Accepting Affection: A Path with Children who Require Special Attention
May 10, 2024Written by Ms Prarthana Daniel ASIS - Chennai

In a world full of misunderstandings, where falsehoods cover up reality, there exists a realm of pure, unwavering love - the world of children with special needs. Being in charge of the Learning Support Department has allowed me to explore this realm, and what I found was more than I could have imagined.

As I sit down to share my experiences with you, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the privilege of being a part of “my children's” lives. Each day spent with them brings me closer to understanding the depths of love and resilience that exist within each one of them. When I first embarked on this journey, I had certain preconceived notions about what it would entail. I anticipated challenges, but what I didn't expect was the profound love and affection that these children would bestow upon me. It was a revelation that shattered any misconceptions I held about their ability to express emotions.

Initially, it was not easy to break through the barriers that separated us. They seemed lost in their own worlds, and I struggled to capture their attention. But, as time passed, something remarkable happened – I began to step into their world, not as an authority figure, but as a compassionate and nurturing presence. The transformation was gradual but deeply profound. I found myself becoming a maternal figure in their eyes, someone they looked up to with trust and affection. It was a role I embraced wholeheartedly, knowing that in their eyes, I was not just a teacher, but a source of comfort and security.

One of the most poignant moments for me was when they started reaching out to me, those tiny hands that once seemed distant and aloof now longed to hold mine, seeking reassurance and connection. And when they looked into my eyes, I could see the purest form of love shining back at me – a love that transcended words and barriers. These simple gestures spoke volumes about the bond we had forged, a bond built on trust, respect, and unconditional love. It was a testament to the power of empathy and understanding in breaking down walls and fostering genuine connections.

Every day spent with “my children” is a reminder of the beauty that lies in embracing differences and celebrating individuality. They have taught me invaluable lessons about patience, compassion, and the true meaning of unconditional love. Their fascination with my hair has become a cherished routine, with their delicate touch bringing moments of joy amidst the hustle of the day. I find myself happily readjusting my hairstyle, knowing that their curiosity stems from a place of affection and trust.

But it's their hugs that truly speak volumes. Each embrace is a testament to the safety and security they feel in my presence, wrapping me in a cocoon of warmth and love. In those moments, I am reminded of the profound impact I have on their lives. But perhaps what touches me most is when they call me "Prarthana Ma'am." In those precious moments, any stress or worry fades away, replaced by a profound sense of purpose and fulfilment. It's a reminder of the incredible privilege I have to be a part of their lives and to witness their growth and development each day.

I've become so deeply connected to “my children” that I find myself missing them even when they're absent from school for just a day. It's a testament to the profound impact they've had on my life and the depth of our bond. Their willingness to express their pain and seek reassurance from me is both humbling and overwhelming. There are moments when their vulnerability brings tears to my eyes, reminding me of the immense responsibility I carry in nurturing and supporting them.

They have taught me more than I could ever teach them, and for that, I am forever grateful.

Ms. Prarthana Daniel

Learning Support Coordinator

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