Autistic Derby schoolboy has birthday dreams come true
A Derby schoolboy who has a passion for recycling, big trucks and the emergency services had his dreams come true with a major birthday surprise, thanks to his school teaching assistant. Michelle Glasby, who works at Redwood Primary School, in Sinfin, has been autistic Elans Didzus’s teaching assistant for a year. She said: “He is such a positive, caring, and inquisitive student.
During his lessons in the classroom, on Thursdays which is our local recycling bin empty day, will hear the bin lorry, his face will beam with excitement, and he will glance over to me for the ok. “I nod, then we both run outside to the school fence and gate to watch the bin men and their lorry at work. Elans carefully watches the lights, its lights, the lift at the back of the truck, taking in all the details in his excitement.
Then he shouts, “hey up mate, hi guys”. “To which the workers reply back with a friendly thumbs up and a wave.” Mrs Glasby explains that this also happens with all helicopters and emergency services.
She said: “We run to the school field to watch the helicopters passing over and discuss which service it belongs to based on the colour. Also where it could be going to and on what call out. “The same for the emergency services sirens, Elans will discuss which service it is on the siren he can hear but will be filled with delight if he sees it in passing.
“Elans also likes watching the same vehicles and services on Youtube. These activities can happen daily, and he can hold a detailed conversation with any adult passing on his love for the recycling trucks and correct items on what goes in each colour wheelie bin.” So, as Elans’s ninth birthday approached the end of the academic school year, Mrs Glasby decided to contact Sinfin ward councillor Baggy Shanker to see if he could contact Derby City Council to see if a bin lorry could stop outside the school gate for Elans to have a closer look around.
Mrs Glasby said: “A few weeks later I had the most surprising message asking if I would like to take Elans for a trip to the Stores Road council depot and have a hands on look at the big lorries, while being picked up and dropped off in a police car? “I knew this this would make all Elans dreams come true so completely amazed I replied it would amazing. “Elans’s mum cried when I told her and we set about keeping it all a secret from him.”
Birthday boy Elans gives a thumbs-up as he prepares to travel in a police car (Image: Baggy Shanker)
Mrs Glasby said that on his birthday, she met Elans, mum Cynthia and stepfather Tom at the school gates.
She said: “The 4×4 police car arrived and Elan’s face was a picture. “He was shown how to put on the lights and siren. We made our way to Stores Road with Elans riding proud in the passenger seat not knowing where his destination was.
“At Stores Road we were greeted by Sarah and Karl. They took Elans to see the trucks, tractors, and road sweepers. Elans was totally overwhelmed and all his dreams came true when he went for a ride in a bin lorry.
“A huge thank you to everyone on this day for putting the biggest smile on Elans’s face. It will truly be a day he will never forget.” Elans said: “I felt excited because Daniel drove me in a police car and my friend Richard took me for a look around and drive in the bin lorry.
I want to work for the Derby City Council and drive the in lorry for recycling days. The depot was amazing. The best birthday ever, thank you.”
Elans asked if he could have a job after having a ride in a bin lorry (Image: Baggy Shanker)
Elans’s mum Cynthia Paladza said her son had been fascinated by the vehicles since he was aged about three.
She said: “He loved his toy vehicles, watching educational programmes and videos on the subject .He would sit at the window on bin emptying days while getting so excited if he heard a helicopter or emergency service siren. “Elans’s fascination became stronger, and he was seeking more details independently from the internet, books, looking into weekly area bin collection timetables, which turned into an obsessive behaviour. “He was diagnosed with autism last year.
Elans has always told me that his dream job is to either become an air ambulance helicopter pilot or a bin truck driver. “The support from his school has been immense and were so proud. We had no idea that she was doing this for his birthday.
“This would never have happened with out Miss Glasby.
We are forever grateful for the teamwork from Miss Glasby and Councillor Baggy Shanker to make my boy’s day so special to remember.”
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