On having a student with autism in the class, translated…
In three years’ time, he’d only spoken twice. Light, a tall and strong boy, diagnosed, with severe autism.
The first time I set my eyes on him, I could tell that he was different, Light’s mom told me nervously, “He’s of normal intelligence, very mild tempered, especially interested in animals and plants, would not attack others without provocation………” Light gazed outside the window, toward the white sunlight, squinted his eyes, lost in thought, not saying a single word to me.
“Light, what are you looking at?”, “Light!”, that, was the only word he’d spoken, in that first year.
He’d gone to a regular high school, with the focus in competitions and entering into college, it was, truly, hard and trying for him. He clearly fell behind the rest, in the classes, he’d sat, silent, like a statue, mild mannered and behaving, with the gazes seeming like he was deep in thought, and those lips that are forever sealed up. As his classmates said hi to him, he’d just sat, silent, and observed. The teacher worked hard, to try to get him to open up, Light just sat quietly and listened, without any responses. This silent child, never spoke a word.
The schedule became busy in his second year of high school, Light became like a wood carved figure, followed closely behind his classmates, and, imitated their movements, without any facial expressions, like a grain of sand that existed outside the space and the time. Only one class, on the relationship between humans and animals and plants, Light lifted up his head, and, a smile seemed to have, curled up his lips. Then, quickly enough, he’d become, statuesque again. After class, I’d asked him on purpose, “Light, do you like animals and plants?” “Flower!”, and that, was the only word of reply he’d given in his second year of high school.
The last year’s academic pressures had caused every one of his fellow classmates to be wind up tightly, and Light still trekked between the classes, silently. On the day of graduation, Light’s mom got all dressed up and came. “Thanks to the teachers and the classmates’ tolerating him. The future? We’re still thinking on it, thank you all for caring for him so.”
I’d placed the present into Light’s hands, “Light, this, is a graduation gift from me.” Looking at that thickened volume of plant encyclopedia, Light’s eyes twinkled, it was, vague, but I had, caught the light. Light didn’t say thank you, just gave me a slight nod, he’d followed behind his mom, walked out of the school silently.
I don’t know how this kid will walk through his life, I knew, that parents, teachers, as well as his classmates are merely passengers in his life. And, everybody gave a helping hand when we’d met up, showed him the care and concerns, and, at the time of parting, we can only say our silent prayers and blessings, hoped, that the passengers in the next parts of his life can use a heart of gentleness, warmth, to accompany this unique child.
I believe, that so long as love is shared between people, that there’s this warmth, every Light in the world, will be touched, by strangers who cherished, and treated them well.
And so, this, is the wishes of a teacher for her student, and, because this student is autistic, he relates to the world around him in his own way, and, his classmates, his teachers had shown him tolerance for it, and allowed him to take his own time, not pushed him into socializing the “normal” way, and, we can only wish and hope, that this kid is going to be just as lucky and blessed, as he go through the rest of his life.