An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

Learning New Skills

Digital CameraThe kind people who have been routinely showing up to help shovel us out of the snow this winter were here again the other day when the major storm hit.  We caught them in action this time and David immediately rushed out to go join them.  Anything for a chance to use his shovel. lol 🙂  Pretty soon, Joshua joined him and two little boys were eagerly throwing snow around as they “helped” the kind strangers.

The strangers turned out to be the Pastor of the church across the street and his family.  He truly has a heart of gold too.  When he saw how badly David wanted to help (and how much he didn’t really know how to do so lol) he took the time to teach some simple shoveling techniques that David could do himself.  David was so proud of himself when he started seeing the path before him actually start clearing.  The best part though was when David’s excitement and impulsivity got the best of him and his new skills went out the window.

Digital CameraDavid started going back to just swinging the shovel around and tossing the snow in every direction but the one it should go in.  He accidentally got the pastor in the legs a few times and repeatedly threw snow back in his face (David was ahead) and over his feet.  I say this is the best part not because of what David was doing, but rather because of the way the pastor chose to respond.  The man heard me trying to coach David and help him focus, he could see that David was special needs and truly wasn’t doing any of it on purpose, and he could see David’s pure excitement at being included and being “helpful”.  So he told David “great job”, moved in front of David and increased the distance between them by a few steps to avoid the flying snow and wayward shovel, and smiled genuinely everytime David looked back for affirmation that he was doing a good job.  What a sweet man. ❤

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