Monday, August 03, 2009

I’m the mayor of the island of misfit toys.

I cannot wait to see Adam. I saw the trailer when I saw (500) Days of Summer. (I still can’t believe you haven’t seen it….) I mentioned to Sam-I-Am that I might have to see it multiple times in the movie theater and possibly cry some.

It’s about an autistic man. He’s got Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a high functioning form of autism. Typically, they’re they ones that you think are just a little “left of center”. They’re very smart, but socially a bit awkward. There’s a lack of filtering some of the things between the brain and the mouth.

We have several children at church that have this, and I’ve had princes and princesses that have this diagnosis. They’re actually really cool people a lot of times, though sometimes you have to catch yourself from laughing point-blank at them when they’re intending to be serious. You also have to be careful as they will bluntly tell you what thoughts are going through their head, like when they tell you if you just stopped eating for a few days you probably wouldn’t be so fat. It’s an occupational hazard for every special ed teacher.

I was watching one of my new favorite shows, Mental, and their storyline was one with a more severe form of autism, with echolalia. They were talking about different therapies for this kid, and it amazed me because when I taught those kids, I did ABA therapy that was mentioned in the show. I actually had twins like that for a year. That was certainly an interesting year.

One of the things I’ve discovered is that having taught them for so many years, I tend to always have a place in my heart for them. I’m almost pulled to them. This became the most apparent at camp. We had two, possibly three, kiddos of this nature, and several times during the week, I could be found deep in conversation with them, or mothering them.

You can take the girl out of the special ed classroom, but you can’t take the special ed classroom out of the girl.

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