Welcome back! My previous post was a celebration of my recommitment to my blog. Who doesn’t want to celebrate with yummy dessert? In recommitting to my blog, I’m expanding my scope. I’ll be letting you in on different aspects of my life. Mind you, you’re not getting an all access pass, just a glimpse here and there. The more you know me, the better you can relate to my writing. I’ll probably include some self-analysis with some of my poems as well.
Today’s glimpse involves my job. I love my job because it is full of challenges and is tremendously rewarding. I get to make a profound difference in the life of a sophomore who goes to the school where I work. Austin is a fifteen year old boy who has been diagnosed with autism. He’s a bright kid, but he misses a lot of social cues. This interferes with his relationships with peers and with teachers as well. This is where I step in.
A huge part of my job is acting as Austin’s social interpreter. I work in both directions: I help him understand others, and I help others understand him. Austin really struggles to pick up on the humor of others. Before he gets upset with the joker, I swoop in and let him know that they’re trying to have fun with him, not at his expense. When Austin is responding to classmates, I help keep him in check without taking his own jokes so far that he hurts others’ feelings.
These interactions don’t always run smoothly. Sometimes I have to think on my feet, and there are times when the kids--Austin included--outpace me! I never worry that my work day will be boring or monotonous. Every day I learn more about how to better help Austin, and plenty of days I learn how to be a better person myself.