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Special Needs

This week I starting my Adaptive Water Aerobics classes at Riverside Community College.  I am in love with these “kids”.  Most of these participants are mentally challenged with Down’s Syndrome, Autism and other mental issues that have make it hard for them to be “normal”.  What I see is a group of sweet adults that haven’t grown up and are fun, silly, hard working and sweet.

Much of my class this week felt like herding kittens, but with the aides help, I am learning how to speak to each one of them in their own special language.  Jason likes to have you say “do this” and he will imitate you.  Sadik wants you to watch him float.  Sarah wants to talk about boy bands and Kaylie wants you to hold her hand.  It is so rewarding to see them having fun and being happy.

When I watch them, it reminds me of the importance of being childlike and enjoying simple things in life.  Jolene and Jason love to swim in the water. They are like little fish in the water.  Why can’t we take the moments in our life and enjoy them like a child?  It’s raining tonight, you could go out and stand in the rain.  When you swim, pretend you are a dolphin. When you run, pretend you are a gazelle.

My lesson today-be childlike.

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