This week marks a big milestone for our boy. He starts kindergarten and will be in a typical class. I can’t think about this upcoming week without getting incredibly teary eyed. I find it odd since he has already been in school, full-time, for two years, and for a year before that he was in intensive therapy as well. Three years he’s worked with therapists and teachers. Three years he has learned the basics from how to chew and swallow to sitting
still relatively still during classes.
At Giant Steps we saw just that. GIANT STEPS. The little boy who went through testing to get into that program two years ago is gone, and an amazing little guy with unlimited potential and confidence has shown up in his place. Amazing teachers, therapists and aids held his hand and taught him diligently for the past few years and so I can only imagine they are almost as proud as we are! At three years old I honestly never thought he would live away from home. Neurologists said because of his brain damage he would hit walls with his speech, maybe being stunted with his communication his entire life. Well he must have hit them so hard they shattered. They said he might never be able to do simple things like button his own buttons or tie his shoes. The buttons just started to happen this year and I foresee those shoelaces getting conquered very soon. He has taught me one very important lesson:
Never underestimate him, there are no limits to the ways he has, does and will shock and amaze those around him.
Days can still be hard, and I know we still have a lot of road ahead of us…. but I am so proud of all the work he has done already to get to where he is. He will be in class with other kids who may be attending school for the first time ever and even with the years of classes behind him, this is also a new thing for us. More students, fewer teachers and shorter days could present challenges for him, but he’s already shown us what he can do and I am excited for all the new learning opportunities he is going to have.
Some of you may have heard this but it’s a good example of one of his strengths.
At his Kindergarten assessment the other day the teacher asked him to count as high as he could go. Around 80 I told her, from across the room, that he would just keep going. She sweetly said she wanted him to go as high as he could and that one kid even went to 200 that day. I chuckled and said okay, turning back to the forms I was filling out.
Soon I heard this:
“150, 151, 152, 153….” Deeds counted, slowing down to a stop. He had his face up to the ceiling and was obviously concentrating very hard on something. The teacher interrupted his thoughts and said “That’s okay if you need to stop. Is that as high as you can go JD?”
“Well, if I keep going to 999 then it’s 1000 next, then it’s 1001, 1002…” he quickly replied before getting interrupted by the teacher. She was laughing as she said, “Okay, well thank you. That’s probably good enough JD.”
I wondered if I should have pointed out that he could get to 200 counting by 2’s. In the end I decided that maybe with Deeds it’s best she learn by him just doing things.
We sure love our little guy and can’t wait for him to embark on this new adventure. We’re rooting for him and know he can handle whatever life throws his way.