Monday, October 12, 2009
Get On The Bus!!!
James (Bob's Dad) and I recently had a chat with Bob's Teacher about his progress. Her dedication , and relentless will to improve the lot of our little ones, never ceases to astonish me. I think it's her refusal to ever be complacent about their achievements that impresses me most...she loves the boys like her own, and even though she praises each accomplishment to the heavens, she doesn't allow herself to relax and say ah sure they're grand now, lets lie back, wraith-like, on our laurels and declare "this is as far as we go...anyone with autism can get off the bus now".
Bob appears to be a sharp little Builder with a great capacity to thrive on a 1:1 basis. However, when in group work, he declares himself redundant and mentally potters off to the educational dole queue where he engages in Herculean attempts at flinging himself off his chair while shutting the group off. The only construction he attempts is the erection of a mass concrete wall between him, his teacher and his good buddies.
And Teacher does not fondly pat his little yellow helmet and say "ah sure he DOES have autism, bless him"....Teacher says "Bob, this is not good enough. You can do better".
Now James and I have become a little complacent over recent months....we have 3 kids and busy lives and ,hey, we knew what Bob meant when he dragged us to the press and screamed. Obviously he wanted choccie spread sandwiches and we didn't really need to go through the whole rigmarole of "Bob, look at me, SAY what you want" ( especially when Toad No.1 is tapping his foot to get out the door to soccer and Toad No.2 is having an anxiety attack trying to choose between turtle or ladybird earrings).
Bob's Teacher very nicely pointed out that we needed to return to basics in order to break down his self-engineered wall, and to keep him a comfortable passenger on the Big Bad Bus. She didn't say it bluntly, but very professionally, in his daily journal about the intense work they were doing to improve his eye contact and ability to verbalise his needs.
So, lords and ladies, sorry to cram not one but two cliches into one sentence (brace yourselves) back to basics and get on that damn bus !!!!!