Declan Gives Thanks

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“Okay, Declan,” I said and put the large feather on the table, “What are you thankful for?”


“Yes, at Thanksgiving we think about the things we are thankful for.  What are the things you are thankful for?”


I put the large feather to the side and pulled out the next page of homework.  We would work on the feather later.

The Feather of Thanks

When assignments come home I look at the project to determine how I can get Declan to do as much as possible.  Like most kids, he is not a fan of homework.  And he does not have an attention span to sit long enough to focus on something without someone beside him, talking him through each step.

And for projects like The Feather of Thanks, we have to help Declan think about things in different ways.

So with my husband and I coaxing and asking different questions,

“What makes you really happy?”

“What makes you feel good?”

“What do you like?”

“What do you like to do?”

We were able to complete Declan’s Feather of Thanks.

This Thanksgiving, Declan is thankful for (in order):




The Birth of Jesus –

(Declan’s special education teacher read Declan a story of Christmas about the birth of Jesus.  I do not mind that she read him this story – but for the past 2-3 weeks Declan has been very focused on just the BIRTH of Jesus and churches).



Declan will be eating his favorite container of macaroni and cheese, but will be with family, so he is super excited.




His dog, Molly






His X-Box


Drinks and water



We let Declan know, that these things – the things that he loves, the things that make him happy, the the things that make him feel good, the things he likes to do – these are the things he is grateful to have in his life.  These are the things he is thankful for.

I collected the pictures and cut them out.  Declan got his glue stick and put the pictures on his feather to turn in for his Feather of Thanks project.  It went on display with all of the other Kindergartener’s feathers in their classroom hallway and was returned to us yesterday.  Tomorrow, on Thanksgiving we will look at Declan’s feather again.  And give thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving!


17 thoughts on “Declan Gives Thanks

  1. That’s just beautiful. I know that it can take hours for autistic children to grasp things, and even then you never know if they have. It’s great that he has so many things to be Thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

  2. It all just keeps getting better. Do you ever read your blog? Sometimes I’ll read mine. I’ll drop back a couple of years and be shocked at how far I’ve come. Even when I’m not particularly well, I’m still way better than I was. When Sophie was little, she was obsessed with all things Jesus & Mary. She had a “Christmas Story” book. Instead of reading it to her, I’d sing it to the tune of the Beverly Hillbillies. Tonight I’m thankful that you’ve brought back that memory.

    1. That’s wonderful! I am glad to have brought back such a neat memory. Thank you! That is kind – I do look back sometimes too. There are some posts I want to delete because I stumble on my point so badly – but I let them ride (although I shudder when I see that someone read them 🙂 ). Hope you had a great Thanksgiving 🙂

    1. I don’t know if he really got the exercise (and we may have asked the wrong question first 🙂 ) But hey – glad we got the list! Thank you! I remember you saying you weren’t celebrating today – but I hope the day and the week have been okay. Thinking of you! Hugs!! 🙂

  3. We never did anything like that when I was in Kindergarten! Most of my classmates were still struggling with learning to be quiet while in class. Glad the one teacher did not fear the separation of Church and state by sharing the birth of Christ with your son. She gets an “A” in my book! Sounds like once again you guys got him on the right path.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    1. I know – when I was a kid there was little parent involvement in my homework. These days we are really expected to do it all with them – we even have to sign a paper each day that says we read the homework assignments (and helped if needed to complete them!) I am glad she shared the story too – although now he is completely focused on the birth of Jesus and churches. Could be worse! Thank you! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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