I vividly remember the children who taught me that though the body may be imperfect the mind is still active and can be full of mischief. In the 1980’s I started working in an integrated day care at a children’s hospital. The day care had three separate programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. There were more children with challenges than children without challenges. My experience up to this point was working with typical children. The new experience of interacting with children with diverse abilities was an eye-opener and I learned how much actually goes on in the children’s minds.

One boy captured my heart and tickled my funny bone. Barry was four years old, although with delayed physical development he was more the size of a two-year-old. He had limited physical control and no verbal skills. One day I was on a mat with him, working on stretching his legs, when I found him stiffening his legs rather than flowing with me. This was unusual, and I suddenly thought, He’s teasing me! I looked at his face and asked, “Hey, Barry are you teasing me?” His eyes and face lit up. I could almost hear the laughter in his eyes! What a wonderful awakening for me and what an amazing connection.