It seems every so often a string of event occur that lead me to an article that states the importance of awareness. I may repeat myself in these articles, but it's because I feel so strongly on them. Also, and this isn't to say I become complacent on my job, but I once again feel as if my job is more important than I thought it was yesterday (this happens a lot).
I may have finished writing yesterday's blog post in the morning but I never did quit thinking about it. I spent the day in awe of the string of events that got me to where I am now and I kept wondering what would have happened if I didn't get those small chances at presenting the flash cards in 2nd and 4th grade. Here's the thing. I wasn't diagnosed then and maybe the teachers just wanted me to participate (irrelevant side note: I can no longer say participate or precipitation aloud. Many people can back me up on this.) and not leave me out of the activity, but whatever the case the end result was monumental.
What I am trying to say is that I feel strongly on teachers knowing as much as they can about the autism spectrum. I have no doubt that those events all those years ago played a huge part in letting me do what I do. And that's the thing; teachers can do a lot of good if they are aware of the elements in play. Also, if teachers don't know how to respond to a person on the spectrum a lot of damage can be done.
What I think may be lost is that I think a lot of people look at the "now" results. As I think back to those experiences I presented the flash cards and talked while doing it, such as correct or incorrect as well as speaking the students names who were playing; I mention this because I rarely spoke to anyone except the teacher. After the game though I went right back to being my quiet self. If anyone had been observing I would venture to say that no one would have guessed the long term gains because the short term gain seemed to be non-existent.
Don't get me wrong on this article as there can be huge short term gains! I don't fully know how to explain this better as the thoughts are in my head but I am having the rare occurrence of not being able to describe them. Perhaps this article makes more sense when coupled with yesterday's as well as Friday's.
Okay, I am running out of time to write this as Matt and I are about to go West of town to present to doctors, but I feel it is paramount that teachers know and understand the spectrum. This, of course, is a given but I never realized the impact those experiences had on me. I have always talked negatively about my school experience, but for once I see how it benefited me in ways I never could have imagined thanks to those two teachers thinking just a little outside the box. I hope I have many chances to talk to teachers about my experiences on the spectrum so maybe, just maybe, there will be someone 30 years from now that pieces their life together and realizes that one small act in grade school led them down the road to who they are on that day.