Yes I know its next year, but I have been wanting to write this up and just haven't sat down to do it.
At the end of the year is usually a time we measure things by, and reflect and look for growth or change, and nothing for us spoke as much as the end of school concert. Every year the special school holds a concert for all the kids to get up on stage and perform to songs, most of the time just actions. At the end of 2007 Jono didn't cope.. at all. For every practice they had, he would sit in the corner with his hands over his ears, screaming 'too loud, too loud' and crying. He was scared, he was overwhelmed, and not coping at all.
For the end of year 2008 concert, he has just grown soooo much, partly I would say due to his teacher during the year, partly due to him getting older and just being able to handle different situations better. For each practice they did, Jono participated, learned and tried his best to do what was being shown to him. He had a little solo part in one song, and he had 3 songs he did. After every practice his teachers came to me and said they were so proud of how he was doing and were really hoping he would be ok on the night.
Then... once we found out the night of the concert... we were already going out that night and had organised babysitting for the kids, Rob booked tickets months previously for a special event for my birthday... aaarrghghghghgh!!! He's doing so well and it looked like he couldn't go!
Fortunately Nanna was doing the babysitting and when I explained the situation to her she said that if it was important to him, she would see how the kids were on the night and attempt to take them... I thought she was either brave or insane.
So, I co-ordinated with his teacher that she would take Jono's changes of clothes for the night with her, Nanna would take my car for familiarity, and Rob and I would leave early and cross our fingers. We also discussed the concert for a few days in advance, that Nanna would take him, that Daniel and Sarah would be with him and that Daniel and Sarah would be the biggest helpers in the world on the night.
We didn't hear how he did until we got back, but he did brilliantly! Nanna took all three and he had no problems 'going for a drive' once they got there they found the hall easily, and walked in the door to have his teacher find them straight away, take Jono and say - let's go get ready... and he was off for his performances. He got changed for the first one, got up on stage and performed comfortably... he actually had a teacher behind him lifting his hands for the movements with the song, and after a while he kept on backswiping her to get away so he could do his thing... cheeky!
He did another 2 performances with one change of clothes with even a spotlight middle of the stage moment for a 'solo' dance. I think we've watched the video of the night around 5-6 times now and are just soooo proud. From last year where he couldn't even listen to the other people practicing, to being on stage, in 3 performances, doing a solo, and having a few changes of clothes... simply amazing!