I want to take this opportunity to thank the organizing volunteers for Brain Child 2017. At first, my 8 year old daughter Addison was nervous about going to, in her mind “a thing for special needs kids”. Then, I explained (repeatedly) that it was for their brothers and sisters too, and she is Jaina’s sister and you both were invited to this amazing event.
She eventually was persuaded to come, but it was a struggle. What are we going to do? Are you going to be with me the whole time? Where will dad be? Where will Jaina be? How long is it for? Who will be there? The anxious questions creeped in. And then they overwhelmed her when we arrived at Telus Science World, and she saw the 150 other kids. Tears started to flow, as she got overwhelmed.
And then, in swooped Sheila, the fairy, with her comfort bear. Sheila said “Addison, you need to look after this bear, because he’s scared too! And if you can be brave for him, and look after him all day, he can be yours to keep.” Wow! Now Addison had a mission, and she was going to be brave and look after her bear.
15 minutes into the event, she forgot about her anxious fears and started to have fun. She played at the water tables with full abandon. She also saw that a few other kids had bears, and she simply said “Oh, maybe they are nervous too!” It normalized her feelings.
Both of my girls had an amazing day at Brain Child! It was so special for this to be “Jaina’s event”, that Addison was invited to. Jaina doesn’t get invited to her 11 year old friends sleepover parties, or birthday parties. But she was invited, and in fact welcome at BrainChild. So thank you for a very special day that will will not forget.
Going to bed that night, Addison said, “I’m so happy that Jaina’s my sister, and I get to go to Telus Science World.”
This made a huge difference to our special needs family. Thank you for seeing us, including us and making us feel “normal”.
Love Christina Herbers