Monday, June 11, 2012

A sense of accomplishment

This is for Day 11 of a challenge 30 Days of Writing started by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese in which several other bloggers and I are participating for the month of June. Today’s prompt was: A sense of accomplishment

I work as a speech therapist in a public high school and I would have to say that for the most part I feel a sense of accomplishment when I work with the kids on my caseload. I have a varied caseload of students with disabilities such as Down's Syndrome, Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and various forms of mental disabilities. 
Once a student gets to the high school level they often begin to plateau and progress becomes slower, so you have to be patient and wait for the small achievements and breakthroughs.

Example: I had a former autistic student who refused to make eye contact or even acknowledge me for over a year. I was patient... I noticed that he liked it when I wore different dangly earrings... so I made sure on the days I was going to see him I changed out my earrings. He would come up to me and look at them for a minute or so and I would talk to him. Over time he began to respond to me and after another 3 mos. or so would finally sit at a table and work with me.

My autistic students have taught me patience... and with the small gains they do make I feel a real sense of accomplishment.

My former boss told me before he retired that he hesitated to put me full time at the high school level because the progress is so slow that many teachers burn out-and he didn't want that to happen to me.  I explained that the progress is still there but I just had to re evaluate my criteria and definition of success. Slow & steady won the race with these kids. :)


  1. That definitely is a great and worthwhile accomplishment :)

  2. To work with children with disabilities must be incredibly satisfying despite the challenges.
    Each goal reached a time for celebration.

  3. Patience? You're the poster-child for it. I seriously admire you for the wonderful work you do. Well done!

  4. I love that story about the young man and the earrings. Kudos to you. :)

  5. These are the things to really be proud of. Great accomplishments!

  6. I commend you, I have some experience special needs children, and I am so, so grateful for those who devote their time and attention to those kids. Even though early intervention is the key, it doesn't mean improvement can't be made in the teen and later years.

    Thank you for sharing your story.