Monday, October 27, 2008

Lessons form the Pumkin Patch

Friday was Gabriel's class field trip to the pumpkin patch. God bless the teacher and 2 aides that take 6 autistic kids out on field trips! They amaze me! I was blessed to be able to come along on the field trip and then spend the day in his classroom. God has answered prayers for Gabriel and his school...he goes to the Autism Center in Newport News (worth the 45 minute drive) and they have adapted a education system that works just for him..his own individual plan! So before they loaded up in the bus Ms. Carol explains to the kids that they are going to the pumpkin patch...she has been preparing them all week...and she gives each of them 5 one dollar bills to purchase their own pumpkin ( again God Bless the women who trust these children to put money in their pockets and not loose it or eat it) So they get to the pumpkin patch and again Ms. Carol explains to the kids they are to pick out only 1 pumpkin and can only spend $5.00...they all are excited besides Gabriel who is a bit nervous and just stands there...each of the kids picks the biggest pumpkin they can find for $5.00...except for Gabriel who I hand him a cute small pumpkin, that i think would be easy for him to carry ( always a mom) and through the entire pumpkin patch he keeps setting it back down and we keep picking it up and telling him.. HE WANTS TO BUY A PUMPKIN :) (Praise the Lord that it was a small pumpkin patch) so they all have their pumpkin..most they can't barely carry... cutest thing I have seen! So no wit is time to have them go to the cashier and each personally pay for their pumpkins....did I mention that it was a public pumpkin patch..not closed down for our special trip??? So recap...6 special needs kids all in line to individually pay for their own pumpkins...and 2 other people in line behind them to purchase you know how long it takes for them to put down their pumpkins and then dig into their pockets for their money and then count out their money to purchase a pumpkin??? And their are 6 to do this??? I say this because I want you to know that their are people who are gifted form God ( i believe only God can do this) with patience, self- control, humility, kindness, and love for these children that they don't care who is waiting behind them??? They don't rush the kids and say never mind...let me help you....they don't say... Oh just give it to me to do! They aren't rushed by the snickering behind...or the eyes watching...they give each child as long as it takes to pick out the most perfect pumpkin in all the patch and then to take it to the cashier and pay for it them selves..Oh I forgot and they don't allow them to just grab the money out of their pockets and hand it to the cashier...they have them count it out one dollar at a time and hand each dollar to her until they have given enough to purchase their pumpkin.....The 6th kids pays and we are done! No! Ms. Carol is like I am and like to capture every moment and special thing on not only has she been snapping pictures throughout the is now time to pose each kid with their pumpkins and teacher and 2 aides in a perfect background place for a class photo! Now it is time to load the pumpkins int he van...simple enough...but you have not gone to the pumpkin patch with 6 autistic will they ever know whose is after several reassuring pep talks from Ms. Carol they all release their pumpkins to be put into the back of the van and load up! Now back at the school they carry their pumpkins into the school wearing the biggest proud smiles i have seen in a long time and as they walk past the office everyone makes a big deal about their successful outing and the great job biggest the best pumpkins they have ever seen...they all sit and Ms. Carol plug her camera into the projector and the kids watch their outing and they write out their experiences... she has made a whole story board out of pictures for Gabriel to Velcro to a bulletin board to put in order what he did first next and last and then a happy card and a lousy card so he can express if it was a happy experience or a lousy experience ( this is because he doesn't have great communication to retell all that happened) I was blown away...and a bit convicted that I stand way to in the way of Gabriel being a independent person and learning and growing and I too often try to do it for him because I am too embarrassed and not brave enough to face the looks and comments from the rest of the world! I was truly humbled through this trip to the pumpkin patch! On Halloween Day they will carve their pumpkins at school and bob for apples and make caramel apples! Once a again I ask you to pray for these amazing teachers and aides who have the patience and love to do this with grace and joy!

1 comment:

barnettblend said...

That story was so great.. his teacher sounds amazing..