Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The New Gig and Other Adventures

My new job is going great! After a day of signing initial paperwork and working on training modules, I was assigned to a classroom of 6th grade boys. They definitely have their moments, as is to be expected, however I really enjoy working with them and I feel driven to bring out their potential.

The one thing that helped me to establish a connection with the boys right away is my love of video games! Their eyes widened as I told them about some of my favorites. I was impressed by the fact that a few of them were familiar with some of the games from before their time, such as early Sonic (of course) and Spyro the Dragon as well as Crash Bandicoot. The teacher told me that she was glad to see that I had this in common with them, as she didn't know anything about video games, herself.

This has also been an interesting week, because only my second week into my new position, we had not one, but TWO snow days in a row! Even in Buffalo, that's a rare occasion. I've been relaxing and doing what I'm about to get into next, which is upgrade my Galaxy S7 Edge to Nougat!

I discovered yesterday that a Nougat ROM with root had been developed for my device. Happy day! :) It was finally time to flash the new stock system image, and then reroot. Using Odin, I flashed the image. Today, I flashed the engineered boot .tar file which then enabled me to flash Superuser over adb (Android Debugging Bridge). For those of you who aren't geeks, this all basically means that I plugged my phone into my computer and worked some magic by typing in commands ;) phone was rooted! I then downloaded the ROM and flashed it using Flashfire. I must say I'm absolutely LOVING it! It runs smoother than it did on Marshmallow, and is debloated, so it doesn't have many of the unnecessary system apps.

Tomorrow, it's back to work for me. After a couple days of relaxation, and a new operating system, I'll be all refreshed and ready to go! I'm looking forward to seeing the kids again and hearing about their snow days. Then I'm off again on Friday as it's a float day, lol! :P I'm also picking up an overnight back at the group home later that night, and I'll get to see my peeps after having been away for a couple weeks. I'm looking forward to seeing them, too :) I can mark this down as a great week!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A New Journey

As I think about what's to come, I have feelings of excitement. I'm about to begin a new journey. Tomorrow I start my position as a Teacher's Aide.

Reflecting on the past two years at the group home, I can say they have been great. I've gotten to meet a group of awesome peeps, both the residents and the staff. I'm thankful that I'm able to stay as on-call status so I don't have to leave for good, and I can still see everyone! I've already picked up a couple shifts for the month.

Tomorrow morning when I wake up, I'll be ready to embark on my new adventure. I can't wait to meet the kids I'll be working with! I don't know what the age group will be just yet, as I had indicated I am open to working with any age based on my experience. I am also looking forward to meeting my coworkers. You can probably tell that meeting new people has always been an exciting part of entering a new workplace for me.

The next step of my journey will be working towards my certification to become a Behavior Technician. I will be completing a 40-hour online course. I plan to begin chipping away at it early on, and to complete it in a timely manner. I feel driven to work to my fullest potential!

I can't believe this day is finally almost here. A new chapter awaits!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Dear Mom and Dad

Dear Mom and Dad,

Throughout my life, you have done so much for me. So much to support me, so much to help me, and so much to push me to be the best version of myself. For this, I thank you.

When I struggled with learning how to do things as a young child, you were always there to show me how. Whenever I've come across a problem, you've always given me the best advice on how to tackle it. Whenever I need to be kept in check, you're there to wake me up.

Looking back as an undiagnosed autistic, there are a couple things I wish you would have done differently. I wish the fact that I'm developmentally young for my age would have been embraced in my earlier years. I was asked to act in a way that didn't come naturally to me. I wish you would have realized that I wasn't like, and didn't have to be just like, my peers. That everyone develops at their own rate, and that that's ok.

I wish you'd have understood the fact that I take a little longer to process things. That rather than becoming angry or impatient with me, you'd have given me the time I needed to process instructions. That you'd have clarified them for me when I needed it.

Now let's get back to what I feel you've done RIGHT. The above items are the only two things that really stand out that I would have liked for you to have handled differently. There are a lot of things I have you to thank for!

Once I first suspected I was autistic, you had your reservations at first. You thought that there was nothing "wrong" with me (when, after all, autism isn't a defect at all, but rather a different operating system). However, you were willing to LISTEN. The more I researched, the more I saw traits in myself, and the more I educated you an autism and how it related to me, you began to understand.

Finally, when the time came to complete questionnaires for my assessment, you were there. You completed them to the best of your knowledge, about what I was like early on as well as in the present. After having submitted them to my psychologist and going through a series of interview-style appointments, I had my answer! I was indeed autistic. You helped me find the answers I so desperately sought.

While I may have been a bit misunderstood in my early life, you still stuck by my side. You may have not known why I was a little different from my peers, yet you still encouraged me to succeed. To this day, you always help me when I need it. You now realize that I'm taking life at my own pace, and you let me live it on my terms - not society's. You no longer push me to act differently from how I feel - you let me be ME. When I'm confused or misunderstand instructions, you no longer become frustrated with me, but rather recognize that I just need a little time to process.

What you might not realize is that these things are HUGE to me. I can't express enough how thankful I am that you've taken the time to understand me. I can be myself and not feel like I'm doing anything wrong. I can be true to myself. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!


Sue :)