Before I worked at Star, I took life for granted and thought so little of little people. I mean what do they know, they are only children, what would I learn from them? To me they were just little people.
Star academy gave me a different perspective, I started to view kids from a different point of view. Every day at work is learning experience. My kids have thought me patience and that there is no such a thing as a small achievement. Every achievement should be celebrated because all achievements are GREAT. The Star academy is the only place that I know where making a wee in the toilet is celebrated. Weird? No. We dance, we shout and sing to celebrate our little people’s GREAT achievement even if it’s in the toilet.
Speaking of toilet. I remember my first toilet training at Star. The child was just over six years old. He was non-vocal and had mouthing as well as physical stereotypy amongst a few of his challenging behaviours. I was still new at work and had no idea how the team hoped to achieve this, I mean to me the child seemed to not even be aware of my presence in the room. I was yet to be amazed. We started off with intensive toilet training. This meant that we spent most of our session in the toilet. Every time our boy made a wee in the toilet, we would reinforce him by taking him outside to jump on the trampoline. In no time our boy made the connection and started to make a wee in the toilet more frequently and we celebrated every time. Soon after that we moved to scheduled toilet training. This meant that we had a baseline we took our boy to the toilet on every scheduled time for a duration of five minutes in the toilet. Every time our boy makes a wee in the toilet before the five minutes expired, we celebrated.
To cut a long story short, today our boy independently goes to the toilet without any schedule just like any other boy his age. I am so proud of him because it feels like yesterday when I started at the Star and he was a little six-year-old on a nappy. Remember I said I felt like he was not even aware that I was in a room? Well I was wrong. Today the look on his eyes when he sees me walking in his station is priceless, his million-dollar smile and giggle makes all the days of sitting in the toilet doing intensive toilet training really worth it. He might not have words to express it but through his smile any hug I feel his affection.
What amazes me on a daily basis is the team of people from different backgrounds who come in to work every day to make a difference in our little champs lives with so much devotion and excellence.
I thank God for the day I walked through the star academy’s gates. Through Star I learned that it’s okay to be different and that its okay not to learn the same way as everyone else. My little guy mentioned above thought me that love does not need to be expressed in words.