Before I became a Gratitude and Empowerment Coach, I worked for nearly seven years for the school district working with preschoolers with Autism and other speech challenges. It was possibly one of the hardest jobs I have ever had and yet hands down the most rewarding.
There is nothing quite like hearing a child that struggles to communicate say his or her first sentence. Or the joy of, after trying so many things, finding a device or aid to help a non-verbal child finally be able to "speak" their wants and needs. There is also nothing quite like the heartbreak of watching a child in so much frustration because they cannot communicate in a way you understand what it is that they need.
I have witnessed those who do not understand be quick to judge a meltdown as a "spoiled" child or assume the parents are just "not in control". This could not be farther from the truth and these students more than any other situation in my life taught me so much about not judging other people because you truly never know their situation.
Yet these students (and their parents) also taught me more than anyone else about being yourself and unconditional love. They taught me about intention and how the stress of one person can become a wave over the whole room. And they taught me that sometimes you just need to let go, move the desks aside, and do some cartwheels to reset the day.
I am eternally grateful for the lessons and experience I gained form these amazing children. I'm grateful for the parents that must have been handpicked by God to parent such beautiful children. I'm grateful for all they taught me and that after so many years I still get to see pictures of "my" kiddos as they grow and conquer new goals. I'm grateful for the growing awareness about Autism. I'm grateful to wear a blue steak in my hair to show my support and raise awareness, because to me it is a badge of honor for a time of my life that is still so valuable to me.
Would you like to learn more about Autism? Do you know someone who has Autism that you could get to know a little better? This month would be a great month to start. And one more note before I go, despite a common myth, if you know someone with Autism... you know A person with Autism because just like every other human on Earth, they have different personalities, needs, and interests.
May today bless you with unconditional love for the people around you. May you seek out knowledge to help make this world a more loving place. Have a beautiful day and weekend!
Websites for information about Autism (this is a small taste, google for more):
Link to some Autism Blogs: https://www.autismspeaks.org/news/news-item/10-autism-blogs-went-viral-2014
Note: The graphic used today was not my own creation, I got it from the internet. So I would like to thank those who use their talents to help spread awareness with cool graphics like these.