Ok, so not the best start to 2018.
There is no kidding the fact that our 2 year old can without a doubt be challenging at the best of times, just like any other toddler.
Before Joshua started going to the childminder, I told the childminder that Joshua has Chromosome XQ28 and suspected autism. The childminder was adamant that she could cope with Joshua and I was thrilled that he fitted in somewhere so much. My biggest worry for Joshua was that he wouldn’t be accepted by the other children. If I say he can be a little bit boisterous, that still maybe a bit of an understatement. But, a lot of it comes from the frustration from the lack of speech. But at childminding, he seemed to be doing great and he was happy to go which was brilliant.
Joshua does not always find going to new places easy, but he grew to love his childminder and his new friends, it became like his second home 3 days a week. I loved all the paintings he would bring me home, including the 4 sets of dirty clothes that would be bagged up because he spent most of the day jumping in the water bucket, whatever the weather. My little water baby.
In fact, it was all going great, until Monday 15th January, the childminder suddenly decided she could not handle Joshua any more and gave us a days notice to find another childcare service. Are you thinking what I thought? Yes, IMPOSSIBLE. Not only was it impossible, but right before my 3 week teaching placement. NOT IDEAL. Yeah, so apparently parents were complaining that they didn’t want there children around Joshua and that their children did not want to come to nursery as they found Joshua too much at times. YES, THE PARENTS! Would you believe it?! We’re all in the same boat right, all we want is for our children to have the best start in life.
The childminder said that the other children actually loved Joshua’s company but she felt that she would loose too much business if Joshua was to stay in her setting as parents threatened to leave. All that the parents and the childminder was successful in doing that day, was teaching children that it is expectable to exclude children for being slightly different.
Our experience definitely flicked a light switch and made me realise that children with difficulties are still not fully included into every setting. But Joshua now goes to a new nursery 2 days a week which by the way is great and he is doing so well. We have been practising his speech at home (with Makaton and visual cards advised by the speech and language therapist) and Joshua now copies almost every word we say, which is AMAZING!! Some children just need a little bit more support and guidance but all children can succeed in life. From this, I have made the decision to set up my own nursery for ALL children but suitable and accessible for children with difficulties. Slightly different career path, but I am excited with what the future holds.
It is not right that from 2 years old, my child has already experienced being an outsider. We should be empowering one another, not ripping each other apart.
Am I the same as you? Are you the same as your friends? Are we normal? The truth is, no we are all different and there is no such thing as normal. This world would be an extremely boring place if we were all the same.
Joshua is the funniest and most charismatic little boy that I have ever met. His personality shines through already and he will be the child who is successful in life. He has already over come more than you could imagine. He is going to shine so bright, just you step back and watch.
All my love as always,