Yesterday we celebrated the graduation of one of Kaitlin's friends from High School. WTG class of 2012!
What was so special about this celebration was that it was a gathering of teachers, parents, and friends who had all started out together in preschool/kindergarten. The graduate himself requested this. Yes, he has Autism, but let me assure you that is just an aside, because having Autism has never once gotten in his way of achieving any dream or goal. So the goal for this gathering was a reunion of sorts and thankfully all the pieces fell into place. Oh, guess what...you know all those stories about individuals with Autism not being social? Umm, well, I think if you had been with us yesterday you would have seen those stories completely dispelled! In fact it may not have been much different from any other gathering you might have peeked in on. I take that back, it would have been a lot more fun and you would have felt much more comfortable. Here are some snippets of conversation you would have heard...
- “Miss Kat can you do those windshield wipers like you used to do in bus loop when we were little?”
- “Can you believe we both used to wear Harry Potter glasses?”
- “Oh no, Miss Laurie and Miss Carolyn didn't just take us on a train. We went all the way to Rocky Mount!”
- “Don't worry *****, he is on his way. I just spoke with his dad and they are almost here.” Said in response to a non-verbal individual who was communicating that he wanted to see another guest really bad.
- “I am taking classes at Wake Tech and looking for a job. Your job sounds nice.”
- “Make sure everyone gets some cake now and I will share my lemonade too”
- “I graduate next year. I am going to have a party like this too, okay?”
I could go on and on, but my point is that this group of young men and women socialized together and enjoyed each others company yesterday in a way that was so typical, yet they had to work so hard to get to that point. The teachers that started this are to be applauded for all the hard work they put into these young people. Most of these young people had very little language in preschool/kindergarten and with a lot of patience, structure, and love these teachers taught these kids communication, manners, self-advocacy and more. Yep, all that in kindergarten! All with shapes, stories, songs, snacks, dances, and playground time!
What you learn in kindergarten makes a HUGE difference, so make it count!!
|June 9th 2012|