We all let ourselves get the best of us at times. Meaning, sometimes we are in our own way of achieving what we want. This week has been good as far as growth goes, but as far as emotional stability goes, that’s another story.
I tell Diego about how my day goes, every day, because it not only helps me debrief and understand my own day, but he is honestly curious about it. After two crisis filled days this week, Diego says to me, “You hold these kids to the standard that they know better; like an adult would, rather than a child with mental ailments.”
As much as it hurt to hear him say that, he was right. There is a difference between holding someone accountable for something they did wrong and then doing so with a person who may or may not understand the importance of consequences to actions, right from wrong, etc. It is my job to teach and instill accountability, but give a lot of grace and understanding considering these kids… are just kids. Most with autism, and probably have other mental ailments as well.
As most of you know, patience is not my strong suit. I am not patient in many regards except when it comes to those with special needs. Usually my patience is overflowing in this type of work, but at the same time, some of my clients are very manipulative in order to get what they want with me. It sounds harsh to say that a child with autism can be or is manipulative and plays mind games to reach an end goal, but it’s the reality that I face in their homes everyday.
It is an interesting environment to work in; other people’s homes. I see it all, the happiness, the laughter, the tears, the tantrums. From everyone. I get a sneak peak at what goes on in their worlds which is more difficult considering the fact that COVID-19 is still so prevalent. I see exhaustion, fatigue, loneliness, needs for physical and emotional and social attention. It is hard on everyone, especially on these kids.
I can’t expect to always have a perfect day and that’s okay. I am not perfect and I am bound to make mistakes and I will continue to make mistakes whether it be in my tone, or my execution of actions and directions. I guess my frustration comes from the expectations of the parents. They want what is best for that child, which is why they reached out for help in the first place. But some of them want perfection and the knowledge and expertise of a behavior analyst in their homes rather than a tech. Sure, I have been through a lot of training, but nothing compares to a person with a Master’s degree rather than a high school diploma and some 40 hour training course.
But at the end of the day, they must deal with me for 40 hours a week, and they get interventions from an analyst about 4 hours a week. I am nor will I ever be perfect, but I need to work on my understanding towards these kids and just be there for them, teach them coping skills, teach them social skills and etiquette, teach them life skills.
Yes, I may feel like I have the weight on my shoulders, but I really don’t. I am surrounded by a wonderful team of colleagues to help me and I have a great boyfriend and family that will also help me.
As I have eased into this job, I have also noticed that sooner rather than later, I will be going back to school on January 4th. That’s two and a half weeks away!!! I ordered my books this evening and it was a lot cheaper than I had anticipated it being. Today was also a good day because I got my second paycheck. I am 95 days clean off of gambling and this is another paycheck I get to enjoy all to myself. It’s a weird feeling not to be indebted to something like the casino anymore. I don’t constantly think about going to go gamble anymore. The desire is still there, but it’s lessened plenty.
I understand that the following weeks are only going to become more and more stressful as I head back to school and work ramps up. It’s important to remember through all of this is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. No matter your adversity, no matter your struggle, you are not alone. You will get through this and it’s all gonna be okay.
Now read it again… and again, until you believe it. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that you will not be given more than you can handle. So sit back, and enjoy the ride.