Whenever a school event comes up, I very often have little expectation on how much Hayden will get involved. Not in a bad way. It is something I started doing after feeling upset every time he struggled to take part in any activity. It is hard to see your child’s difficulties so obviously amongst his peers. I would much prefer to go in with the mind set that he will only participate to some level. And often that leaves me surprised and full of pride as I watch him actually enjoy participating in an activity. Sports Day was one of those days. I left that sports field beaming with pride, and feeling very thankful to his 1:1 who allowed him to really get involved.
At Hayden’s nursery sports day last year, he did get involved but he was heavily supported by Ashleigh, his 1:1 at the time. It was the right thing for her to do of course. He needed that support. She held his hand the entire time. Hayden has a habit of working to his own agenda, so the risk of him just running in the opposite direction was high.
Of course I was proud of him last year, but it was clear he wouldn’t have took part as much as he did without Ashleigh being by his side. I expected much the same this year. Hayden’s current 1:1 is doing a great job, but there is no secret Hayden is a very different challenge than any of the children she has supported previously.
Last Friday as the sun was shining, James and I took our spot at the side line apprehensive to how successful this morning would be. The children came out of their classrooms and took position under the gazebos provided by the school. Hayden sat nicely for a few minutes, then was desperate to escape. Miss K was trying to keep him engaged by encouraging him to clap, cheer and support his peers.
Amazed at our little boy
It was then time for the sack races. Hayden lined up along the start line. Miss K was holding on to Hayden to stop him running off. The teacher taking charge shouted GO! and Miss K let go of Hayden. The TA was stood at the finish line encouraging Hayden along. He jumped like he had never jumped before. He held onto his sack and independently moved down the track. I could have cried. Miss K was close by but there was no contact whatsoever. He was doing it. All by himself. The sheer joy on his face melted my heart.
He didn’t win, but he didn’t come last either. I couldn’t have cared less. He did it! He was met by huge hugs from the TA. As his giggles filled the air I couldn’t have felt more pride than I did in that moment.
Hayden also independently took part in the running race. He was more excited that everyone else was running with him than actually reaching the finish line, but once again he was taking part in a school activity independently. He was coping with the noise, the excitement and the controlled chaos that surrounded him.
Thank you Miss K for having the confidence to let go. You don’t realise what that moment meant to both James and I.