Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chapter 2

Now we resume normal chapter numbering as I think I have filled in the necessary blanks.
I began training for the new position as an ABA Therapist in July. This transition was both wonderfully exciting and very sad for me. Sad because it meant that I had to give up my position as Charlie's nanny and exciting because of the nature of the job. ABA Therapy, basically stated, is a positive reenforcement training method for developmentally disabled (usually children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, or Asperger Syndrome). The basic idea is that you teach Children by making them happy to do what is socially acceptable through some sort of external reward system. In my training, the most important aspect of this reward system was being personally loudly and energetically encouraging. That meant that when my student did something correctly, I needed to be jump-up-and-down, louder-than-a-4-year-old's-birthday-party, hooray-for-you affirming. While it has been clear to me ever since it occurred to me to figure out my own personality that I am not remotely a bubbly happy person, I had thought that I am generally encouraging and caring in that quiet way. Well, it turns out the quiet way is not what I was being paid for. So I began (with the help of those 5-hour energy boosters) to train myself in the ways of loudness. It was beyond exhausting. Mentally, and physically, I was stretching myself far beyond what I had imagined I could ever do. Naturally, this began taking its toll.
A couple of months after my training was completed the educational situation of my student was rapidly altered, and my position, to my relief, became obsolete.
As I had spent the past several months driving 45+ mins. to work each day, and had tired of the hated Summer Bay Bridge Traffic, I decided to look at a map and see if there were any towns worth mentioning a bit closer to me where I would be able to find a job. And so I found Easton.


Dad said...

Why am I just now seeing this for the first time? Have you been writing and I've been missing it? I love to read the stuff your write!

Anonymous said...; You saved my day again.