Consider for a moment that the school system paid someone to be with you— supporting you 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Now, imagine that you had no say over who that support person was or how she or he supported you. Or imagine that someone regularly stopped into your place of employment to provide you with one-on-one sup- port. This person was present for all your interactions, escorted you to the restroom, and at times supported you by touching your back or shoulder or by manipulating your hands, head, or other parts of your body. This support person might also give you oral direc- tions for upcoming tasks.
- Would you become more independent or more dependent?
- How would this support change your relationships with your peers?
- Would you notice a loss of privacy or freedom?
- Would this person’s presence affect your creativity?
- At times, would you feel self-conscious about having someone sup- porting you?
- What if you asked him or her to move away from you and he or she did not?
- What would happen if you did not want him or her to touch you?
- What would you do?
- Do you think that you might develop negative behaviors? Now consider how your presence affects the students whom you support.
Now consider how your presence affects the students whom you support.