Life is Beautiful
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Life is Beautiful
I threw my hands into the air, fell back on Emily's bed, and covered my stressed eyes with the palms of my hands. Suddenly Emily turned out the lights and whispered "night-night" in a small voice as the door closed. She did it again. Just when I thought that I was the worst teacher in the world, torturing this sweet little girl with incomprehensible questions that she just wouldn't answer, she does something to show me that she does see me, she can hear me, and more importantly, she's responding to me. Sitting up, I think, "Oh Emily, I could just pick you up, hold you, and never make you work again. But you won't let me hold you. That is why we have to do this." Renewed, I was ready to start again.
Emily is a six-year-old with autism. I met her in 1996 through a baby-sitting job. This was the first time I had ever taken care of a person with a disability. Although I was a little afraid, I was excited that I would be able to do this. Emily's autism causes her to learn more slowly than other children. She doesn't communicate or respond to the outside world as most children do. It is a rare social and emotional developmental disorder. For Emily, simple tasks, such as focusing on an object or idea, become difficult, aggravating, and sometimes impossible. This makes it very hard for Emily to play a board game with her sister because she doesn't understand about rolling dice or moving the pieces.
A year after meeting Emily, her mother offered me another job through an organization called Respite. I would work exclusively with Emily to reinforce her communication and self-motivation skills, and in turn, help to take down the communication barrier. I would accomplish this by being both her friend and teacher: playing with her while prompting her to talk and respond.
I've been doing Respite work with Emily for three years and it has been an incredible experience. Of course there were times when I would talk to her and she would just not respond the way I wanted her to. These instances of frustration are always made up for by the times when she progresses so fast and I just have to hug her. Although I know that with her degree of autism she will never fully overcome her disabilities, it is exhilarating to see how she has improved.
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Little Girl Respond First Time Again Meeting Tasks Ready Rolling Closed Barrier
I have faith that someday she will be the one asking me the questions. She has learned so much and will learn so much more.
I have learned many things through the incredible experience of working with Emily, including understanding how to think of alternative ways to approach a problem, clearing up a misunderstanding, and gaining a solution. When Emily doesn't answer a question I ask, she may not understand what I am asking. If we are looking at a picture of people in a book, I know to ask, "Emily, what do you see?" Instead of "What are they doing?," because she doesn't yet understand "doing."
When I first met Emily I didn't realize the impact it would have on my life. I play only a small role in her life, because I don't see her every day and do not deal with everything her family, who are the true heroes, has to deal with. Yet her role in my life is immense, causing me to look at things very differently. Witnessing someone once labeled "helpless" suddenly "help" herself, I appreciate my whole life a little more. Those instances when this amazing little girl looks right into my eyes and smiles the most incredible smile, reveals that life is beautiful.
"Life Is Beautiful" La Vita E Bella
The three time Oscar winning film "Life is Beautiful", directed and produced by Roberto Benigni showed War through the eyes of an innocent boy. The film set in the vividly romantic country of Italy, shows the life of two star crossed characters that fall platonically in love from the first encounter. Guido a young man with a lust for life and a talent for coming face to face with an assortment of mishaps meets the enchanting Dora. The film's setting, characters, and the plot all unify to show the beauty of love, the power of passion and the instincts of every parent to protect their child from harm and hate. The film shows how truly beautiful life with love can be and how vile life can be without love.
The late 1930's Italy setting shows the typical everyday life in an Italy and the way people converse with each other. The film pulls you into the warm and charming sun soaked streets of Italy where the warm colors and the alluring characters lit up the screen with their charm and energetic comedy. Guido and Dora meet in a series of misfortunate events with side splitting laughter. The two undaunted characters develop an unspoken love which soon becomes palpable with the arrival of their young son Joshua. His and his child- like features and imagination are threatened by the Nazis and Hitler's attacks in Europe; and everyday creeping closer in reach of Italy. Each day new clues that aren't lucid come into view and each day the warm, wine sipping, passionate, Italia becomes a dark, tedious country with the clouds of racism and anti-Semitism rolling in over the sun.
As the humorist Guido, Joshua and the superlative Dora lead their care free lives, indulging their son with love and kindness, letting him grow and cherish his life, they try to ignore the subtle signs that would eventually lead to the total annihilation of the supple paradise they had come to know. Soon enough the affectionate setting and the lust for love diminishes as the family is separated and they travel to a concentration camp in Austria. The film's mood changes radically. The concentration camp's dark uninviting quarters wrapped in cement and dark brick give the setting a dead atmosphere, and an aura of hate and death. The Nazis and their harsh tongue give the camp a sense of authoritarian attitude.
Each character from Guido to Joshua to Dora gives the movie new life and new definition. Guido is shown as a man who has an aura about him that makes him hard to miss in a crowd and the jester of the movie. Guido's charm and his unfortunate series of mishaps throughout the movie show the viewers that even in the darkest hours of one's life humor can be a life saving gift, the sound of laughter can resurrect hope and love.
Joshua the young angelic boy, who in the eyes of the audience is the perfect example of the young...
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