Àfrica López

Àfrica López

My name is Africa and I am the special education teacher who worked with Àlex during the courses 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010 in the ordinary school where he used to go.

During these courses I must say that Àlex’s career underwent important changes.

Àlex was a special student who required specific support and attention. He was a boy with distinctive features, which I’d like to emphasize some: difficulty in focusing his look on another, stereotyped movements, an excessive and uncontrollable motor activity, difficulty in communication, but overall, his disconnection of the world stood out.

Although these characteristics, Àlex’s process to a diagnostic was long and complicated. At home as well as in the school, Àlex’s differential treats and his difficulties to connect himself from the reality were perceived. His family took many steps with several centres and professionals but they didn’t get a specific diagnostic that guided them to help their son. Finally, they reached it by being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and then, slowly, all the professionals that were working with Àlex were able to help him in a better way. I would like to point out the change that took place in Àlex once he started taking his medication: after that, he was more capable to make connections and his motor activity level decreased, having more auto-control. Thus, the student was more predisposed to learn.

From the school, my side, teachers who worked with Àlex focused our educational tasks on working specially the connection between the student and his environment (with himself, with the objects and with the other people). Thereby, teachers did an intense work of language, attention, educative routines and functional basic curriculum contents.

In a methodological and organizational level, it should be noticed that it was very important to establish a benchmark for Àlex in order to give him security. The references during those years were the head teacher and the special education teacher.

Likewise, an exclusive time and space were offered daily to the student. It was a time when Àlex could express and manifest his emotions and concerns completely free.

The environment was very structured and it was operated on a visual schedule in order to help Àlex arrange daily routines such as language time, playground time, music session… and give him security and confidence.

During these school years, helped by this educational work and also with support from other areas, Àlex was developing positively. Slowly, he became more capable to do little connections with his environment, his language was not so echolalic and he began to use it like a tool to make demands and express emotions. He was also able to understand basic curricular contents worked in an experiential and functional way.

In general terms, this was the itinerary that I shared with Àlex. A road full of uncertainties, changes, efforts and perseverance but, above all, a road full of excitement and learning.

Àfrica López i Julià
Special Education Teacher
January 18th, 2013

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