A few days ago I was lucky enough to be able to attend a conference held jointly by the Asperger-TEA Association of Camp de Tarragona Aspercamp, together with the Associació Altes Capacitats Athena. The talk was part of the program of the Faculty of Sciences of Education and Psychology. Listening to the professionals in these sections fascinated me, but listening to the four testimonies, three adolescents and one adult, explaining their personal experiences, living with high abilities or with Asperger’s, captivated me.
I think that when you hear something that touches your heart and moves your soul, you can’t let it go. Now is the time to take action. I accept that there are sufferings that come without you looking for them, regardless of how old you are. I cannot accept the suffering that is ignored, and even less so the suffering of children or adolescents, who still do not have the tools to face them.
Emotions go with us everywhere, and they do not always manifest themselves in the way we want, I wish we worked as children, to know how to greet them, place them in the place they belong, and continue advancing
I am not going to go into the issue of inclusion, in decrees when there is not enough training or resources, in the cuts in the hours of watchmen, or in theories that do not coincide with practice. But I would like to say that the other day the testimonies spoke of his real life. It was from their hearts that they answered the question, if you could tell future teachers one thing, what would it be? Among several things, a corner of calm was requested, a place to go when you feel overwhelmed, scared, angry, misunderstood… A space where you can recompose yourself, adjust your breathing to be able to move forward. Emotions go with us everywhere, and they do not always manifest themselves in the way we want, I wish we worked as children, to know how to greet them, place them in the right place, and continue advancing. There are students who do not have it easy at all, and in their educational stage they spend many hours of their lives.
I don’t like it when the figure of the teacher is presented as if we were the ones who do the most work in the world, just as I don’t like it when we are judged based on summer vacations. What I do think should be clear is that we have the great fortune and responsibility of sharing with families the education of their children over a period of time. We are not here to judge, or to label, both when there is no diagnosis, and when there is. If a child or adolescent is branded as lazy, as weird, as not paying attention, as having everything, and suddenly finds himself with a diagnosis… can he go back in time and live that educational life according to the need? what’s wrong with it? I don’t need to tell you the answer.
Years ago there was an advertisement that ended with the phrase: “It’s not what I have, it’s what I am.” I wish we would make it our own… I know it is not easy in classes with large ratios, and many times with ignorance of various aspects. But if you look at the person before the student, even if you don’t have resources, or specific training, if you really look at him, from the heart, what you can do is accompany him in the moment of life that he is. I believe that this is the way for him to feel seen, heard and therefore loved, taking into account that this extends to their respective families.
It is not easy, and it involves personal wear and tear that is often ignored. That is why the corner of calm, I think it should exist for anyone, and if it does not exist physically, we should manage to have it inside us.