I quit working at Autism Service Center about five years ago after about 5 years of part-time service mainly to work more overtime at my current job.
Working with Autistic individuals was a great experience. They are creative, innocent, and look at things in a great way. Almost everyday after five years....I find myself saying things that H would say, hear a song and say that was one of J's favorites, or go by a place and say S and I came here.
It was way more than a job...even more than a friendship. It was someone light up when you walk through the door. It was seeing someone learn something that they struggled with until we were both ready to give up. It was seeing the world around me in a different way through someone else's eyes.
If you hear me saying NO this or NO that after you suggested someting, I got that from J. He was a BIG music fan. He loves Alan Jackson and Tim McGraw. I gave him an Alligator Jackson cd and without even hearing it, he said NO Alligator Jackson.
H had a special relationship with his staff. He worked with Shane for years and loved. H had a very special relationship with Tyler Gillespie. Tyler died tragically in a motorcycle wreck a couple of years ago. I imagine H still calls out for him and that thought brings tears to my eyes.
N was nine years-old when I began working with him. It was hard to stop working with him as I had to stop seeing him because his attachment to people borderlined obsession. He taught me more than I taught him.
April always means a little more to me because it is Autism Awareness Month. God bless those who work at Autism Services for they are serving a special group of people. Happy World Autism Awareness Day!