Orientation Day number two was another successful day.
Again we spared Mac the embarrassment of his parents going with him into the classroom and hired Di, his former aide, to escort him with the other children.
I did the same as the other parents, delivered my child to class, waved goodbye and walked away.
I know much of this is to create an illusion to the others (parents, children, teachers) that Mac is not “super precious” and “needing excessive care”. I do it partly for my own selfish reasons to allow my soul the fleeting sense of normality. But mostly I do it because I can, he is in an appropriate environment and his needs are being catered for – just as they are for the other children.
The feedback was great. Apparently, the room was full of noise and much frivolity – Mac was beaming from ear to ear. The children were clapping to some song or game – really, does life get any better?
I know I shouldn’t look at the other children as useful commodities in Mac’s life but… when clapping is your passion, you need friends who can clap.
Mac can’t clap, his physical impairments are just too great.
And, why wouldn’t you wan’t to clap for your friend when his response is such joy and adoration for the loud noise you so cleverly make.
We all like praise, even non-verbal praise is good.
We all bring strengths and weaknesses to any relationship.
And so far, it appears, ‘clappers’ and ‘non-clappers’ can exist happily in the same environment with mutual benefit.