Emma’s Fostering Blog
Last week a letter came through the door – It had Dan’s name on it, he was very excited, I watched him open the letter and reading out aloud, announced he had won an award, he had the biggest smile, it was amazing as this is the first time he has achieved something as big as this.
Of course what he didn’t know is that I had to make the effort for him to be considered for an award because accomplishments such as this don’t often come as easily as they do for other children as Dan has autism. He looks like any other teenager, but he sometimes behaves oddly – for example, for his age – he is emotionally young, he flaps his arms or rocks his body. I am very aware that he can sometimes be forgotten or ignored in the daily life of a busy classroom with more able students….
We have a home-school communication book it’s an important method of sharing and entries are made daily, I use this to note his wider achievements by recognizing and celebrating with him small everyday successes and we can reinforce resilience and self-esteem. Other parents might take for granted the ability to communicate, ride a bike, swim or make friends, but this is a milestone for him, as every day we struggle to help him with his social skills and friendships. It’s important that he can participate like other kids and we don’t take the little things for granted, so this makes the smallest step a time for celebration.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that Dan found books boring and every time I picked up a book he would get angry and refuse to read, I soon learnt that he struggled; guessing at words and his vocabulary had not properly developed. We joined a paired reading group, slowly he began to engage with us and is now a strong reader.
Sat morning he was up, crack of dawn and could not contain his excitement, with his smart shirt trousers and his trendy haircut, off we went. When they called his name to come up to collect his award for tremendous effort with his reading at School, my heart melted, it brought tears to my eyes this same little boy a year ago would have not been in the right place to have managed this. He looked so proud holding his certificate and smiling for the camera. On the way home in the car he asked if he could show this at School next day and it was the first thing he showed his Social worker when she visited. I am a strong believer that by just believing in kids and supporting them, even with special needs they can have happy and rewarding life.
My thoughts are – Having a child with a disability or Special needs does not stop them from having a full and enjoyable life.
Emma – A Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!
Foster Carer Blog.