I’m still around

I wouldn’t say that I’ve been away for a while because I didn’t. Truth is I was away for a very long time. Even though I did post some videos up here but it requires almost zero effort.

I do miss typing.

I do miss expressing myself here.

But I always got caught up with work and errands.

Such lame excuses. I need to learn to manage my time better.

It’s getting late right now & I need to go. It’s a brand new week and I gonna hustle for another 12 days before I get 2 full days to rest. & by rest, I mean I still work but just not clocking in as much time as weekdays.

I hope everyone is doing well and be safe! Have a great week!

Of pineapple & SpongeBob

So, during class, we were showing flash cards of fruits to introduce different fruits to the children. When it came to pineapple, a boy pointed excitedly to the flash card and said ‘SpongeBob!!!’ out loud. We were all stunned and I started laughing. Other children seemed to be puzzled. I told him that he’s not wrong, because SpongeBob really does live inside a pineapple.

I think education doesn’t have to be so one-dimensional but we often got caught up in it. Being able to relate to what a person knows is a huge step too. Instead of just telling them off, I choose to explain to them. After all, everyone has only one childhood. Besides that, I’m not putting him down so he will still be confident to share whatever he wants to talk about with us (I always think that when a person stops talking/sharing is the scariest part of all). I believe that boy will probably now remember ‘pineapple’ even better since he could relate to what he watched. :)

#8: Watch stars by the beach

So a mom asked me today if her son always plays with this girl in the class because he actually told his mom he wanted to bring her to watch the stars by the beach when he grows up. I’m glad that old school dating still exists in this era.

*Just to clarify that this boy is not a child with special needs. I’m currently also working with children who are not autistic. :)

#7: Nice hair :)

As you may have already known that most individuals with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) rarely socialize with others. It is one of their deficits. But there’s this one boy in the center really love to socialize! I would say that he’s the most sociable kid among all of the students there. & if you can believe this — he used to be non-verbal and now he wouldn’t stop talking and asking everyone some random questions. He’s still quite awkward in socializing but at least he’s doing it. It’s all about baby steps. Now, let’s call him AS. AS is very observant and his therapists have always been teaching him to talk or ask someone questions appropriately using the right words.

I just got my hair permed on Sunday and when I went to work on Monday. I obviously didn’t expect any student there would realize the difference of my hair.

Zoe: Hello AS!

AS: Hello Zoe!

Zoe: Wow, AS, you look so good today! Your shirt fits you so nicely!

AS: Zoe look good today…?

Liz (his therapist of the day): No, AS. YOU (emphasized on ‘you’, so that he listens better — we call this a within-stimulus prompt) look good today. Not Zoe.

AS: AS look good today…?

Liz: Yes.

Zoe: You look so handsome today, AS!

Liz: (prompted) Thank you.

AS: Thank you!

(silence for barely 1 second)

AS: (pointed at my hair) Zoe… (mumbled) Nice hair!

Liz + Zoe: (both were surprised & looked at each other) Ohhhhh

Liz: (rearticulated) Zoe, you have nice hair!

AS: Zoe, you have nice hair!

Zoe: Oh, thank you! You noticed my hair!

We made a big deal about it and provided him with a lot of social reinforcerment as he really loves social reinforcement, that’s like his A+ reinforcement.

I was so surprised that he felt the urge to compliment me as I just gave him a compliment. I was also very surprised that he noticed there’s something different about my hair. Last but not least, he tried to use the words he knows of to compliment me although it wasn’t that fluent. Then again, it’s all about the awareness and effort! Liz was equally (if not more) as surprised as I was. These are the little things we discover everyday and we could go on & on about it for another few weeks. :)

#6: Toilet!

After being away for 2 days and went back to work on the 3rd day, I hugged and played with my kid, A, for a bit! I really miss my kids when I’m away. & that’s something I didn’t experience when I was working in corporations.

Zoe: I miss you!

A: Too!

Zoe: Hey hey, you can speak better. I miss you!

Zoe: (prompted) I miss you too.

A: I miss you too.

Zoe: So much better! I haven’t seen you for a few days!! Do you know where I went?

A: YES!

Zoe: (shocked) Really? Where did I go then?

A: TOILET!

I burst into laughter and he thought he got it right since I laughed that loud (it’s a social reinforcer for him). Truth is I hadn’t even been to the toilet once that day. He just simply assumed that I just got back from the toilet. So silly yet so adorable! I am really gonna miss him.