Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Since having Ruby we've become much more aware of the importance of inclusion. The concept is not a new one, nor should it come as a surprise to anyone who thinks about it that kids - ALL kids - benefit from inclusion. When the word came up in our home recently, I tried to explain it to the older kids by using their milestones as an example. Eli walked a little later and he spoke on a somewhat typical timeline. But Maddux walked early, spoke more sooner, developed her motor skills faster, potty trained earlier...mostly because she had Eli, someone her size already walking and talking and climbing and feeding themselves.

And how does it benefit 'typical' kids to have Ruby in their class? I can only site the ways I've seen it affect my kids and others that are around Ruby:
  • Ability to love - she lights up the room with smiles and hugs for everyone.
  • Patience - seeing Ruby work so hard to accomplish something helps others around her slow down and give her (and themselves) time to succeed.
  • Acceptance - once you connect with and see the world through someone else's eyes, you can't help but look at everyone differently.
  • Celebration - working with Ruby on a task or milestone makes you root for her. Seeing her hard work, and then seeing it pay off makes you want to celebrate even the smallest of accomplishments. It has made my kids stop and take note of their own 'small' accomplishments at times when they otherwise would not have.
We have been hoping and praying for opportunities to have Ruby participate in full inclusion as long as it's still a mutually beneficial situation. While she's not always in her age-appropriate class at the YMCA, I take her to the childcare there when I go to the gym. And we found a preschool that is including her this fall in a class not tailored to her, but to the typical young 2-year old. Best of all, our church has always welcomed her with open arms into a class on Sunday mornings. The volunteers are always so happy to see her and they assure me that she fits right in with the rest of the kids. We could not be more grateful for our community...especially since they recognize that Ruby being in the class benefits the other kids and teachers at least as much as she receives benefits from them. They celebrate that she is part of creating Moments of Awesome.

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