Remember back when school was in session and I used to be sad every single day when I would get a note or an email from the teachers telling me what a bad day Jack had had? Because I remember it vividly.
Jack has been in full-day camp this summer—at the same camp he attended last summer—and every day for the past five weeks I have spoken to the teachers at the end of the day and they have told me, “Jack had a great day!” “Jack was super cooperative today!” “Jack did everything we asked him to!”
Sure, there have been a few scuffles here and there, but not even anything to stress out about. And, sure, it’s camp and not school, but a lot of the things he has to do are definitely non-preferred activities. Jack has even stepped up and above in helping plan the end-of-camp performance he’ll be a part of this Friday.
It’s like he’s a different kid.
But he’s not.
What’s different is the environment.
It’s a small class taught by therapists who know how to teach kids with developmental disabilities in a completely positive environment and who truly believe and take nothing but joy in Jack.
It gives me hope that he will do well in his smaller, special education class at school next year.
But why am I posting about this today? Well. To answer that, I have to go back four weeks, when one of the teachers pulled me aside at the end of the day to talk about Jack’s bike. See, they bike ride every day and I had sent in a bike with training wheels.
They thought Jack was ready to try riding a two-wheeler. Jack has always been hesitant on his bike. He has absolutely NOT been interested in taking those training wheels off. Too bad for him, he’s not in charge of the screwdrivers in the house.
He’s been working on this every day at camp. Last week, they had him ride his bike for me, which was so incredible. At that time, he still wasn’t starting by himself and could only go about ten feet.
Today after camp, they went out in the heat to set up safety cones in the parking lot just for him. (See: Camp Awesome) He showed me that he is COMPLETELY, INDEPENDENTLY RIDING HIS BIKE. He was able to start by himself, turn his bike during his three laps, and stop all by himself.
In case you’re wondering, I’ve already pretty much signed Jack up for a new, great program that Camp Awesome will be holding next summer for kids like Jack. Feel free to email me if you’re local and looking for something like this.