Tag Archives: autism

TV Voice Competitions and Students with Autism

So I don’t know about you, but I’ve been loving all the TV Voice competitions.  Although I loved The Voice last season too, I had forgotten how much I LOVE watching the original coaches.  It’s been so fun to see them encourage their teammates and coach them to be the best that they can be.  At school, I see that as my role-a coach-not just someone who imparts knowledge but someone who coaches my students to become the best that they can be.  My goal is to encourage them, to challenge them to take risks (in a safe environment), to celebrate their successes, to walk alongside them in their hardships and to help them become life long learners.  I feel like I get just as excited as those Voice coaches when my students have successes.

Tonight as I am watching another voice competition on TV, I’ve begun comparing these groups to the school musical that I watched tonight.  My friend invited me to go with her to her son’s school to watch their holiday program.  Her son goes to a school for students with autism.  Honestly, this was the most amazing program I’ve seen in a long time!  These students with autism had been encouraged in their talents.  They had practiced long hours.  They had been challenged and encouraged to take risks and to try new things.  They were confident in their parts, and you could tell that their successes had been celebrated.  I loved watching the smiles on their faces and listening to their amazing voices.  Each actor stayed in character and performed the dances and songs with grace and joy.  I laughed and cried and smiled.  What an awesome way to spend an evening in the middle of a busy week.

When I got home and turned on the TV to watch the end of the Sing Off, I watched those groups sing and dance.  But…instead of getting lost in the drama and the fun of those groups, I found myself thinking again about those amazing students with autism who were doing the same thing tonight.  I’m so thankful for those teachers and parents who love those kids and care about them enough to provide opportunities for them to show off their talents.  It gives me joy and hope for my day tomorrow!  Thankful for neurodiversity!  (Do you know what that word means?  If not, look it up:)

Monday Moment of Joy

Did you find one today?  Did you find a joyful moment?  One of mine was getting to sleep in!!  We had a delay because of the ice.  Definitely thankful for some extra sleep:)  Of course, it was a Monday AND we had a delay, so that caused some of my autistic students to have a hard time getting settled.   Although I was definitely exhausted by the end of the day, I could also see God’s hand at work.  In the middle of those meltdowns, one of the students asked for help in a way that we’d practiced over and over!  Yay for first times!  Another student excitedly shared how he had practiced and practiced a concept until he got it. The smile on his face was contagious.  (The best part was that he did it last night-a weekend, no less!!)

The beginning of my day didn’t start well, but a Christian friend who “happens” to be subbing in our building reminded me that “love is a choice” and that maybe we just need to move on from the hard situation.  Hmmmm….funny that one of my coworkers, who is NOT a believer had basically said that same thing last week about another situation.  Maybe God is trying to tell me something:).   Grateful for reminders that I’m not just here to teach but to share God’s love with those around me.  Where did you find your joyful moment?