I am so pleased to say that today's post was written by none other than Caleb's amazing E.A (Educational Assistant), Leslie! I write a blog post on Autism every Thursday, and was thinking how I wish I could really pick Leslie's brain about her day to day with Caleb at school. Then, a better thought came-maybe she would be willing to write the post for me?!? She was willing, and I am so glad.
As a parent, you send your child off to school in the trusting hands of his or her teacher. As a parent of a child with Autism, you send your child off to school in the trusting hands of a teacher, occupational therapist, speech therapist etc, etc. But most importantly (in my opinion), you entrust your child in the hands of their educational assistant (E.A.).
You hope that your child will come home from school each day with new knowledge of reading, writing and math in their brains. But when it comes to Autism, you hope even more that your child can establish friendships, and that they fit in with their peers. An E.A. plays a crucial role in the development of your child academically as well as socially.
There is a delicate balance to providing support to students with special needs within the classroom. It can sometimes be too easy to smother a child and do everything for them as opposed to being extremely patient, as they take time to do it on their own.
I first began working with Caleb three years ago. From the beginning, he has been a loveable, humorous, delightful child to work with, and he has certainly built a special place in my heart. I have watched him jump 14 levels in reading, learn to add and subtract and write stories about his favourite animals independently (just to list a few examples of his many accomplishments – I could fill this blog daily with Caleb stories…)
Of all of the things that he has worked on, what amazes me most is his ability to be a good friend. He possesses the power to make his classmates laugh, ask them about their interests (this one was hard), feel empathy toward them and work collaboratively with them. These skills did not happen overnight and have not always been easy for him.
In order to help Caleb (or any child with Autism) to do their absolute best, you must take their lead and go with it. For example, Caleb loves music, thus his ability to assess his moods is a 5 point scale based on coloured musical instruments (see photo below). He loves Buzz Lightyear, so when it is time for writing – you guessed it – a story about Buzz Lightyear! ( Hey, it works!)
The biggest attribute to Caleb’s success has been a plethora of support from home. This is a key element in any child’s success. Adam and Amy-Lyn have given 100% support from the beginning, which is a great feeling. I am completely honoured that they entrust their precious son with me each and every day.
Thank-you Leslie! We know that Caleb's life has become much brighter with you in it! You encourage him to do better, and reach farther, and he does, because you believe he can.
I've said it before, but if you challenge a child (special needs or not) in love, and with their best interest at heart, they will almost always meet that challenge. Believe in them, and see what that child can do!
Hi, I'm Amy-Lyn!
I am the lady behind this here blog! I live in the sticks with my animals, my super handsome husband, and my
3 amazing kids!
Here you'll find things from recipes (gluten-free, paleo, and strait up junk food!), DIY ideas, thoughts on raising a son with autism, and whatever else pops into my brain! : )
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