While I was watching my son compete in a swimming race, I spotted a young boy of 7 in a wheel chair. Since I work with students who have challenges, I recognized that the boy had cerebral palsy. I was so drawn to him and walked over to have a little chat. As soon as I knelt down to say hello, he gave me the brightest and widest smile I had ever seen. Such a wonderful gentle soul! His smile touched me and I just had to go back a few times to fill my day with that bright smile.
My kids saw me talk to him when Mina rushed to my side and asked if she could say hello too. She was a little shy but kept mentioning his smile long after we left him to hop in a taxi and go home.
The mother had just arrived from Poland two months ago. She had three beautiful daughters and were thinking of having another to keep the youngest company. But that smile of her son's was magnetic and I kept wanting to get him to smile.
I missed working with students who had severe challenges. Despite it sometimes being frustrating, these kids had such a wonderful demeanor about them and it did not take much to get them to smile. There is always a special way to interact with them and help them through the obstacles of the day. It takes patience, understanding, love and above all kindness.
And therefore, you could imagine my disgust and disappointment when I watched the below video this morning... How does it make you feel watching this knowing that the poor little boy has Autism? Shouldn't a teacher be the one to help him and stop the children from laughing and taunting?