Today R's lesson involved reading and following a recipe (moon cakes for Chinese New Year). She did fine reading the recipe before we made it, but during the action I asked her to read the last step before our time was up. Instead of "refrigerate," she said, "Ree...regurgitate for half an hour." And no, in spite of my cooking history, it's not because I made them! She did almost all the work, and what little part I helped with I messed up of course, but hopefully no one will notice...what's an extra egg? They're supposed to be that sticky.
At some point during the mixing R. asked me why I wasn't helping her, and I said, "It's like Driver's Ed. - I have a brake pedal, but I don't have a steering wheel." (Her mom told her what I meant.) I was pretty proud of myself for that one, although the truth is I probably heard or read that somewhere but don't remember doing so, so I'm taking the credit. One of the many benefits of memory loss. I can't remember the others. But until last night with N. and today with R. I hadn't seen so clearly the benefits of my previous training and experience. When you have students with severe/multiple disabilities, you learn to wait a llllllooooooooooooooonnnggg time for them to do something. But if you've taught the material, and the kid gets it, getting out of the way and letting the kids figure things out for themselves (unless they're about to burn the house down or something) is amazing. Last night N. took a long time to sound out a word, and when he got it the moment was indescribable.