So I got jumpstarted back into researching schools. How that happened is kind of a funny story really, but it’s a good thing. My next steps are filing FAFSA and taking the GRE. I hadn’t even thought about needing to take the GRE, but I do, and it makes sense that I do. This is just all new to me (I wonder how many times I’ll be writing that line in the course of this journey!)
I stepped into a bit of a mine field with one school. I made the mistake of clicking on a Facebook ad that said something like “Want to get your master’s degree online?” Next thing I know I have all these sort of fishy “universities” calling me and hounding me to “enroll now, Enroll Now, ENROLL NOW!” Luckily, I talked to Jay last night and he helped me get my head back on straight (God love him for how many times he has helped me do that over and over again!). No 100% legit school has to recruit so aggressively and schools whose coursework is useful for becoming a BCBA will advertise themselves that way. The person who holds the valuable thing doesn’t have to find people…people find them.
Anyway, all of this did make me realize I need to get back in the game. And I have other good news on that front. Today is my first day volunteering with Early Childhood Services here in Grants Pass. I’m so excited! My 18 month old son and I will be joining a class of 2 and 3 year olds some of whom receive services and some of whom are “typically developing.” I’m learning this new language slowly but surely. There is no such thing as “normal,” and I agree with that. One of my good friends who has twin six year olds with autism helped me out with another potential faux pas the other day. She introduced me to the rule of putting the child before the disability. That is to say, you don’t refer to a student as an “autistic child” but rather a “child with autism.” That makes sense.
I’m sure to some people, all of these semantics would seem silly, but as an author and a lover of language, I respect it all. Words are our way of reaching out to each other. Words shape us and I’m sure every word shapes every child who hears it and it does all make a difference. I (along with every adult who seeks to help children with disabilities and children in general for that matter) am still learning what works best.