One day after picking up my student, I was asked to take an extra wheelchair into a classroom. I let my student push it which he thought was fun. When we got back to the seminary, he sat down in the doorway and had a tantrum, kicking and screaming. I had no idea why. I tried everything to get him to stop but he wouldn’t. Brother Weaver came out of his office and asked what was going on and I explained. It took both of us to finally quiet him down. I never did understand the cause of his meltdown. I love this student. He’s usually well-behaved, but I guess we all have our “off” days. He was probably frustrated that we couldn’t understand what he wanted. I try every day to show my students that I love them. That’s the most important part of my job.
One of the highlights of my mission is that I’m learning to look beyond my students’ disabilities and see who they really are, as children of God. Some of them can’t speak or walk. Some talk too much or to the wall, others fall asleep in class and can’t respond to the lesson. But they are pure spirits. When I first started my mission, Brother Weaver told me that most of these students can understand more than it shows. I think even when they don’t look like they are getting anything out of the lesson, they really do understand some things. But even when they can’t understand anything, they can feel the Spirit. That’s why seminary is important for these youth who have severe disabilities.