She looked for all the world like one of my young clients from last year. She spun in the chair, lifting her feet as it twirled, and grinned from ear to ear as she told me about her report card. But, instead of the gap toothed smile of a 5 year old, this was the full blown smile of a 10th grade girl.
I had some reservations moving into this year of my practicum placement. My prior experience has been primarily with elementary aged kids, and the oldest client I had ever had was 13 years old. I place a high value on early intervention, on preventing problems and finding those who need help early on to ensure the best possible outcomes. I was concerned that I would not enjoy working with older students, that I would miss the motivation of early intervention, and that I would be in over my head with their social dramas. So far, while I do miss the little ones, I am surprised by how much similarities there are across the age range, and about the added bonus of working with clients who are looking to their futures.
I have attended many meetings where there have been clients “graduating” from their IEPs, have talked about scholarship eligibility, and planned for attending college or taking a year off. It has been fun to see clients participate in their own meetings, and create a vision statement for what they would like to have in the upcoming years.
I do still miss the games of Go Fish and Poptropica. But I will certainly enjoy my year of Skyrim and Cheerleading.