The Daily Grind.

I am a Special Behavior Aide. This means that I help children with “special needs” transition into the mainstream classroom. I am going on my tenth year doing this. Believe me, it sounds WAY more glamorous than it actually is. Basically, I help children acquire the skills needed to be able to learn alongside their peers. Right now I’m with an 7 yr old autistic girl. I have been with her for over 3 yrs and lets just say that rotating aides every 18 months sound like a much better plan. It’s been awesome to see her growth and get to know her so well, but the burnout is sometimes overwhelming. There are only so many times that you can get hit, kicked, or bit before you start to wonder if you have chosen the right line of work. For example, this little girl has developed the most amazing memory to compensate for her lack of reading skills. She sat there today, doing her independent work, matching picture cards with the word. She has done these books many, many times before and basically memorized which pictures were next to each other, then learned the words that they represented. Anyone who walked in to observe, would assume that she was doing an amazing job reading, when in fact, it is her memory that is amazing. If you read it to her once, she’ll remember your voice’s cadence, and rhythms, to help her read it next time. Granted, this in itself is amazing, but it is very hard to figure out just how much of an influence I have on her learning. I would like to think that I am helping her in some small way. Helping her acclimate into a world she really doesn’t want to be in, but it’s hard to know. And she can’t tell me. So here’s to all the Behavior Aides out there…. YOU ROCK!!!!!  ;0)