Several years ago, I was in my school hallway on the way to my mailbox, and noticed a young elementary child walk past a new student. This new student had Autism and was engaging in self-stimulatory behavior as he moved along the hallway. The younger child appeared confused, worried and concerned for the student with Autism .
My school had just created a self-contained class for students with disabilities. Because this was early October, it was early enough in the school year that for many of our students, this type of behavior was their first exposure to students with Autism and other disabilities.
My perplexed student watched as the stimming continued. She later approached me and asked, “What’s wrong with the boy who was screaming in the hallway? Is he okay?” Her question was so enlightening to me in many different ways. For starters, the child was genuinely concerned about the student and didn’t seem to have any idea what Autism was.