Knowing and working with children who have autism has changed my life, no just my life, but heart and soul; the very being of who I am. I cannot imagine living in their world in their mind even for a moment. As a teacher I try to reach into their world and connect with them before bringing them back into our world, sometimes super hard, sometimes impossible. Always touching being it bring laughter or tears. Yet there is only so much we can do. We can teach those who cannot speak to communicate at some level, but will we ever really know what goes on in their mind, their thoughts, what they think - or only the answers to academic questions and superficial communication.
Then there are others who can be kind a loving one moment and in a deep uncontrollable rage the next moment without a second's notice. Then when done the sadness and regret for what has happened without the ability to express what or why it transpired. Today is truely the saddest day of my life. Escorting a child to a residential treatment facility... the tearing in my heart... the moments in the house the "Mom please, I don't want to go"... the locking himself in the car to escape... the courage to finally walk down the sidewalk with 2 doctors and a one-on-one aide.
In my heart I know it is the best thing. The best thing for the child, for the family, for me... but my heart still weeps - what could I have done different to reach this child and made a difference in his life...
Some of these kids I have known since they were infants, some only two years, others only one and another I just met this year - but my life is forever changed... and I only hope I can help at least one of them be able to do something they couldn't do before.
As I've written this I think perhaps I shouldn't blog it - perhaps parents wouldn't appreciate my sharing of their child's life with the world - but someone has to start stepping up and speaking out. The statistics now say 1 in 99 children are born on the autism spectrum... the world has to wake up; find a way to reach these children and change their lives.