Friday, 7 March 2014

Kindred spirits

Last weekend we all went to the park- Jess in her wheelchair and Anna on her scooter.



This was the first time that we had taken Anna out on her scooter, she normally just scoots round indoors at home. She was hilarious (although we have decided that we need to buy her a helmet!) and we were all, Jessica included, laughing at her antics.

However, quite quickly Jessica became a bit cold, and was less happy, so I decided to take her to the cafe, while my husband carried on scooting with Anna.

While we were there a gentleman came over and sat down next to Jess. He didn't want to talk to me or even ask about Jess, other than her name and to check that she could hear him.
 
He wanted to talk to Jess.
 
They "chatted" for ages, him about everything and anything, responding to her giggles and  squeals of delight, with the pair of them giving each other "high fives" throughout. Jessica's face lit up, she was so alert and animated, it was amazing to see. It was like they were long-lost friends.

It was also a learning experience for me - clearly I meet lots of disabled children at Jessica's school, and other activities and places we go. And while I always try to interact with the children, I also like to find out a bit about them. But this experience made it clear that this is for my benefit- not for the child. Jess was so happy to be acknowledged and have someone to "chat to" and that is what made this interaction so special. Jessica felt independent in her own right.
 
When the gentleman was saying goodbye, he told me that he has a son, who is now in his forties, with learning difficulties, which explained a lot.  In watching that brief interaction between him and Jess, I learnt a lot. 


2 comments:

  1. How sweet of the gentlemen to do that. I'm sure that made Jessica's day and yours too:)

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  2. What a lovely thing to do, and definitely a great lesson. We can all learn, all the time. Except, maybe, the Social Services. Sigh.

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