But how can your brother be your best friend when he can’t talk to you?
This was that one curious question way back in 2018 that led us to this amazing group that we call OUR inclusion group.
The brother in the question is mine. The children are right I have never heard my brother verbally speak words, do we still argue like siblings? Absolutely, Is he my best friend? Yes!
Christopher is my brother. He is a typical brother who loves to annoy his sister, steals my food and plays his music way to loud (Adele on repeat). Christopher loves to make the world around him smile through his infectious laugh. Oh he also has cerebral palsy, although cerebral palsy does not have him and this incredible ability to embed inclusion wherever he goes. This is where my passion from Inclusion comes from.
Christopher joined me at work to spread some smiles around Indigo.
After sharing my stories of my brother the questions never stopped so we came up with a group where we could talk about our lives, share our similarities and celebrate our differences. We called it The Inclusion group with the aim to promote inclusion, diversity and equality. The children took full lead on the group coming up with we will rules (If you come to our Inclusion Group please make sure to follow the we will rule as the children take these very serious).
Never did I think we’d end up “traveling the world” celebrating and learning about different cultures, meeting the author of our favourite children’s mental health book (Lucy’s Blue Day), Introducing sign language BSL led us to meeting some new friends at deaf connection where we were lucky enough to be able to join them in a silent pantomime, you could have heard a pin drop in the room this was a whole new world for our children and a great example of what Inclusion really means. Lockdown didn’t stop us either we had our chat sessions through zoom, chat sessions are a huge part of our daily practice to give our Indigo children the opportunity to chat to a member of staff one-one or in small groups about well ANYTHING they wish.
Our future plans for Inclusion will forever grow with our children right now we are off to travel the world again, this week was our visit to Australia and we got to meet some new friends from across the world check our Q&A video and learn with us.
This is just one part of my role as inclusion coordinator but for me personally it’s the most important part to be able to promote inclusion in such a fun way is incredible, from that one curious question to now, the feedback from families and staff members makes me feel so proud to be part of our childrens inclusion group.
At Indigo we believe that genuine inclusion is more than just a child’s presence. It ensures active, meaningful participation for all of our children and young people. How this occurs will be different for each child based on individual needs. All children should be valued, have opportunities to build relationships and feel they belong. My dream job was always to support children, young people and their families with additional support needs as I knew first hand growing up the challenges and barriers families face. I started working for Indigo as a sessional worker not really sure what path I would take and now I have the opportunity to be part of this amazing indigo experience as the Inclusion coordinator. I am so proud to be part of the Indigo Family and forever grateful for the opportunities and support I have received during my journey with indigo, I cannot wait to see what the future holds for everyone at the Indigo childcare group.