This has been one heck of a year! I spent last semester student teaching two preschool classrooms- an AM toddler class and a PM class of children with special needs.
This semester I am interning at Cornerstone Autism Center (http://cornerstoneautismcenter.com/west-lafayette/) and am LOVING it! Each day I wake up at the same time (definitely a change from the typical college schedule) and go to work, but I am not really us I can call it work seeing as how much fun it is. At Cornerstone I work with children who are on the autism spectrum one-on-one on a variety of goals and tasks. We do applied behavioral analysis therapy or ABA therapy with the children; the children work on a range of skills such as social, motor, language and communication, and of course behavioral skills. The first week of the internship was intensive training in ABA and shadowing and the following week I was floating around the center and on the floor doing therapy with my own child! It is difficult to compare it to be experience student teaching last semester because rather than 14 children I am focusing on one child. So far I have loved both settings, but I am especially appreciative of this semester because I can see the need that there is for the one-on-one work as well as the great benefits that come with it. So far in the past 4-5 weeks that I have been with my child I have seen AMAZING growth and improvements! It makes me feel so good to know that I can make such a difference in a child’s life. I know that whether it is in an inclusive classroom setting or an intensive one-on-one therapy setting that I am going love working with children for the rest of my life!
— Christina Citta, Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs