The hospital area was surrounded by mountains of rubble as I arrived. Heavy machinery was throwing rocks about in such a cavalier fashion that I wondered whether it was one of the sheltered workshops getting some work experience. I know the gardeners are all "in-house"!
My students are starting to get a bit old, they are between 18 and 22, and occasionally they move on to adult institutions when places become available. So I wondered who would be left.
The news was good, the same groups, except the boy who makes a noise like a chainsaw had to stop doing music because his parents wanted him to do horse riding instead. Apparently he is very good at riding; and I have to admit, between ourselves, that a chainsaw can be wearing at times.
But I have a new student. I was surveying him with interest last year when he arrived at the school, because, although he is not verbal himself, he understands a lot of language and uses signs to communicate with great urgency. He is very curious about his environment and reacts to it with pleasure. There seems to be a lot going on in his head, although it is not always obvious what it is... And most importantly from my point of view, he clapped his hands in time with the music and danced in his seat during my lesson. It feels as though the year is off to a good start!
The head of service is retiring soon. I do hope that his replacement is able to keep the wonderful atmosphere that this school has created. We'll see...