Today is a happy and sad day for our family. I feel a bit tearful as I share this post.
Henry, our support person for Jayden is leaving for college. Together, Henry and Jayden have shared so many special days over the course of the last year our family is forever changed by his presence in our home.
We know Henry will go on to help so many more families as he pursues his career in education. He will be missed and always welcome in our home.
My Son With His Support Person
For the last 2 years my son has had the support of few different caring and young people involved in his life. Jayden is 8 years old and suffered a brain injury as a newborn baby. From his injury he is faced with developmental disabilities that impair his learning, working memory, ability to problem solve and make good decisions. Aside from learning issues, having the social skills to build friendships and maintain them has been another struggle.
Having a support person has given Jayden the extra set of eyes to keep him safe, keeping him busy after school so he doesn’t get down on himself or others around him. Part of the effects of his disability can cause Jayden to be depressed and have a negative self image.
Henry, our current support person works incredibly hard to keep this from happening. He is the best thing that’s happened to Jayden this past year. He helps Jayden with his hygiene reminders, social skills, bedtime routines, and reward charts. He works really hard to give Jayden all the experiences that he would otherwise miss out on, always maintaining a non-reactive and calm disposition around him, even when Jayden is really worked up.
They spend a great deal of their time together at parks, interacting with other children, learning social skills, recognizing good and not so good behaviors and picking up on social cues. These activities at the same time do wonders for his self esteem.
They often take trips to museums, the planetarium, the library, a trampoline park and they are always at the pool it seems! Jayden had become quite the swimmer! They spend most of their time outdoors when they can, building Jayden’s confidence with sports. They play disc golf, basketball, football, ride bikes and fly his kite.
Henry is an amazing young man that puts all of himself into his work when he is with Jayden. He is never distracted by his phone, and is 100% present when he is interacting with Jayden. I don’t know how we will replace him when he leaves for college at the end of the summer.
If you have free time and this sounds inspiring to you, consider being a support person to someone that needs a buddy in your area. In our community they are incredibly short staffed on support workers and they are so valuable to the children and families they serve.
Thanks for reading and supporting our family blog! And thank you Henry for being the amazing person you are!
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