|J receiving his prizes|
But for J, we knew the real challenge would be taking part in the actual final. There, you see, are real people around him, people he will be expected to say hello to and make eye contact with. He will have his 'task' to do which he is confident and able at doing at home, but in front of others and with the hustle and bustle of the other participants around, would it all be too much for him.
After all, the reason we home-school is that the sensory aspects of school with the hustle and bustle of other children and adults around him at a time when he is needing to concentrate was too much for him to cope with.
So this is the true reason we are so proud of him. Yes he did struggle to make eye contact and say his hello's, goodbyes and thank you's. But he held it together without a single moment of meltdown to do his 'task' of replicating his entry picture, and then joining in with high tea and cake, and then sitting through the awards.
Much to his and our surprise, this year, he got first place in the individual category! Of course, that made us proud too but not as much as the fact that he got through it and he got through it well enough to really enjoy it too.
The Brilliant Chef was so proud of his big bro that beat us to it with writing up about the day. Read his blog post here (and there are more photos so you can see the picture J created!). And you can read about last year's final here.
|J with judge and sculptor Guy Portelli|
A special thank you to all at Produced in Kent for running such a fabulous competition and for all their hard work organising the final, thank you to the judges and sponsors of the event, and to sculptor Guy Portelli who was one of the judges, and thank you to our local Waitrose store who gave J a £25 gift voucher to buy the vegetables he needed as they had a good supply of local produce.