During Joshua's years at the elementary school (here, here and here), he got in trouble a lot. Not bad trouble...just not following directions in his "regular" class.
I think it's Dr. Phil who says that every kid has their own "currency." Something that motivates them, something that matters to them...something they would not want taken away.
Joshua's currency was recess. He loved to play outside. I remember one of the first times I saw him playing outside...I had driven by the school during recess time and stopped like a stalker on the side of the road to watch him. If I did that today, my car would probably be surrounded by the SWAT team in minutes. And rightfully so...gotta keep the kids safe from the crazies.
But I would see him running around playing or swinging...and he was usually alone. It broke my heart that he didn't have any friends who would play with him. I would sit in the car and cry...and just plead with the Lord to send him some friends. But over time, I got to see that the other kids weren't necessarily excluding him...Joshua just liked to play alone. And he was perfectly content and happy to do so.
So, Joshua's motivation was to do the right thing in his "regular" class, and then he would get an afternoon recess. If he did not do well in his class, he had to stay inside with the teacher during recess and do WORK, and he would not be happy about that. AT ALL. And I would get a note about this nearly every day.
I really LOVED the days when I got the good notes.
Joshua's regular classroom teacher would write on a sticky note whether or not he had had a good day in her class...and she would send it with him as he walked to his special-ed class. He was supposed to give it to his special-ed teacher.
Well, Joshua wasn't born yesterday. He might have Down Syndrome...or just a "touch of it," but it didn't take him long to learn that most of the time...what was written on those sticky notes did not bode well for him having an afternoon recess. So, apparently, he started sticking the notes on the metal poles that held up the awning over the walkway...on the way from one of his classes to the next. Or on the walls, or on a random door or window. His teacher found them one day, after she noticed Joshua playing outside during his afternoon recess when he was supposed to be staying inside...10-15 sticky notes stuck on the poles and various other surfaces on the way. They said things like, "Joshua had a great day today!" (not many like that one!)...or "Joshua disobeyed in class. NO recess for him today."
Well, he showed them.
Until he was caught.
Oh, well...it was good while it lasted!
"...be sure your sin will find you out." Numbers 32:23