Moving Forward While Standing Still

Her journey came to an abrupt halt in March. Little did we know that was going to be the last time she went inside her school to learn and practice the skills she needed. COVID 19 had closed everything, school buildings included. My daughter was stuck at home and we were concerned she was going to regress.

She didn’t though. Instead, she generalized a lot of the skills she had spent years practicing in the living lab at school and started doing them at home. Finally she did it. Sometimes we wondered if it would ever happen. Perhaps trying to get her to do things all of those 2 day weekends was not enough time. Perhaps she needed to be home for months at a time in order for those skills to come through.

A product of her school’s “living lab” she certainly is. The living lab at my daughter’s school is a mock mini apartment. There is a bed, a washer and dryer and a kitchen. It’s here that she spent years focusing on life skills. Making a bed,making a simple lunch, washing dishes, and doing laundry are all skills that she learned there. The problem always was however, these skills that she could do at school were never carried over to home. Until now.

These past several months at home we have seen her use all the skills she learned in that living lab. Every morning when she gets up she makes her bed. She insists on making her own lunch and when she is done she washes her dish and puts it away. As for laundry, she really doesn’t enjoy it but nonetheless she does it.

With all of these skills comes maturity. She acts older now. She has become more independent. She may not have left the house since March but she certainly has moved forward. We never know where our journeys will take us but sometimes it’s the unexpected stops along the way that teach us the most.

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