I got a job! Starting this Tuesday I'll be working at The Shape of Behavior. It's a school/day care for children with disorders in the Autism spectrum. I'll become an ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis*) trainer and work with the children on their language and functional skills, with a healthy dose of playing involved. I think I'm most excited about the fact that giving tickles is one of the accepted rewards that the child can choose to work towards during the day. I also get to wear jeans and a t-shirt to work every day. Wish me luck!
* The wikipedia page is under mediation and some of the comments on the "talk" page are pretty interesting. ABA is criticized because it teaches the children to state their needs or to stand up or to say "I love you" via rewards or lack of rewards even though the children may not actually mean or feel these things. Like any therapy, it has its problems, but it seems, from what I've read that parents see a greater difference with ABA and feel like their children are doing better when they use it. And if the family is happier and the child seems less frustrated, I say that's great.