– A Reflection by Timothy Wong
On 3rd December 2022 Breakthru Enrichment Station held a Family Story Day and Celebration. It was a day to be cherished by all the students, the teachers, parents and friends who attended the special event. Prior to the event the students with the help and guidance of their ever dedicated teachers had been training, practicing and perfecting the presentations which they were going to give on that day. It was a challenging but also a very rewarding process.
We have the common tendency to think that children with special needs do not have any abilities or gifts to share with the world especially when what other people see in them are mainly disabilities and weaknesses. This is proven to be wrong time and again. The main issue is the lack of opportunity given to such children to thrive and to shine in ways which give them greater confidence to learn and sharpen their natural talents and abilities. Every child is born with special gift and ability. And just like any other children the specially gifted children need people and teachers who can nurture and polish those gifts in appropriate ways.
Throughout many years Breakthru Enrichment Station has been dedicating itself to enhance the ability of special needs children to grow and progress in life according to their individual gifts and strength. Through their story telling presentations the students have shown that given enough guidance, efforts and practices they can do a decent job to tell a story or any other assigned tasks. Sometimes they did struggle, forgot their lines and had to overcome the fear and nervousness of facing a live audience. Some of them had to be guided, assisted and given helpful promptings or hints by the teachers. But all this are nothing unusual and even children who are considered normal are also facing the same challenges while doing the same thing. And happily all the children were able to accomplish their tasks in presenting their stories.
Some of the students were also given the tasks to introduce their fellow students as the little masters of ceremony (mc). Doing different tasks especially new ones with sufficient guidance are the proper way to build confidence in the special children. And this means that new opportunities must constantly be given to the students to do new and various duties and assignments rather than for caregivers to be overprotective with them by shielding them from doing things they should learn to do by themselves.
The responsibility of helping and developing the potentials of special need children does not rest on the shoulders of the teachers alone but also on the shoulders of the parents as well. I am sure parents who attended the event were very much encouraged by the performances presented by the children and the dedication demonstrated by the teachers. Parents should also be encouraged by the speeches given by some of the guests about never giving up on their special children but to continue to do their part to help their children reaching their true potentials.
Being a parent myself and one of the master of ceremonies (mc) on that day I had the privilege to closely observe the conducts of all those involved and the reactions and responses of the members of the audience and to experience the feelings of excitement, of encouragement and hope the storytelling event gave to everyone. It was truly a day to be celebrated and remembered.