Written by Beau, Special Needs Teacher.
My husband and I have worked with children with special needs for more than 15 years combined. We are so privileged to have the honour to work with these wonderful little people. In every class that we have taught there are usually at least 2 students that fall on the spectrum. This means that they have some form of Autism, often with another diagnosis as well. Some children have the classic autistic traits, and others are higher functioning or exhibit curious behaviours, but every single child with autism is different. They are all unique, and yet each child has given us great gifts (including those with other diagnoses, but since it’s Autism Awareness month, we’re being specific here). The gift of perspective – to help us grow & learn about our own lives and ourselves, to prioritise what’s important in life, and to be gracious, honest, kind, caring, loving, forgiving, carefree, fun, expressive, and more.
Every day we are reminded how to love life by not being bogged down in all our ‘adult’ things, weighed down by worries, grudges, schedules or worse. Yes, there are things in life we have to do to continue on, but when I turn up to work I am reminded that all those things that kept me awake last night are not really that important and that it’s living, creating, laughing, and BEING that is most precious. [pullquote]shining little people who have created their own universe to which not everyone gets a pass[/pullquote]
I think I am so very lucky to have a job which does not feel like work. Aside from all the paperwork, I don’t feel like I my job is actually work at all, and I would do (and have done it), for free if I could. I am most honoured to be allowed to have the privilege to spend a large portion of my days in the company of my most favourite people in the world. They are truly all their own little wonders, for which I will never have the right adjectives to describe entirely as I see them in my head – shining little people who have created their own universe to which not everyone gets a pass.
These children have a great sense of humour and are not afraid to show it. Some show it in their own way, some can only laugh on the inside, but they all love to laugh and have their own version of ‘fun’.
They are so inventive and resourceful – more than I ever would have thought to be myself. Some of our students have even worked out the art of flattery to evade being chastised. I will never want for anything, now that I know how to make anything from nothing, and everything from something.
Sometimes it’s tricky, ensuring that we properly cater for all the levels and understandings in each of our classes, and make sure that every student gets what every students most needs. In the end though, it’s all worth it, because when our little people make a break-through, reach a goal, or gain achievements it is such a special occasion, so truly rewarding and remarkable for the students and the teacher. That’s why we teach. That’s why we’re passionate special education teachers. That’s why we’ll never ‘work’ a day in our lives!
I Love, love, love all the kiddies in my classes – not all are autistic, but all of them remind me every day of who I want to be, the important things in life, and how to love life! They are all gorgeous people. Please go blue in April to raise awareness, we have 🙂