Tag Archives: special needs

Jonathan, the boy with autism

In the sixth grade my teachers took my class to the swimming pool on Fridays to work with the kids from the Alice Hatch Center.

The Alice Hatch Center was a preschool for kids with special needs.

I can’t remember any of the kids, or what kinds of “needs” they had… except for one:

Jonathan.

Jonathan was “my” boy.

He was three years old, slight for his age, with blonde hair and gray-blue eyes.

Jonathan had autism.

For whatever reason, Jonathan decided he liked me and trusted me.

I was the only one he’d swim with.

To say we were buddies was an understatement.

I loved that kid.

I’m pretty sure he loved me too.

I looked forward to seeing him each Friday afternoon.

That was when I decided I wanted to be a child psychologist and work with autistic kids.

I was eleven.

Obviously that dream didn’t stick with me for the long term. (It did for about 4-5 years though!)

I’m no child psychologist today, nor do I desire to be. But I always have had a special soft spot in my heart for kids with special needs.

They are so often misunderstood. Misunderstood and even feared.

I sometimes think about Jonathan today. He would be about 26 – all grown up. I dont even know his last name.

I wonder if he lives independently and what his life is like.

I sometimes miss him too.

What great teachers I had – Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Fox – who gave their sixth graders a chance to help kids in need, and a chance to be changed in the process.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What special person from your childhood do you miss?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.

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