Female 30+ 288 words. SYDNEY "Throw the Me Ball”. From GoBoom!

By Paul Pasulka

I studied acting in high school and college. I liked it, but I guess I’m more practical than that. I thought about law, teaching. But while I was in graduate school I was working in children’s theatre. I saw a lot of kids stumbling their way toward adulthood, without much sensible guidance. I found out I was doing more of that – guiding –  than teaching and directing. Fortunately, the department let me take a Master’s in Counseling as part of my Ph.D. My first practicum was in a school for autistic kids. Initially, it was just horrible. My first supervisor was by the book. Work with language, you know? You tell an autistic kid, “Johnny, say ‘Throw me the ball.’” And the kid holds out his arms and say, “Throw the me ball.” According to my supervisor I was not to throw the ball unless he got the correct grammatical structure. He didn’t, and went back to flapping his arms. Soon it was like I didn’t even exist anymore.

I was actually thinking about dropping out. Figured I had no skills. Thank God the  story doesn’t end that way. I got a new supervisor. She said, and I quote, “Who the fuck told you to do that. You’re not paying attention to what he wants.” So I said, “To flap his arms?” “Exactly.” She said, “Do whatever it takes to get him to get him out of his shell. The ‘whatever’ is the McGuffin. You can give him grammar lessons out the ying-yang” – she actually said that – “after he sees you’ve got something he wants. And that something is you.”