Saturday, January 27, 2007

This Is Why I Do It

So, as I've said before, I work with the little guy, who is four and a half and who doesn't talk. He's a great kid; very affectionate and happy most of the time, and he's absolutely adorable. Sometimes working with him can be frustrating, though. I have no training in speech therapy, so I don't really know how to help him learn to make sounds. Worse, though, most of the time I feel like I just don't know how to get through to him. Yesterday, he spent most of the afternoon alternating between staring at the c.d. player and staring out the window. I tried to get him to dance with me or point at things he saw, but he just wasn't interested. His parents have taught me their tricks for getting him to make sounds, and sometimes that works, but he still doesn't have any words. Without words, it's hard to know what he wants, what I can do for him. It's hard to know when he understands what's going on. And that can be frustrating; I just want to get through to him, to help him become a normal kid. (If any kid is "normal." The more time I spend with kids, the more I know that "normal" doesn't really exist).
Today at school, however, one of the teachers was reading a story about hugs, and all the different things hugs can mean. The little guy was sitting in my lap, but about halfway through the story, he stood up, turned around, wrapped his arms around me and squeezed tight. He got it. He knew what the story was about, and he wanted to hug me. And that's why I love to work with kids.
(Not to mention the utter joy I felt when I first heard him combine letter sounds. No matter the fact that his first letter combination sounded an awful lot like "asssssssssssssssssssssss.")

I have lots of pictures and adventures from First Meetings at the sororitee. I promise I'll post them sometime this week.

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