I've been thinking a lot about inclusion - and I've got a little anecdote to share.
First off, I have to say that I'm usually overly aware that others may have questions and concerns about Aidan. They may not understand that he is such a capable little boy, and that in many ways he just seems younger than he is. So, the small story I'm about to share rather surprised me - mostly because I temporarily forgot . . .
Since moving to the Island, we've met a lot of wonderful people. Actually, we've met wonderful people wherever we've lived. But, since having Aidan, it's interesting to see who opens up conversations with us and who doesn't. Old women in the grocery store come up to Aidan to touch his cheek, or pat his hair, or just smile at him and listen to his talk. We've had positive receptions everywhere we go.
Before Christmas, Aidan was accepted into a daycare for one day a week. I'm not working right now, but I wanted to get a foot in the door at a good daycare for when I do go back to work. I also thought it would be great for Aidan to be with kids his developmental age, as he's usually with the older boys and their friends. Anyhow, we got funding permission to have an aide hired to work one-on-one with Aidan, but the daycare hasn't been able to find a worker for the one day. We were told he would have to have a worker in place first, so we have yet to start there.
Fast forward to 5 weeks ago. I started going to a gym 2 - 3 days a week. They have a little drop-in child minding room (and I do mean little - I think it was a broom closet!) During my first workout, I walked Aidan down the hall to the child minding room, and it struck me that I'd just assumed it would be okay to drop him off. I looked at him. What if the worker thinks an assistant is needed? I'd not even thought to check first! I walked down the hallway rather disappointed in myself for my lack of planning.
I got to the room and met the very young woman (fresh out of high school) who works there. As soon as she met Aidan, she welcomed him. I asked if she was "okay" working with Aidan - to which she said, "Oh yeah, I used to babysit a little girl with Down syndrome. No problem."
Big sigh of relief. Laura is wonderful with Aidan. He is always happy to see her, and loves the little room and all the toys. Mostly he talks on his hand phone, but at least he's happy. Laura has no idea how grateful I am. Truly. I couldn't believe my assumption, and I really couldn't believe my luck at having found such an open-minded young woman to work with my sweet son.
1 week ago