Who is the Teacher and Who is the Student?
FROM GERD: In my 20 years of working/playing with autistic children, I have felt incredibly blessed to have had the most amazing teachers in these children. And I have been humbled into the most grateful student.
I have been hit, kicked, bitten, scratched and poked in the eye – my first response: grow my love bigger…be more accepting and non-judgmental…and of course taking care of myself by perhaps using more physical distance, using words like “Gentle…” or “Oh, I see, if you want to hit, use the pillows/ball…” as a buffer that is safe for both me and the child.
I have been peed on, pooped on and had snot smeared in my face – my first response: grow my heart even bigger…and yes, I can accept even more of who the children are and what they are trying to communicate…and drop all judgments, believing that the children always do their best to take care of themselves. As Bears once said, “The difference between a flower and a weed is a judgment.” I can expand on it by saying, “The difference between the smell of a rose and the smell of poop is a judgment.”
All my little and not so little teachers are gifting me with endless opportunities to expand my capacity to love, look at them with more and more acceptance and keep dropping more and more judgments until there are no more.
Autistic children have given and continue to give me more, teach me more and help me to stretch myself more than I could have ever imagined.
Thank you and yes, give me more…because I don’t know where the end of it is…or if there even is an end at all.
To all the children out there – my ever expanding, loving gratitude…