Yesterday the preschool Finn attends had its annual family feast in honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. It was a time for the families to sit down together and share a meal (“breaking bread” together is an important element of this preschool program, as the director is a big believer in connecting with one another through communal activities; the kids eat breakfast and lunch together every day, provided by the school), and a way for the school to thank the families for their involvement in the program.
Eating proficiently with utensils (including soup from a spoon!) and drinking from an open cup are just two of the skills Finn has mastered merely by having these skills modeled by typical peers.
The outdoor area is a kids’ paradise – so much to see and do and explore. Finn is completely at home there and wanted to show us everything.
I’m not sure any if the kids see anything different about Finn. They all seem to accept him as just one of them. They all greet him when I drop him off in the morning, and there is one little girl in particular who proclaims Finn her “best friend” and hugs him without reservation. The teachers recognize Finn’s differences without allowing those differences to define him; they talk to him the same way they talk to the other kids, they have generally the same expectations of him that they do the other children (taking his dishes up to the teacher after eating, for instance, and picking up toys that he is finished playing with). They see him as a whole person with value and potential. I wish with all my heart that the whole world could see him that way.