that's another post.

My story is actually pretty ironic. About seven years ago I had this inclination to work in the schools to grab experience for my eventual teaching credential, that I have yet to obtain. So I decided to become a Substitute teacher and I found it to be quite overwhelming. At this time my first Son C was about 2 or 3 years of age. But I didn't stop there, I decided to become a substitute Special Education Aid and see what it might be like and it was more consistent. I did enjoy it and eventually after months of working as a sub I had an interview and ended up in a Kindergarten through First Grade classroom full of Children with Autism. My eyes were wide open and I learned something new everyday. Half of the children were not potty-trained, we had one student who would have frequent melt-downs, throw chairs cross the classroom, knock down water coolers and kick teachers. Everyday was a surprisingly unique experience. I learned about all the therapies and their histories, helped them in ways that were very odd to me at the time. Six to eight months later I became pregnant with BP and I was not allowed to be in that environment due to safety issues. So I worked in the summer school program at the Special Ed preschool next door. Later on when the new school year began I to work one-on-one with a second grade boy with Autism Spectrum everyday. December rolled around and it came time for me to leave because BP was arriving soon.

Years later BP was diagnosed with Autism/Autism Spectrum. The reason I decided to write this story is because life can hand you some surprises. Who knew that when I worked in the classroom with Autistic children that I would have one of my own. I see BP and he being my own child I can't seem to place why he reacts to certain things and I can't fix them. It may be that I see my son differently than I would other children that I worked with.

It could be the teacher/mother thing. I don't claim to be an expert and I never will. Most of you who have children with special needs do a wonderful job and I actually learn from most of you. :)
Sometimes I don't feel I teach him enough and I certainly don't use much of what I learned in the classroom. There again that may be my high expectations of my parenting skills.

My childhood background is kind of related. My mother was born was cerebral palsy and from an early age I had to help my mom on a daily basis. I was an only child and I watched her fall daily because her coordination and balance were off. I had to constantly be apologetic and repeat the story of why she falls to everyone who witnessed it. She also was extremely hard of hearing and I had to deal with those issues as well.

So maybe it's my place in life. I never intended to be involved in Special Ed and because I never gave it a second thought I simply pushed it aside. This may be path in life that I have been given and who ever knew when I stepped foot into that classroom. I think BP's Autism has been a blessing in disguise.

Thanks for letting me share.

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