around this time last year we had the end of year christmas picnic at hamilton north school, where i was a relieving teacher aide for a while. 2009 was the first time i had any extended contact with intellectually disabled children, and i was coming to the end of that experience. it was almost gratifying to see the kids, most with ASD, just as messy and with an appetite for pizza and ice cream as any other kids i know. i started my time with the RDA (through which i later got work with the school) with much ‘pity’ for these children…i left with the very strong realisation that they needed no pity, just acceptance. and maybe, as all of us probably do, some patience.
conspirational aside: yes, the tree in the picture is *the party tree.