My favorite experience as an intern this summer was getting to know the many adults as well as children I had the opportunity to work with. When I first arrived, I will admit I felt a little out of place. While I had experience working with disabled children in the past, I was well out of my comfort zone doing this much harder job in a different country where everyone speaks a different language that I still have trouble understanding at times. Immediately upon first being introduced to the staff and children, I felt welcomed and included. People talked to me, asked me questions, and used their best English if something was unclear. Over time, I got to know the individual workers and children at the center and in the office. I saw how involved each worker was with each child, and how much this kind of attention helped the children learn and grow. I got to know many of the worker’s individual plans, aspirations, backgrounds and reasons for doing the job they do, many of which were truly inspiring.
As for the children, I learned some of each child’s small quirks, personalities, likes and dislikes, histories, as well as how to work with them. This taught me how even though two children may be diagnosed with the same disability, the best way to work with each of them may be entirely different.