Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Embracing A New Path

It's April, which means that it is also Autism Awareness Month. I write this post for two reasons, 1- to spread awareness of Autism and 2- to explain how my life took an unexpected turn.

All my life I thought I would be a teacher. There was never anything else that really interested me. So during my college years, I taught prekindergarten at one of the best little preschools in downtown Orlando. I had many friends there, and we LOVED what we did. After I graduated, I knew it was time to move on. I needed to make more money and felt the time was right. 
A position was open at my church's school, The First Academy, in the division of Special Needs Education. I was hired and accepted this job, but leaving my comfort zone of Delaney Street where I taught was a very scary feeling. Little did I know how much this new job was going to open different doors.
I taught there for two years. I was a lead teacher for 2nd grade and kindergarden. All of the children in my class were on the Autism Spectrum or had another related disability. I loved what I did with the kids, and knew they loved me back...even though their tantruming could have had me believing otherwise! Exhausted does not even begin to describe how I felt each day!
During my experience with this school, I met new people and made new friends. Little did I know that the lady who was coming in each month to observe the Applied Behavior Analysis approach our classroom was taking, would be a lady who I would be working for independently as a Behavior Assistant today! After leaving the school, I kept in touch with her and she persisted that I become a Behavior Assistant with her ABA company. I took the offer and am now working on my courses for the National Board Certified Behavior Analysis Exam. After I complete these courses I plan to become a full-time therapist providing ABA for children with Autism. I am so excited for this journey!

I cannot express to you how rewarding it is to see progress in a child you are working with. The SMALLEST task can be a HUGE task in the eyes of a child with Autism.
Spread the word about AUTISM AWARENESS!

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