How important is inclusion to our family? Very. Caleigh feels the direction when making her choices. When given the opportunity to try something new and typical as opposed to an activity for children with special needs; she will always choose the inclusive activity.
When our friends with disabilities join us in the inclusive environment that makes the activity ten times better. Camaraderie in numbers definitely makes stepping out there a lot easier.
When Kendall's mom asked if Caleigh wanted to join them in a new ballet class, Caleigh initially said "no." She wasn't interested at all until we sat down and watched some videos. After the visual she was totally on board.
Music + Dance + Friends = Awesomeness
Caleigh's first dance class was great. We broke all the dance studio uniform rules. Caleigh wore a crazy tutu, leg warmers, and a big bow to compliment her big curly hair. We asked about the dress code and got a long list of dos and don'ts. Noted.
Caleigh's dance teacher talked to us about her inexperience with wheelchairs. She talked about her research and ideas all while Caleigh yelled at me to leave so that she could get started. Apparently, I had a two year ballet debut when I was five years old, according to my mother. So when I say that I'm the farthest thing from a dance mom.... I mean it.
Once the teacher got a run down on the wheelchairs and the extremely quick medical highlights, we were asked to leave the room. Other parents aren't allowed to stay and we were treated no differently. I love it. Like I totally fell in love at that precise moment.
The next thing we knew we were sitting outside the doors listening to loud Taylor Swift blaring from behind the closed doors.
Caleigh enjoyed herself so much. We immediately made a whole page on the iPad talking about her new extracurricular activity.
Have you heard the news?
I went to my first dance class!
I had so much fun.
We danced to Taylor Swift.
My friend Kendall is in my class.
I get to go shopping for ballet clothes this week.
I got to hold the ballet bar!
I go to class every Wednesday at 6pm.
Everyone involved is still learning. That's the great thing about inclusion right now. The general public is becoming more understanding and they are willing to take the chance on our kids. We are setting the standard here. What we want for our kids is so important for our children and their future. If we desire the world, eventually the population will follow.
I encourage you step out and get your kids involved. If your'e shot down move on to the next studio, team or event. Make great things happen for your kids.
Caleigh's study is comfortable with the girls being in the class and if they have any fears or doubts, they're not showing it. Ideas are flowing, our requests are being honored, rules are set, great things are brewing and this is definitely Caleigh's favorite night of the week.