Many of you know my 8 year old son Jayden from previous posts. He has developmental disabilities from a traumatic brain injury after birth. He has difficulty learning and accessing his working memory. He also struggles with social skills, missing cues and often feeling like he doesn’t have many close friends.
He is in an inclusive classroom for 3rd to 5th graders with 10 children in his class and 4-5 teachers. Compared to many people who have suffered a brain injury like Jayden, he is high functioning. Jayden is always looking out for others at home and in class (maybe not always with his brother😳), and he has a very upbeat personality!
He has had more and more interest lately in connecting with friends from school. For the last several years he has been in the same class as a girl named Valerie. Valerie is 9 years old and has Down syndrome. Like Jayden, she is also very high functioning for her diagnosis. I am always hearing Jayden talk about Valerie and how much he likes her, how funny she is, and that she’s always happy and silly.
Jayden’s teacher has shared with us how protective he is over Valerie and that he is always looking out for her and helping her when he can.
We finally we’re able to meet up with Valerie’s family at a trampoline park near our home. Jayden said, “ Mom, isn’t she beautiful? I told you…” My heart just melted.
They ran around, jumping and playing together for an hour and a half, and Jayden couldn’t have been happier. If one of them fell, the other would lend a hand to help their friend up. When it was time to go we said goodbye and by the time we climbed into our Yukon Jayden was in tears.
This outing was so touching! I was so happy to finally meet this very special person in Jayden’s life. Now I know, why he never wants to stay home from school. He was literally bummed last week to have snow days.
I hope this is the beginning of a great friendship with Valerie’s family so our kiddos can spend more time together. Clearly these two have a very special friendship.❤️
Here is some of the fun they had together last Saturday.
Jayden receives support from local disability services. His support involves community activities and outings interacting with peers in social situations. His services build his self-esteem and keep him safe with one on one supervision.
I am so grateful for teachers like Jayden’s and for support people that help enrich and offer guidance for so many. ❤️
Thanks for stopping by and checking out our Saturday Play date!
#colecampfireblog, #developmentaldisabilities, #TBI, #braininjuries, #friendships, #mentalhealth, #socialservices, #supportworkers, #disabilities, #learningdisabilities