Aidan S. is a Westmoreland County Shining Star

Each day Aidan amazes his teachers at the STAR 3 Valley Points Family YMCA in his activities and how he is continuously trying to improve.

Aidan S. is a Westmoreland County Shining Star

AidanSc-WestmorelandOf all the children I have taught in the past four years, there is no student who inspires me more than Aidan. He began at our program, at the Valley Points Family YMCA, a STAR 3 program, when he was six months old. Aidan is now five years old and has a great relationship with all the teachers in the building.

At the time he started I had never experienced working with a child with Down Syndrome and I decided to attend a few trainings to help me. In one particular training I remember the trainer expressing that self-esteem was very important, that a child with Down’s often has lowered self-esteem and that any opportunity boosting self-confidence would have a positive influence. As a teacher, I did not need to do that for Aidan; he did that for me. He has a hug that makes the worst days bright, a smile that lights up the room, and a heart of gold that makes everyone he is in contact with fall in love. His growth in the program is amazing, and the kind attitude he shows towards teachers, therapist, and other children is remarkable.

Each day Aidan amazes me in the activities he does in the classroom and is continuously trying to improve. He shows other children how to do the computer programs and has even shown me a trick or two on the computers. The enthusiasm he shows at the music center excites not only other children to dance but also the teachers. When he first started at the center I was worried about how he would be included in the daily schedule and if he would be able to keep up with the activities we were doing. Not only is Aidan able to keep up, but a lot of the time he is the first child in the scheduled area encouraging other classmates to join him. He is a pleasure to work with each day.

My experience in teaching a child with Down Syndrome left me inspired to be a better teacher to my less challenged students as well. Aidan is just one of those unforgettable children from my teaching history, and I’ll never forget the ways he has blessed all of our lives.

Denise Acker, Director, Westmoreland County

 

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