Making Huge Strides

The last week of June, GiGi Prep started and students began to work on readiness skills for the more intensive program, GiGi University in the Fall. One of the students in GiGi Prep, Kenneth, just started with GiGi’s Playhouse programs two weeks ago and we are already seeing such a change and cannot wait to continue to watch Kenneth increase his independence, confidence and academic skills!

Kenneth dove headfirst into our free purposeful programming by enrolling in GiGi Prep, attending Book Club and Cooking Club regularly. Kenneth is very reserved and is often found observing the programs. On the first day of GiGi Prep, Kenneth refused to get out of his mother’s car. She called the Playhouse to let us know that they were in the parking lot, but he was just not going to get out of the car today. We agreed to try it again the next day of class. Two days later, Kenneth willingly got out of the car and entered the Playhouse with his mother by his side. Together, they walked back to the GiGi University/GiGi Prep classroom. Kenneth was not ready to enter the classroom with the others, but sat outside of the room with his mother, peering in to see what was going on.

The following week, Kenneth walked back to the classroom with his mother staying in the Family Foyer, located in the front of the Playhouse. Kenneth took a seat outside of the classroom, peering in. However, now, Kenneth smiling and making eye contact! When the teacher, Sue, would speak, Kenneth would look at her and react with facial expressions. On Thursday of this week, we heard Kenneth’s amazing laugh for the first time and saw his beautiful smile on several occasions. He is now entering the Playhouse with a smile, walking independently back to the classroom, and working up the courage to walk into the classroom. Progress doesn’t have a set measurement, but we can easily state that Kenneth is making huge strides in just two short weeks!

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  1. Daniell Bargstadt on July 7, 2018 at 9:41 am

    I love everything about this story! Awesome job Kenneth! Way to work hard and strive for your Best of All each and everyday! Thank you to the Fort Wayne community for believing in not only Kenneth, but all individuals with Down syndrome! #gigisbelieves #purposefulprograms

  2. Denise Mikulski on July 8, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Exactly what we would hope for our friends at Gigi’s. Everyone in the world has their own pace, their own drummer. Kenneth is no different. It is so fulfilling to be in an atmosphere where individuals are allowed to be just that individuals. Hurray for a world that allows us to be us. And most of all appreciates us.

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