Disability longing

(I can’t help myself, I changed my blog look again. They didn’t have this one last time I did it! It’s so clean and pretty).

I sometimes meet people who knew me when I was studying speech pathology, but don’t realise I changed degrees before finishing (I ended up with Health Science, hearing and speech). Sometimes I ponder my reasoning (there were lots of reasons) at that time. I remember writing an essay of my reasons.

One of the major ones was from a conversation I had with a Special Ed teacher, when I did an in-service at a school for students with intellectual disabilities. She talked about how, as a Special Ed teacher, she gets to think about the whole person, rather than isolating a students issues to just communication (which is what a speechie would do- of course they would try to understand the whole person, but their main concern and focus is helping them communicate). She gave me a new insight into working with children with disabilities.

Meanwhile, I had been working with a little boy with autism on weekends. I found it extremely tiring, emotionally and physically, but I also find autism fascinating. I want to understand it better (and understand developmental disabilities in general), and better understand people who have it.

On a side note, it’s Autism Awareness Month. My experience with people with autism has always been connected with intellectual disabilities as well. A young girl with Asbergers syndrome has created a short film to help people understand it better. There are a couple of places to get a Christian perspective on autism – this article, and this book.

I get the urge to study sometimes, that is, to do further study in some field, either related or not to what I’m doing. Part of it is just to know – I’ve been looking into psychology and behaviour courses to understand disabilities better. Sometimes I think I would make a good OT (Occupational Therapist), that it might suit me better than Speech. Part of this longing for progression is for my own ego and pride – I sometimes feel sad and sorry for myself for not finishing Speech, like I could do better than the job I do. Part of it is just about job security and a desire to help pay the bills and save for the long term. But every now and then something I watch, read, or see reminds me of that initial passion for children with disabilities. Maybe one day, when it would be more worth it (now might not work so well, if I study and then God-willing, have kids, and not be able to use it for a few years) I will. But for now, I guess I can research by myself. It can be another project on my list.

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