bend and stretch, reach for the sky…

woe is me Dancer Martha Graham

There are laws that stipulate that a teacher must be in the room with any groups of students when any other adult is present, and that is how I found myself being a computer tower this afternoon.

I was asked to be the teacher in the room as a counsellor/speech pathologist worked with a small group of learning support students. The first activity was physically acting out a scene or a thing. We were a computer and when one student was asked to be a part of a computer he suggested a computer tower/hard drive, but he was too shy to act it out, so I got the pleasure of leaving my comfy viewing chair and being a piece of hardware. I did it with style though, might I add. Then I got to be a swimmer at the beach, only to be told by another student that my hand strokes were not correct! Critics; they are everywhere! My final presentation was as a whiteboard. I doubt if anyone has ever acted a whiteboard better.

After that we did “I” statements to bullies. When you did …. I felt…. I want…. It was a stretch for me, because being the shy retiring type that I am I find I statements difficult….. ho, ho, ho.  I did find it difficult though when my bully told me he was better at minecraft than I was. I wanted to agree “too right you are” but acted out my part and suggested that we just play together without competition. The therapist told me I had given a great answer and I positively beamed.

One of the students in the class is the adopted son of a colleague. She has told me previously that he had an anger management problem (after he punched another student in the face), but I fear it is more than that. He is in eighth grade, doesn’t have a great level of intelligence and  has a fascination with violence. As I listened and watched him interacting in the class I just thought that he was possibly a psychopath and that if I heard in years to come that he had either ended up in jail, or worse still bludgeoned his parents to death in their sleep, I may not be all that surprised.

He was born in an Asian country and was close to three years of age before they were able to bring him to Australia. I don’t know what happened in his early development phases, but something certainly impacted very severely. Previously she has described to me the moment she saw him in his cot in the orphanage and how excited she was to hold him. I don’t think they knew of his learning and emotional issues at that stage but had probably been warned of such a possibility, or at least I hope so.

Life is so cruel at times – cruel to him and his parents, and no doubt his birth parents as well. One does wish they were Queen of the World, or a goddess to right such wrongs at times…

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2 thoughts on “bend and stretch, reach for the sky…

  1. Sometimes children with developmental or psychological problems end up all right. So much depends on how early they get treatment and how closely they’re monitored, though this tends to get quite expensive for the average middle-class family. I have a friend who also adopted a three-year-old boy from a foreign country. As he grew older, his behavior became more disturbing and violent. After years of tests, counseling, and medication, he became too difficult to deal with at home, so my friend had him placed in a very expensive “home” that specialized in handling violent adolescents. It was heartbreaking, but they had three other children at home to protect, not to mention themselves. I hope for your colleague’s sake, it doesn’t come to that, but sometimes you can’t undo what was started long before you became involved.

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  2. Well said HG. A friend of mine on the blogosphere adopted a child quite young and over the years has managed her behaviour to the point where, I think, she has integrated fully into the family and is blossoming as a teen – she’s a very good artist. There are so many factors that influence us as we grow and the cumulative effect of bouncing around like a pinball at a young age must take their toll.
    FD – I’m sure you were the most elegant computer tower.

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