Understanding Leads to Friendship for Elim Students

June 30, 2016

Meet Brian and Chris, two young men who have come a long way during their time in our Crossroads program. They have been classmates now for nearly three years, and are in a classroom of five young men. 
When Brian and Chris first met, they didn’t always get along very well; they often actually chose to ignore each other.
Then something happened. A friendship grew because they realized they liked several of the same games on the smartboard during our leisure choice time. “Bowling,” “Switch Wars,” and “Photo Booth” brought these two young men together. They started to watch each other play. Then they took turns.
Now they play and work alongside each other. 
Chris is very outgoing and expects others to appreciate the silly sounds and faces he makes. Brian has a hearing impairment. He didn’t like Chris coming into his space because he didn’t understand it at first.  Over time now, with adult modeling of the give and take of “face making,” Brian now smiles and claps when Chris is silly and in his space.
We have even tried to encourage Chris to do some simple “signing” to Brian. It is hard to get Brian’s attention, but Chris is working on it. For now, they are friends without words… it works, as evident of smiles, laughter and the occasional sharing of a bean bag chair during our break time.
The photo above was during an afternoon of work, taken at the Elim Greenhouse.  They were watering the gardens and more importantly, SHARING the task.

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