It feels somewhat bittersweet that my time with this student is over. I saw this student overcome the fear of this unknown world called 'school' through a journey of highs and lows. The student started school not wanting to try new things and was displaying a lot of difficult behaviours in protest. Yet, with time and consistent effort, this student now excitedly comes to school with a bright smile on their face—sometimes, not wanting to leave home time!
This student has taught me how to be empathetic and patient towards those with cognitive disabilities, specifically ASD, in addition to many other skills that have allowed me to problem solve under pressure, clearly communicate with others, and establish genuine personal connections. This has also solidified my passion for children, as well as child growth and development. I want to pursue a career that involves working with children or youth, and one that allows me to have a connection as their one-to-one support.
Connection to Academic Studies or Career Goals
Many of the principles behind this student’s ABA program have sparked my interest in behavioural neuroscience and psychological theories. In terms of career goals, I can see how this experience could lead one into the field of occupational therapy, physiotherapy, or behavioural therapy.
Advice for Future Students
Even if you do not meet all the requirements, submit that application! Ask lots of questions for clarification, and have an open mindset to try new things. Also, do not be afraid to ask for help or additional support. Establishing a support system at work can be a great way to avoid burnout, enrich the Co-op experience, and create long-lasting professional relationships.