Essay about Observe Abilityfirst

Submitted By jt1014
Words: 1086
Pages: 5

Julianne Towle 11/26/12
Rec 351: Observation Paper; AbilityFirst I chose to volunteer at AbilityFirst in Long Beach. They offer programs for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Amongst these include: autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and epilepsy. While I was there, I mainly worked with young kids whom varied in the conditions they had. Many were autistic, a couple with Down syndrome, one with cerebral palsy, and I believed some to have epilepsy as well. Only one I noticed to be in a wheel chair and couple with walkers. Beings I was there from 1:30-6:30 PM, I was around younger kids ranging from 5 to their early teens. Mornings and early in the day is when the adults come in. The center provides multiple activities for the kids and is a very welcoming environment. The day I went we started off hanging out and watching TV. Then we were able to take the kids outside and play. They have a nice playground there and different kinds of bikes and scooters surrounding it. I played with a girl named Kendall majority of the time. She had a pretty severe case of autism and was difficult to transition from activity to activity. All of the therapists seemed to work one on one with each child while observing them as a whole as well. Since some of the kids were so young, they required a greater amount of attention than others. The therapists were persistent with the kids, yet very calm-mannered. I recognized that as being a positive technique in working with these kids. I went up and down the slide with the kids a lot to make sure they were safe and stayed focused on the activity. I found at times they would start climbing up the stairs, but then stop for long periods of time. This I solved by grabbing their hand and continuing to encourage them to move. We also played a simple game of “chase” around the playground with a couple of the young boys. The therapists changed many of their diapers and I helped wash their hands one at a time. Every day the center provides different types of activities. Some of them the therapists told me about included: cooking, pool days, computer activities, movies, field trips, weight room, and many more. On the day I volunteered, Monday, we had computer activities and weight room. Before entering the computer room they had snack time with soup. While on the computers, the kids had free reign to watch music videos, cartoons on YouTube, or play simple games. We then entered over to the weight room. Here the kids can exercise or just hang out. It seemed a bit unmanageable but it was a nice environment for them to play around with the equipment. The therapist supervised as well as maneuvered the kids around the room. Many of the young kids had difficulty walking, or simply needed assistance. They often would get into things they shouldn’t such as phones, television, and misuse the treadmill. The therapists and I kept an eye on each one to make sure they were cooperating. I really enjoyed the facility and its clients. It seems to be a very challenging job for the therapists due to the wide range of disabilities present. Having to carry the kids and help them walk, while dealing with other kids’ behavior problems can be very stressful. One of the kids was on timeout 3 times in the same period of time I was there. He got a rise out of talking back, cussing, and disobeying the therapists. The third time he was on time-out, he deliberately peed his pants. The therapists explained to me this was a common thing for him to do and he knows better not to. They then made him clean it up himself as best he could. Thinking back to my childhood, I can relate to some of them in the way they reacted to rules. I remember causing fits or deliberately doing something I knew was wrong, simply for the attention. I believe it’s a