Saturday, May 8, 2010

This Was My Week... a special education aide.

We have an autistic boy in our classroom who's mom was frustrated because it was torture to give him a haircut. She and the boy's dad would usually get the clippers out and while one would physically restrain him, the other would shave his head. It was traumatic for everyone involved, but taking him to a barber didn't work either for the same reasons.

My teacher knows that I used to cut hair, so she asked if I would be willing to attempt cutting this young boy's hair. We figured we could get in a snip here and there during school, and if it took a week, so be it.

Well, Monday was the day, and I began by showing the boy my scissors and combing his hair a bit. He complained a little, but I was actually able to get a few snips in. Then we took him to the computer and while he was watching his favorite little video, I began cutting. If he fussed, we would pause the video, If he was quiet and let me cut, he could watch it. I got the whole right side of his hair done this way.

After lunch the other aide (aka my partner in crime), suggested we take him to play in the sink and see if that would work. He loves making faces in the mirror, so this seemed like a good idea. It turned out to be a success, and I was able to finish his hair. Our teacher called his dad, and told him about the hair cut, and when she got off the phone she said, "You just made that man's day!" Which in turn made my day as well!


We have another little boy who was a tiny preemie, and one of the things we have to work with him on is his muscle tightness. He walks on his tip toes because he's just strung so tightly. Our teacher has asked me to sit with him and "stretch him" during morning circle, so he's my little buddy now. I sit behind him and we go through our stretches each morning. He has taken to fiddling with the digital watch on my wrist, and the other day he managed to put it on military time AND set the alarm to go off every hour! I couldn't even figure out how to fix it, but it made me laugh. What a little stinker!


At snack time on Thursday the boys were enjoying peanut butter on graham crackers, and one little guy had got it all over his nose. Another little boy comes up to me and says real quiet, "His 'smell' is dirty." I thought that was just so cute! These little kids just really charm me.


John Thornburg said...

I can see you are a special person because it takes special people to work in special education and have the patience to reach their hearts and make a difference in their lives. You post was heart warming and encouraging. Thank you.

Momza said...

It is teachers like you that fill my heart with gratitude.
Thank you for being your best self with these special spirits.
It is inspiring to read about and reminds me of how grateful I am for the teachers in my son's life.