...a new twist
Hope you enjoy it.... :)
"It seems like a long time ago… guess it was. He was only 14 when I met him. His family had moved into the school district where I worked in special education… I was assigned to care for him one on one. He had very special needs. He was autistic… with no verbal communication and…. had cerebral palsy.
He would thrash and make noises until the teacher couldn’t handle it any more and out we went. They had no clue who… if anyone… was inside this young man. I was determined to find out…. and make a difference in his life. When I found out… sorry… I didn’t change his life… he changed mine.
We would talk for hours. They had trained me in facilitated communication… I discovered inside his tortured body, this truly amazing, intelligent young man. He felt everyone thought he was retarded and some kind of vegetable… it made him angry… so he would deliberately make noises so he would get thrown out of class as quickly as possible. So…. we talked about that.
He responded and within two weeks after school started he was sitting through double blocks! The school had no place to put that. The next year he entered an essay contest sponsored by UVM for high school freshman. His essay was the runner up selection. He was handed his award on the auditorium stage along with a check for $25 in front of the entire freshman class.
He was pretty much wheelchair bound… but this time … I walked him all the way down the center aisle of the auditorium… then insisted he climb the last few steps to the stage alone. The presenter shook his hand… then handed him his award. I’ve never seen anyone before or since, that beamed the way he did as classmates and teachers applauded his achievement.
The highlight was sitting with him as a junior when his father came to visit him at school. His dad and mom had divorced after his birth. He blamed himself for that. Nothing I said was ever able to change that. He visited his father every summer. They never exchanged a word until that day.
He talked with his father for two hours … for the first time in his life. … they communicated… and he also discovered… he was not the cause of the divorce.
What a privilege that was. Like I said. I didn’t change his life. He changed mine."