Friday, April 25, 2014

Preparing Elijah...

Each of our kids have their own story,
their own history 
and most of all 
their own way that they process their history. 

Donovan and Elijah have the same history -
they are biological brothers.
But, they process that history totally different!

Though it was a very difficult choice to make earlier in the year,
we choose to pull Elijah from public school kindergarten,
for those of you who don't know -
it was not going good, to say the least.

But, having him home again,
he is learning to make good choices.
He is learning to not just act on his emotions,
he is understanding that we want to hear what he has to say,
and we want to understand how he feels.

We talk a lot of about respect.
But, respect has to go both ways.
As parents we often times expect our kids to respect us just because we are the mommy and daddy.
But, that doesn't go very far with a child who has experienced 
the type of life Elijah did prior to being home. 

Showing him that we respect him where he is at is making all the difference in the world to him.
Talking to him about how we show respect just in every day conversation
is what he is understanding.
We cannot tell him to show respect when he is not being respectful,
he (and all humans) don't want to be lectured when they are 
in heated emotions. 
Instead, we roll play -
putting pillows on the floor  and pretend that we are in the car -
how do we show respect to each other?
How do we show respect to the driver. 

Children need to role play- 
especially children like Elijah - who are impulsive. 
Children who can only see what their curiosity and imagination is encouraging them. 
When we role play, he is able to take that information and bring it along with him,
when he is in an uncomfortable situation. 

Our son still has so much fear. 
But, he is trying to let it go -
he is beginning to understand that our family and friends want the best for him.

We love visiting our high school!  
Our friends in the office there have been soooooo helpful to Elijah and myself.
They know what we are working on and they let him practice on them. 
And you know what?
He is excited to go see them! 
To see his growth and trust with these ladies makes me cry! 
Last week he went right up to Mrs. Bert and gave her a huge Elijah type hug! 
and Mrs. Shelly is so awesome at sharing her "Easy" button with Elijah -
after he makes eye-contact with her and uses his words!! 
I love you ladies!! 
Thank you for helping me,
help Elijah!
(I really need to get a photo of y'all with the kids!!)

This week we are beginning the process of getting Elijah ready for public school next year.
He will begin the year at a different campus then the rest of the kids,
he will be in a "self-contained" classroom,
and may be even get to take a bus -
which he just loves!! 
We drive by the new school every day and he gets so excited!
His new teacher came to our house for a visit. 
This of course made him very nervous,
and he had a very rough few days after this visit,
but it will help him so much through this transition.

We get to take Elijah to this classroom a few times before school is out this year -
and we will take photos so that he can look at them throughout the summer,
as we roll play what will be happening. 
We are so excited for this new adventure for Elijah,
knowing that this is the best classroom for him at this time. 

It hurts when your child cannot transition into society the way society expects.
Sometimes we have to go outside of our comfort zone and against what 
others think - to teach our children,
and to see our children grow. 
Without a base of trust, our kids cannot grow. 

1 comment:

Susan Davis said...

We have a special needs child who started Kindergarten this year and his team was kind enough to make us a picture book and send it to us at the beginning of last summer so he could use it to prepare. It had pictures of all the places he would spend time - the gym, his classroom, the music room, the cafeteria, etc., as well as all the teachers/staff he would meet. It helped him be at ease and whenever he would get nervous, we would just look at the pictures and see all the places and smiling faces and he would be excited again. I hope the pictures will help Elijah!!!


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