Saturday, February 23, 2008

Autism much?

So I taught this autistic kid right. He was diagnosed as having a mild dose (they are my words, not the doctor's - clearly) and is able to function normally but it is obvious he doesn't not operate the same as the rest of us. You had to trick him into everything or force things into being habits. Like when he came to my class he used to eat sandwiches for lunch every day. Every day, he'd take half of his sandwich and take a bite out of the middle, then to the left, then to the right. So it looked like this:

and then that would be all he would eat. It pissed me off. Don't know why. Maybe I just forget how truly frustrating he was to deal with. Maybe it was just one of those things. But maybe I'm just cruel. I decided I'd make him eat the whole thing. After a few weeks of tears, tantrums and lunches that lasted 2 hours, he just gave in and suddenly eating the whole thing was What Was Done with sandwiches.

It was about now that I realised that with a little bit of persistence I could 'train' him. Much like Pavlov's dog really. And holy shit! This was a kid who could do NOTHING as far as school was concerned but by the end of the year, after many many tantrums, tears and thrown books, pencils, pencil cases, (all of which I am pleased to report were his), he was as capable as the rest of the class and was a successful student.
That is the lasting memory of this kid in my head. So yesterday when I saw him in the playground and he came to tell me for about the 36th time that someone was annoying him and now they had hit him I jokingly (I think, but maybe I wanted to see what would happen...) said "well why don't you go hit him back?"....
Yeah so he still thinks, acts and responds literally, I didn't fix that and I spent the rest of lunch time trying to bust up the fight I managed to start...

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