So compared to how dreary I was considering life to be back in February, life right now is pretty freaking awesome! I have been working with kids at the boys and girls club for a little over a week, and it's going to pain me if I have to leave. Those little guys are the cutest, they say/do the cutest and funniest things you could hear.
I've been working with an autistic child who happens to be the most interesting and cutest kid. I have a real respect for autistic children/people, I had never really known anyone or spent a large amount of time with an autistic child until I started dating my boyfriend 4 years ago. His little brother has autism and down syndrome, but is high functioning. He really took to me and he's been my little buddy since, more then than now, because believe it or not he's a whooping 11 years old! Definitely not the little cuddly 8/9 year old who used to sit in my lap.
The little boy who I have been working with is 4, and I can't help but watch him throughout the day and wonder what he's thinking. He loves to repeat words that I say, and when I repeat his noises that he makes he loves it even more. Maybe I look or sound funny, but it's been a real breakthrough in our relationship! Today we mostly made zebra noises at each other and he really liked how I pronounced tent, because I annunciated my "t" on the end, so we repeated back and forth for a couple of hours, while we played a board game and played in the costume bin. I also taught him to say "AR YE' MATEY," he liked that, another worker also flipped a large coffee can over and made him a drum, not sure if that was a good or a bad thing, but I think he enjoyed it alittle more than the workers ears did haha.
It's days like today that I love working with autistic kids, it's the breakthroughs in relationships and connecting that really make me love it. Connecting with kids in general is an awesome feeling, but connecting with special needs kids is a whole new level of fantastical warm feelings. I actually got a kiss before I got off work!! Now THAT was my best end of the day gift.
It's been a complete learning experience the past week. Justin's little brother doesn't do much therapy for his autism, but the kids I have been working with and around have all these cool routines and therapies to help them throughout the day,l ike the brush down, vests, diets, and stretch bags, even languages. It's been alot to learn, but I think I did quite well for myself in the short amount of time that I've been there. I'm the youngest of the workers so I've really been the most playful and energetic person around.
I think the kids have really taken a liking to me, because I'm not afraid to get down and dirty, or let them hang off me or be alittle rough with me. Today I was doctors patient, a massage client, a bongo drum, a victim of pouncing and jumping children, I was half buried in pea-gravel and I came out of it alive and smiling.
I really have a new appreciation for children and I hope to work with them alot more in my future :)
Ps. look forward to new photos from my photo shoot. I'll be posting one or two on here, but more on my photography blog, the image owl!