Evan had a great social skills group this past Thursday. It was so great that the facilitator came out to tell me that he's never seen Evan so open and engaged before; he was demonstrating appropriate social reciprocity with a peer and was even flexible enough to allow them to play music in the background.
I expressed my thankfulness for the update, and explained that for 2 days Evan had been more socially engaged with the family and that Jayme and I had specifically talked about it because it was so great to see (when I picked Evan up from school on Tuesday, I asked him how it was going. He answered, "I'm going good, thanks for asking!"). I told his therapist (S) about how I describe this phenomenon as Evan's 'window being open' (https://theasdchronicles.blogspot.com/2017/03/when-windows-open.html), and S totally understood what I was talking about...I just love it when people get it.
I was super proud of Evan, and our whole ride home I thought about how I wanted to share his progress. Then, I thought about social media and what we typically see when our friends brag about their children: sports <insert any sport here>, and academic achievements top the lists. I do it too because, you know, I'm proud.
Here's what you rarely see: potty training at 6 1/2, getting fully dressed independently at age 9 (Evan's done it once, on Christmas Eve into his new pajamas), and having a 'typical' social interaction in a facilitated group. This makes me mad, and sad, and frustrated because these kids work SO hard just to be, and that should be celebrated.
I've no doubt that I had I posted what I wanted to on Facebook Thursday (YEAH -Evan had a GREAT social skills group today!!), that many people would have liked it, but the significance of that achievement would have been lost on most and that is what held me back from posting. Disability is my village, but I rarely see posts of accomplishments that I know some of these super humans have worked so hard for...HOURS, hundreds of hours of practice some of the everyday skills we take for granted take to develop. Those moments should be celebrated just as often as the goals in soccer, the honor list, the lead in the play. If we could normalize these delayed milestones, maybe our attitudes about disability (or, different abilities) would change. We are not all the same. Our strengths do not always come wrapped in cute packages of leotards and dance shoes, or tough little football helmets.
This is how far Evan has come:
These cards were what we used with him in preschool when he would get mad or bang his head into me if someone talked to him.
So, here it is...
YEAH!! Evan had a really good social skills group this past week, and I am SUPER PROUD!
Next time, I'm going to post it on Facebook :)