Some of my clients at Action Behavior Centers call me a “teacher.” Most of their parents refer to me as a “therapist.” But what I find most often to be true is that the children we work with day in and day out at ABC are really the ones teaching us.
Since March 2020, we have faced what feels like a never-ending global pandemic. Fear has run rampant, and health has become even more of a privilege than it already was.
A contentious political landscape and division have marked our nation and continue to drive wedges between people of different socio-economic backgrounds, cultural & religious contexts, and ability levels.
In much of the country, unprecedented natural disasters have taken place, leaving devastation in their wake.
These things have led me to come to work some mornings with what feels like a heavy weight on my shoulders -- a mixture of anxiety, grief, frustration, and sadness.
And yet, each day in the past year and a half...I have worked with kiddos who display more resilience than I myself have been able to muster.
- My clients have adjusted to their therapists wearing face coverings when they might have found looking at someone in the face aversive even before masks were mandated.
- My clients have taken weekly COVID tests to ensure their health as well as those around them.
- My clients have worked with therapists they have never met before when more familiar staff was out due to illness.
- My clients have come in each day and displayed a joy I didn’t know was possible in such a dark and dismal environment.
- My clients have transferred to new centers (more than once) when their clinic, their home, was destroyed by a flood (WOO HOO Colleyville, TX)!
Therapists & BCBA’s have held onto hope by a thread. Parents have no doubt struggled. Leadership at ABC has faced incredibly challenging decisions.
And yet, our clients, the ones who motivate everything we do, are continuing to display fervent resilience. Knowing that they battle every day just to communicate, regulate, and navigate the world around them leads me to ask…
Who are the real teachers here?