Hi , I have been working as a special ed. aide in an elementary school for eight years. I work with kindergarten children and met my first child with Autism this year.I have spent hours on the internet searching info on these special children. At the beginning of this school year I started working with this little boy who is very smart for his age. He came into kindergarten knowing more than most children in the regular classroom knows when they are leaving kindergarten. At first he was very withdrawn and would not speak or look at me . It just took a few weeks before he trusted me and we have been doing so well together since. He socializes well with other children but not with adults including his teacher in his regular class.He is with me three hours a day. My problem is I am retiring this year and it was very hard for me to make this decision because of this child . I don't know how to explain to him that I will be leaving and worry that he will regress when I leave . If anyone can suggest how to explain this to him I would appreciate it. I have been off several days this year and he didn't take to the subs we had. I don't claim to be someone special, it's just that for some unknown reason we hit it off right away. I do plan to sub and volunteer occasionally just to keep up with his progress. I know I should not have gotten so close to him but he just won my heart from the start. I am hoping that I can volunteer when he gets his new aide and maybe help with the transition. I just don't know what to tell him . I'm sure it will be harder on me than him . Please someone advise me as what to say to him. Thanks so much, Vicki
Pecs and social stories will work but you will have to start them well before you leave.
also ask if it possible for the other aid to come in while you are still there that way he gets used to the new face while you slip in the background.
do not just slip away
Post edited by: spectrummum, at: 04/12/2008 02:27
04/14/2008 06:44 AM
your sensitivity to his and your needs will serve you. use the words you would for any other child in transitions and esp. ones that show your trust in him... to choose well, to be a loving person to others, perhaps give him the 'job' of welcoming the 'newcomer'...he will be the one to show the places, to find the tools, to be the warm spot....then, use methods of communication with some detachment, letters, notes, emails, phone, during the transition and after to keep in touch... leave your picture or a jar of treats that can be refilled as long as he needs the reminder you care....just ideas....maybe even a shirt he can put on for a 'hug' from you...
thank you for writing...katemarie
04/18/2008 11:13 AM
Posts: 71 Member
I can relate well to your story; I have a six-year old son who is just finishing kindergarten and will begin first grade in the fall. He also will be facing many changes and challenges, and I cannot tell you how much I have come to appreciate people like you who give so much to our special kids!
I completely agree that your student will have a difficult time seeing you go. I don't want to minimize that, but you should also remember that this is an opportunity to teach him a critical life skill. It's unrealistic to expect that our kids' environments will not change, and they need to learn the appropriate ways to cope with those changes. You have the opportunity to help this child, and his parents, discover some of the ways that will best help him through such challenges.
I also suggest that you help him to remember the things that will NOT be changing when you retire. Will he be in the same school? Same classroom? Will he have the same kids in his class? Will he ride the same bus? Will the class schedule be the same or similar? Will the lunchroom be in the same place? Will he eat lunch at the same time? Anything you can find that will not change may give him something to lean on as he learns to cope with the challenges ahead.
It looks like you have lots of great suggestions to try. Hope this helps - Good luck to both of you!
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