No, I don’t mean people who are non-verbal due to disability.
I’m talking about me with my jaw on the floor, gobsmacked as my Brit friends say, verklempt.
A friend sent me this news coverage of a Gary Indiana school (well, at least a teacher therein) that gave a student with autism a year-end award as BAILEY PREPARATORY ACADEMY 2018-2019 MOST ANNOYING MALE.
Given the reality of fake news (uhhh, does that make sense?) and a recent distortion of euthanasia news from the Netherlands, I wondered if this Indiana story was true. As far as I’ve been able to discover, it really happened.
From the story,
He [dad Rick Castejon] said that his son is nonverbal, occasionally rocks back and forth and can become easily emotional. Teachers often call with concerns about how to handle his son’s behavior, the father said.
“They called me all the time if he didn’t want to work, would cry or would have a breakdown,” Castejon told the newspaper. “A special needs education teacher should know how to handle these things.”
You would think. As was I by reading the story, the dad was stunned by the – uh – gesture, and just wanted to walk away from it,
Castejon said he didn’t want to create a scene and tried to leave the award on the table at the end of the lunch, but his son’s teacher reminded him to take it with him.
There are all kinds of directions in which to run with a story like this, but I’ll just stick to the care giving focus of this blog:
Caregivers are blessed, by and large, with well meaning professionals in education, medicine and other fields. But at the end of the day, we remain the primary caregivers and best advocates for those in our care. Even when words fail us, and we just want to scoop them up and carry them from hurts.
And, thankfully, some hurts don’t reach them. It’s unlikely that Mr. Castejon’s son understood the “award.”
But his dad, his caregiver, felt the hurt. That’s some of what we do.
And it stinks. But like anything else, it can be sacred work,
Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. (1 Peter 3:9)
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)