Gabby is a soft-spoken, mild mannered 13 year old with a bright smile that lights up his whole face. He is actively participating in school, making friends and enjoys time teaching his family new skills thanks to the Stepping Stones Program at the BC Centre for Ability.
There are numerous physical, hormonal and emotional shifts that happen for a typical young boy, and for Gabriel (Gabby), his seizure disorder and developmental disability hindered his ability to regulate his behaviours and emotions from an early age, making it hard for him to connect with peers and adults.
In kindergarten, Gabby would spend a lot of his time in the Principal’s office because of constant meltdowns. At about age six, the Stepping Stones Program provided Gabby with a dedicated social worker who taught Gabby social emotional learning strategies to regulate his emotions and behaviors. Support and coaching was also provided to Gabby’s family. Their social worker also worked collaboratively with Gabby’s school to ensure that he received consistent support while tailoring the curriculum to his learning needs and strengths.
Gabby continues to blossom in the Life Skills Program at John Oliver Secondary School. He has also gained many independent skills, including taking the bus on his own to community programs and sharing his cooking skills with his grandma (Lola). Gabriel is excited about the future and dreams of “being a policeman and driving in a police car.”
Gabby thank you for being an inspiration to us and being a worthy honouree of the 2017 Hero of Ability Award.