Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2018 – Putting the Pieces Together: Logan and I

Name: Catherine Daniel
From: Deatsville, AL
Grade: 12th Grade
School: Holtville High School
Votes: 0

Putting
the Pieces Together: Logan and I

Autism
is a developmental disorder that affects thousands of families each
year. Autism affects executive function skills, social skills, and
communication abilities. There is no cure for autism, but there is
therapy. Occupational therapists help autistic children become the
best they can be, and that is why I want to become an occupational
therapist.

I
have had the amazing opportunity to volunteer with a nonverbal
autistic child: Logan. I have chosen to work with him because he is
such an amazing child and he is so fun to be around. I’ve been
working with Logan since August. Every day when he comes to school, I
help him transition into his school day for one hour. First, I help
him eat his Lucky Charms. Logan likes to eat his marshmallows first
and the cereal last, so I separate the two. Then after breakfast, we
color and cut out different coloring sheets before he goes to P.E.

My
biggest challenge working with Logan is when he comes into the
classroom upset. Whenever this happens, I play his favorite songs and
try to separate marshmallows as quickly as I can. My favorite part of
working with Logan is how much he has accepted me. At the beginning
of the school year, he did not like me very much. Now, he will give
me hugs and will sit by me. He has also begun to talk some. When he
is with me, his favorite word is “No!”

I
believe that my activities are definitely “forward looking.” To
look forward means to think about the future and what you want it to
be. I want the future to be full of possibilities for every child,
whether they have a learning disability or not. Working with autistic
children makes their future brighter, and increases their chances of
being productive. When I become an occupational therapist, if I am
only able to help one child, then my hard work and effort will be
rewarded.


Working
with children is an amazing opportunity, one that is often
overlooked. When I work with Logan, I hope to encourage him to break
down every barrier that is in his way. Many great thinkers have or
had autism, including Thomas Jefferson, Bill Gates, and Albert
Einstein. I want to show Logan and other children that anything is
possible if they try hard enough. I want to foster determination and
perseverance in a world that often lacks both.

I
believe that working with Logan has made a difference in his, and my,
life. He has grown so much over the last few months. He is tracing
and coloring neater and is starting to verbally communicate. I know
that Logan has the ability to overcome his challenges and reach his
full potential. If I am able to play some small role in helping him
to achieve his dreams, I will be forever proud of the time I spent
helping him.


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