This is Alex. His smile is everything because until just a few weeks ago, I rarely saw a smile and for months, Alex chose to observe Pyjama Drama from the sidelines rather than join in. Thankfully, Alex attends an amazing nursery with a wonderful practitioner, Julie Morton, who has seen this before and knows not to assume that because a child isn’t participating, they’re not learning. So, we work together and don’t insist, bribe, or cajole. And we certainly never label a child as ‘shy’. Instead, we go about our business of play with gentle encouragement, and we wait.
Often, change is gradual, but with this little superstar, it was overnight and a full 360-degree turnaround at that! For over four months Alex attended weekly classes without saying a word to me and rarely joined in. Then one day, for no obvious reason, he suddenly started chatting – and wouldn’t stop! Telling me everything, from what he did that morning to what his imaginary character was saying. Grinning (not just smiling!), waving to his friends, throwing himself into every game and howling (not just laughing!) at the drama. Words can’t quite describe the rush of emotions we all felt in the room that day but what I can tell you is how honoured I feel to have had the opportunity to get to know this charismatic, funny, gentle, kind and yes, confident, little boy. This is Alex! This is the power of drama!