God's Autism Classroom
I walk into the room,
from area to area I go,
looking at all the "visual supports,"
suspended by Velcro.
Pictures of activities,
"Math, reading, etc.", they say,
show a visual structure for the
"activities for today."
Individual work stations
Surrounded on all four sides
By different kinds of barriers
To block student's wandering
Some stations have walls
Covered by curtains thick
To block out sensory stimuli,
They really do the trick.
On each student's desk:
Name and a photo too,
the "basic" of social skills,
and God's order coming through.
Rewards abound in "token strips"
in digital photo format...
so that the students understand...
"Do this, and you'll get that."
Visual symbols are all around,
to help the students understand...
keeping them calm and steady.
A sensory station with mats and balls,
containers of beans and rice...
"put your hands into there...
now doesn't that feel nice?"
A vestibular swing, a bouncy ball,
and a crawl tunnel too...
a balance beam, a trampoline...
to help balance the brain... it's true.
I look around this classroom and
clearly see God's love.
This order and this structure...
come from Heaven above.
For while it may have been put together,
by the hands of men, the desire and
inspiration for it...
goes back to God, again.
Autism is increasing,
the numbers shout that out,
but as it goes, so does the
desire to help children work it out.
The classroom reminds me of Eden,
a place where the confusion does cease:
a cry for Home, a sanctuary,
a reflection of God's Peace.
I wrote this poem based on my experience as a teacher working with students challenged by autism. The structured environments they need, and all the thought that goes into planning them out, truly reflect God's order and structure.Joseph Trance, Anmerkung zum Gedicht
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