Special Needs

Given that I have a special ed class, that WISoCA has a large deaf and hard of hearing contingent, and that the student body is incredibly diverse, I've had numerous novel experiences in my first few days.

The oddest experience, or at least the most surreal one for me so far, was trying to respond to a student with physical disabilities.  I wanted to be helpful to my precious little petunia without being condescending, attentive without being overbearing.  

I don't want to get into it too far, but my precious little petunia has significant difficulty doing anything with their (yes, this is a plural pronoun, but there is no way to do a nongendered pronoun in English without resorting to the neutered "it" that dehisces the humanity from the subject, so suck it.) hands.  Our class agenda was to create a notebook template that would be used for the entire year. Creating this template required a lot of taping, gluing, and cutting paper.  For this reason, I began to hesitate with regards to how to help this student.  

After the students had all picked up the template papers, I asked the petunia if I should go pick up papers for their notebook, and they assented.  I dropped the papers off, but then realized that they would have a difficult time taping, gluing, etc.  This left me with a choice: hover over my precious little petunia until they asked for help, or offer the help and risk being rejected.

Now, this is a problem for me, since my whole life is a study in the constant pursuit of acceptance, and by that rubric any rejection is a disruption of my life plan.  Asking the student if I should help, then, was a huge leap in the direction of dynamic personal rejiggering.  

Luckily, my precious little petunia of a student is a real class act, and they confidently answered that it would be helpful if I would put the notebook together for them.  

Thus, my trepidation was relieved, my fear of rejection abated, my life as I know it confidently run and confidently lived.  Or something like that.  Another day, another challenge.