Friday, September 10, 2010


Unlike some other classes I've heard about from other aides, we don't have foul language spewing forth from the mouth of every student all day long. Usually it's extremely tame. I'm still not sure how we've lucked out on that end, but I credit two things that have probably helped prevent the kids from learning/using the words: (1) they've been in isolated classrooms and rode separate buses their whole school career, so they've not learned it from the other kids. (2) Our school is in a fairly conservative area of the country so the parents don't tend to use it at home a lot. There are two students who are exceptions to this rule, however...

One of them is named Dan. I couldn't even begin to describe everything about him, but the long and short of it: he's on the spectrum, and he's a germaphobe. This is a bad thing in our room, because several of our students have issues that result in them drooling a fair bit. (To be honest, I've never worked in a classroom where there hasn't been at least ONE student like this.) He hates them. We try to keep him separated, but there's only three of us. (The fourth usually stays in a small office adjacent to our room and works one on one with some of the higher performing kids.) This means the kids sometimes will come towards him, some of them unknowingly, others because they honestly just want to be his friend. (They'll drag some of the other students towards games, puzzles, or other things they want to play with. Really, though, none of them are capable of actually doing it, but they like to sit with you and make you do it for them.) Additionally, many of the students are perfectly FINE in our eyes (IE they don't drool), but because they're in some way damaged in his view, he hates them.

The point of all this is: while he usually just shouts and runs the other way when they're coming toward him, sometimes he'll kick at them and/or shout profanities at them. Usually things like "Get the hell away!" or "Bitch!" Sometimes he yells this at the teacher/aides too. That, of course, doesn't go over well...

The other student, Neal, is also on the spectrum. He's usually quiet and reserved, not contributing much to class discussions. He's also one of the nicest kids in the class. Always willing to help, happy, says things like "You're the best!" when he does talk, and so on. The other day, however, I learned what happens when he gets stressed out for whatever reason. (Often, there is no logical reason for them to get stressed out, but that's a subject for another day.) He was sitting at a table and I asked him how he was doing. His response? "Shut the hell up." Gee, I wonder who taught him that?

So overall, our class is pretty tame as far as language is concerned. I'm told one of the former students was pretty troubled and would scream anything and everything when angry. The image is pretty funny in a way, but I'm glad he's gone so I don't have to deal with that myself.

As one of our students would say: "Yay, it's the weekend!" I concur. Back to the old grind on Monday, but until then, I'm not going to think about school at all.

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