Thursday, September 19, 2013

Joy and tears in the journey

For those of you who do not know I am now an ABA therapist for children with Autism.  Most of the therapy sessions I do are out of the client's homes.  Since the sessions are 3 hours long sometimes I like to take them out on walks to break things up a bit.  Practicing our neighborhood safety crossing the street and holding hands skills.

So today I took one of my clients on a walk around the block where he lives.  I intended for the walk to be about 10-15 minutes.  Ya know the routine, making a circle or square around the neighborhood until you end up at the place you started.  Today,  I think I found the hexagon/star/who knows what shape those blocks were in of Bountiful because they did not connect!  The walk ended up being about a 45 minutes instead.  He was being a champ through the whole thing.  But I was way lost!

This client is non verbal so I was trying to make the walk as entertaining as possible for the both of us.  I was singing songs, skipping, running, trying to help him not eat grass and leaves (sometimes non successfully) until I realized I have no idea where we were!

So we kept walking and walking and walking and I could not figure out what happened.  As time went on and I had to kind of drag him along. I was coming to a (hopeful) familiar street.  I could tell he was getting tired of being dragged and I said quietly "If this is not (insert name of familiar street) then I am screwed."  I intended on saying the sentence really quietly but apparently I was not quiet enough because once I said that this boy started laughing really hard, jumping up and down, and became really excited.  I don't know if he was excited because I was getting frustrated and he thought it was funny, but it made me laugh.  About 20 paces later after he stopped laughing at me, switched modes quickly and started to cry.  I think he thought we were never going to make it back home.  Although we were only a half a block away from his house because I could not convince him that we were almost home.

Grandma came out of the house and met us down the road.  She told us she was so worried that we got lost that she sent out her husband on his motorcycle to look for us.   I tried being as professional as possible without telling her that I got way lost but I think she figured out that one.  She told me that the blocks where she lives do not connect.  I told her we found that out the hard way.  So lesson of the day.  When you are lost just remember that it is only funny for about 20 paces.  And sometimes it's okay to just cry!

Joy in the journey!

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