When you grow up in a hospital locality, you almost know all the existing diseases. The physical ones, I mean. And all, the issues beyond this was considered as “mental retardation”!!! I apologize for using this term, but that’s how we perceived things in the utmost foolish way. So, during my first year of college, when I was exposed to the terms “autism” “ADHD” “mentally challenged”, I felt I belonged to a different world altogether. I had no clue what my professors were trying to teach me. Honestly, I didn’t even believe these words could become reality.
The reality struck me hard during my clinical hours. The first year was all about observations and digesting the reality god has bestowed upon us. How cruel, I thought! There were days when I cried in silence, and some days I just wanted to quit because I couldn’t take it any longer. It was like through the golden compass, I had opened a new dimension, a new world. A world I hated! A world which had so much struggle and sadness! One year down, I came to terms with what I had gotten in to. I understood this profession isn’t about just sign language. It’s much beyond that. It’s a life changer.
You definitely learn a lot of things in theory, especially in a (para) medical profession. Yet, you remember those things which are learnt practically. I was once handling a student with autism who was about 4 years old. verbal autism with speech and language delay! During our sessions, I developed a fondness for her. She showed all the features of being socially aloof and I made all the attempts to get closer to her. I praised her, accepted her, and loved her. She made me realize how she was different yet, alike. How she was socially distant yet, very close. One of such sessions, she wore this beautiful pink dress. I complemented her for her dress, and out of my sheer stupidity (or lack of knowledge) I asked her if I can have her dress? What answer do you expect from kids?
A brutally honest “NO”
Or some tears of manipulation
or some explanation as to why they can’t give it to you – “My mom got this for me” “My mom will scold me” and what not!
But here, I was in for a surprise. Within seconds, she removed her dress and gave it to me. I was shocked, and trust me, scared like I was going to die. Imagine, if somebody had walked in to that room, I would have been suspended with multiple labels attached to my not so fancy name. I immediately helped her get back in to the dress, and swore to god never ever to ask for any things from any kid (ANY KID).
After the session, I explained what had happened to her mom and apologized for the incident. She understood. Thankfully!
So, being possessive is not one of their strong traits. If you know a kid with autism, don’t ever play the “possessive” trick. It may back fire to burn you!!!!
Feel free to share incidents related to this topic in the comment section if you have come across any…