Four steps forward, five steps back

5 Oct

Special needs is a colourful, unpredictable, interesting, frustrating, joyful, exasperating yet fulfilling area to be involved in.

You spend many many hours, days, weeks and months trying to understand, empathise and teach the students the skills that they need to live independent and fulfilling lives.

Then BAM! It’s all undone in one five minute moment in time.

20121005-200304.jpgThe student came into the classroom looking distressed. An LSA noticed and comforted them, reminded them of all the alternative options, to leave the room, to persist because sometimes you can work through it like they had yesterday. Suddenly, they leapt from their chair and directed all their aggression abuse and anger towards me. I was talking to the class about what they were doing at the weekend, and had previously tried to involve them then realised that was aggravating the situation so dropped it.

A chair was thrown, spit, threatened violence, a raised hand, almost an upturned table too. The rest of the autistic class were terrified.

What on earth had gone wrong?

I felt like I had failed. Why had I not understood what was going on there? Why had I not seen it coming?

Then rage: how dare they let me down like this. All this work I had done, and I felt like someone had just stolen the rug from under me. We were back at square one.

Then heartbreak. I had committed so much time effort and brain power to teaching this student how to communicate, understand their feelings, so many huge strides had been made, then this.

The class were all removed, because the student was so out of control.

I am still wracking my brains to understand it all. What will we do next? I don’t know that I have the answer to that… Yet.

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