The #FF has inspired me to offer (this week’s) top five reasons I love, laugh, and learn at my job. I hope you can say the same.
1. During a discussion about the merits of “appeasing” in a group of middle school boys with Asperger’s, Matt says, “I know what you’re talking about now. It’s like when Paul [other group member seated, it just so happens, right next to Matt] talks about Dungeons and Dragons, and you say, ‘uhuh’.” Right on, Matt, for a timely and pertinent — if awkward — illustration.
2. “It’s more socially acceptable to say, ‘You’re retarded’ than ‘You’re a f$!*ing idiot’.” So, sad, Henry, but so, true.
3. Miracle Worker of the Week: Halloween Peeps. Josh, you started a revolution when you came into group and asked, “Can we talk about Peeps?” Most of the boys were surprised to hear you talk directly to them about a [delicious treat] they had never had. The PeepsHunt transpired, and I think he’s created a monster!
4. Who would have thought a 67-year-old half dollar coin would be so formative? In discussing peers who are “nice” and “not-so-nice” at the same time, Tim said, “It’s like Two-Face. You know, he flips that coin to decide how he is going to behave. But, I don’t see kids at school do that.” Ironically, I had my very own Two-Face coin at the office to keep me from spending it (it’s an old heirloom and I’m not a fan of nick-knacks), and we flipped that coin more times than I’ve flipped my mattress as we tried to understand peers who can’t decide to be nice or mean.
5. I told a group of nineteen-year-old boys with AS about a study I had read about the employment woes of individuals with AS. My intent — which never plays out, mind you — was to start a frank discussion about their short-term and long-term plans related to school and finding a job. Instead, I ignited a firestorm about AS-unfriendly work places, when and if to disclose a diagnosis, and how to appropriately handle work place harassment and maltreatment. The conversation was heated but productive, especially with regard to handling issues at work. John passionately said, “I can’t decide if I should be like Jackie Robinson and respond to hatred with respect and dignity, or if I should pull a Stokley Carmichael and make it be known that I won’t tolerate such disrespect.” After a brief history of both men (have to love the Aspie facts), Will said, “You represent us all, whichever direction you choose.”