Opening Words from Sun. February 12 by Jim & Aidan Jordan

Aidan Vocalization
Aidan loves that this month’s theme is the future of Arts as live performances of any kind is his go to since he doesn’t do technology or screens.

Aidan, what are your pronouns?
Aidan Vocalization – Dad what is a pronoun? Does Friend work?

Aidan Vocalization
Aidan felt that he should share how he has brought out the best in others with three examples.

I interviewed Aidan using the Vulcan Mind Meld (James, are you watching?)

When Aidan was in 4th grade at MRH Elementary, I got a form letter that asked parents to come to an assembly that will acknowledge and honor those students who achieved 90% or better on achievement metrics. I thought, this is great until I came to the last ppg that stated “and your son or daughter will be one of the students receiving this award”.

Really, I asked his teacher? Is this a mistake, he cannot read or write! But it wasn’t a mistake, Aidan achieved 90% on his IEP goals.

At the assembly it was asked that everyone hold their applause until the last student of each classroom came up. This worked for 2nd and 3rd grade, but when Aidan’s name was announced as I walked him up on stage, I heard a classmate yell “Way to go Aidan!” and everyone applauded. When the superintendent got on her knees to congratulate him, tears were streaming down my cheeks and Aidan was beaming. I was not the only one, for as I walked off the stage parents approached us teary eyed and said Aidan had taught their son/daughter patience and acceptance and other social emotional skills. They are glad he is part of the school and MRH openly embraced Aidan being part of the student body.

Aidan Vocalizes
I agree with you Aidan that was dope.

Second, After his mom died and I was looking for summer programs for Aidan to attend so I could continue working, The Variety Club – A Children’s Charity of St Louis agreed that they would accept Aidan as a trial to see if they could provide a day camp experience for multiply disabled children. Aidan was the first child they accepted with both physical and cognitive disabilities – AND it was a resounding success and paved the way for other children to attend camp. The Recreation Council of St Louis has used Aidan as an example for programs to expand their bubble of inclusion to serve a population that is often excluded.

Aidan Vocalizes
Yeah Aidan, “Ditch the Dad” has always been your mantra for attending camps.

Third, those care providers who chose to work and stay with Aidan and become his friend/companion have told me that it was a profound experience. It changed and expanded their view of what humanity means.

Aidan Vocalizes
Yes Aidan, I think your pronoun is “Friend”

NOTE: The ideas and opinions in this post do not necessarily express the thoughts or opinions of the Ethical Society of St. Louis or its leadership.