18 February 2006

The Post I Wanted to Write Monday, But Didn't Have Time

I started a new job this week. No, not in a church. I'm working as a Special Ed classroom assistant in an elementary school. There are five kids in my classroom; I'm in charge of two boys, both with Downs Syndrome and Autism. It's a pretty tough job, but I like it so far. On Monday, I picked up the brioche hat I'm knitting and sat behind two of our kids as they were watching a computer reading of Cat in the Hat. We'd parked one kid's wheelchair in front of the computer so he could see the screen -- this kid's growth is very stunted, he can't speak and he can't really move his body much, but he can turn his head a bit. Anyway, I was sitting behind these kids, knitting and repeating "sit on your bottom, sit up in your chair, put your feet down" ad nauseum with the one mobile kid, and the boy in the wheelchair turned his head around as far as possible so he could watch me knit. And he was smiling, which is a huge deal (smiling and looking at something are the only ways he can communicate at all). He was smiling and watching me knit!

I think it's an important discovery.

Was it the colors of the yarn? Was it the action of the needles? Was he simply looking at me and telling me he liked me? I don't think it's the last one -- he was looking at my hands, not at my face. Anyway, he liked watching me knit. I wonder if that will be justification of me knitting at work in the future. That'd be awesome.

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