A couple of weeks ago, Declan’s preschool class had a celebration ceremony for those in his class that were preparing to move on to Kindergarten. Declan has one more year in Preschool, but was excited to celebrate in some of the others that were graduating on their special day.
The ceremony began with the students, all boys, standing on a platform singing different songs. One little boy was very excited and was having a hard time standing in one place. He was singing, running up and down the stage, occasionally stopping and touching the other students.
My husband and I held our breath every time the excited boy came to Declan. Declan has a history of aggressive behavior, especially when he is frustrated. The excited boy ran around and came to Declan. Declan stopped singing and said to the boy, “Stop touching me.” The excited boy ran again, and stopped back at Declan. Declan said again, “Let go!” The excited boy ran again and when he came back Declan, he stopped, put his arms on Declan’s arms. My husband and I saw Declan lift his arms and we were both ready to pounce, fearing Declan would push the child off the stage.
But Declan sighed, and when he lifted his arms, he gave the boy a hug.
When I think about where we started with Declan I am amazed at all the goals he has been able to reach. So many times I felt we reached the peak of what Declan would be capable of, only to have him smile and show me that kind of thinking was silly. Declan is capable of so much.
Declan lost his speech, but worked diligently and found it again. Declan has not been able to dress himself, but got a shirt and shorts on this week all by himself. With all of his sensory issues, Declan has a hard time sensing when he needs to go potty. This is an issue we continue to work on, but I am sure we will reach a positive outcome. Declan has had a hard time with aggressive behavior when he gets frustrated, but is learning cooperation, tolerance and control. We are oh so proud of him!
Declan may not be graduating this year to go off to Kindergarten, but he was able to graduate from social learning. Declan has been in preschool programs for 3 years now, to learn social cues, social learning, classroom dynamics, following direction. These are things that were very hard for Declan but he has been able to achieve. He is now ready to move into the academic learning preschool classroom, and will be taught letters and numbers. I am sure he will amaze me in that learning, as well.
When my husband and I were leaving the graduation ceremony that day, we saw Declan’s teacher. I think we all said at the same time, “He didn’t hit him!” Declan’s teacher followed with, “He really has come so far. We are so proud of him!”
Declan has been able to reach so many goals. The bar keeps moving up every time I thought it was set at the highest it could go. I have never been so happy to be so wrong. And I know as the bar moves up, he will continue to reach for the next goal. Truly amazing and inspiring!