Yesterday put me to the test. It tested my patience, my compassion and my ability to put self doubt aside. I love my job, I can honestly say I would not trade or pursue anything else. This job, this choice I have made to support children experiencing Autism has helped me to push aside my own anxieties and be stable. As with any job though, the beuracracy and lack of general knowledge can be overwhelming at times.
yesterday my client was having a very rough day, he was not maintaining his optimum level of performance by any means…which is hard to expect at times for an 8 yr old kid who would rather be at home and not at school. We had worked through some issues during the day, but just were not able to make it to the very end.
As I stood, keeping my client safe and shielded from peering eyes of teachers at the end of the hall, I thought about how sad I was that he had not been able to make it, with only 3 minutes before heading home on the bus. I thought about how to keep him safe, how to keep the other students safe,I was not thinking about what other teachers would be thinking. That is not my job.
I am a behavioral therapist, I am not apart of their world. I made that choice a while ago when I decided to become a Master of Psych and Applied Behavior Analysis. I am trained to make decisions on the spot about behavioral interventions that will effect my safety, the safety of my client and those around us.
I am however a therapist who is in a school placement. And maintaining my own optimum level of performance for the sake of my client and my colleague, that is my responsibility. All of the work we put into scaffolding appropriate responses in difficult social situations came into play yesterday for myself. Maintaining my cool as I turn and see a gaggle of teachers watching in horror as I take yet another hit or another kick, that was my test. Maintaining my cool when I see people stopped and staring at my client in the moment of crisis, that was my test. But most of all, being able to walk past them and respond with a smile, Awesome, Great Thank you to their questions of my status…that is a test I will always hate but continue to pass.