Long title, but I felt some what
enlightened wordy today.
On Thursday, I finished my volunteering placement and honestly, it was really great. I’ve met a lot of people, and I’ve come across a lot of children, many of whom have disabilities and whom have made a lasting impression on me. There were these two twin girls and both came in with their mum on all three days. During the first two days I noticed signs of flapping, and no eye contact and one of the twin even mumbling a word or a phrase over and over again. My mind instantly flashed ‘Autism’ but I didn’t want to make judgements nor jump to conclusions but as I was interacting with other children whilst they were near, it was apparent that they were- and I am not saying this in a total judgemental way like everyone who does this have autism but because I kind of compared their behaviour to my brothers.
During the second day, I was in a room with one of the twins who stumbled across an ‘In the Night Garden’ jigsaw and she sat down, completing it whilst uttering ‘Makka Pakka’ and ‘Upsy Daisy’ (both characters from the show). Her mum then came into the room, looking for her and she was really nice, it was the first time I saw her. She quickly told me that both her daughters had autism and their latest obsession was In the Night Garden and I couldn’t stop smiling throughout. I haven’t come across another child or anyone for that matter who also had autism. What made me smile even more was the fact that they were both the same age as my brother. Their mum even told me that they’ve begun to mumble the names of the character even though she’s been trying to get them to say mummy or daddy and it’s here were we both cracked up in laughter.
It’s amazing because looking at both of the twins, their behaviour is really really similar to that of my brothers however, they’re very different too, with speech being the main concern. They were able to mimic whilst my brother can’t. They would play with toys that don’t exert sound, my brother only plays with toys which make sounds. I couldn’t stop smiling throughout the day for some reason. Throughout the day, I tried to make attempts to see whether they would respond to me but they didn’t which I was completely fine with. However, something happened on the last day of my placement.
On Thursday, I was instructed by one of the play leaders to supervise a station which had this big inflatable slide which you had to climb and then slide down to. It also had these big plastic wobbly bits to run through and a ball pit to jump in and get out of, kind if like an obstacle course. Diverting a bit, I was so scared to climb on top, I didn’t so big floaty slides but I thought ‘what the heck?’. It took me THREE attempts to get to the top, whilst it only took the kids one try. I had to sit at the top and see that the children got down the slide slowly. So there I was, doing my thing whilst interacting with one of the children when suddenly, one of the twin comes up.
At first, I say hello and naturally she didn’t even look up, she just slid down. When she came back up again, I thought I’d try something different. I don’t know, I guess I wanted her to respond. With my brother, it was easy because of all the intensive interaction but meeting someone with the same condition and being the same age as my brother, I knew that she wouldn’t respond but I don’t know, I was intrigued I guess. So as she went down, I yelled out ‘WHEEEE’ and as she hit the bottom, she looked at me. She actually looked at me. When she came back again, I did the same thing, and she laughed and looked at me again. The third time around, I yelled it again, she laughed and looked at me but before she slid down, she yelled it too.
And I don’t know, words couldn’t describe how I felt but simply put, it made my day.