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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

End of School and a Snake Necklace














It is totally bittersweet Elizabeth is done at her Preschool/JK. She has been at this school for the past 3 years and has played, learned, laughed and thrived in an environment that was perfect for her. I can't believe it was 3 years ago when I took her to see the school and then she was still crawling. Her teacher's now tell me they were really unsure how she would do as she was not walking but thankfully she did begin to walk 2 months before school started. Elizabeth was the first child to be integrated in their school and they accepted her for her not the difficulties she faced.
The small classes, interesting themes, additional French and art classes, how they celebrated Mother's day with a tea party and Father's day with a snack for Daddy before work and how they introduced academics in a fun way to learn. They always were interested in Elizabeth's well-being and every teacher knew her and encouraged her. The teacher's were very accepting of recommendations from her therapists, her fiddly FM unit and I loved that her teacher would even remove Elizabeth's AFO's to help her walk in high heels like the other kids.
Elizabeth celebrated the last of school at a picnic the school held. I think the highlight was the Reptile man that visited and brought all the things that Elizabeth loves. The snake necklace really made Elizabeth's day. We will miss her old school and the small safe environment they had but now back to big girl school and a new chapter in her life.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dance Recital













Elizabeth had her end of year dance recital in her adaptive dance class. The class worked so hard practicing all the steps and Elizabeth remembered the movements quite well. Elizabeth really enjoyed her dance class, her favourite thing about her dance class is the attention she gets from her helpers. Elizabeth has 2 helpers that hold each hand so she can complete the steps with their support. Her helpers are the sweetest girls who adore Elizabeth and are teaching her so much. On the night of the dress rehearsal her helpers were waiting at the door for her and presented her with a card wishing her luck and coached her though all the steps and how to present herself on stage.
I did not get to see Elizabeth perform as I was backstage to help her and supervise the class but from what I heard she did great. Hearing the thunderous clapping from the audience was proof that the whole class was inspiring.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fatigue


Elizabeth's Resource Teacher and I met to discuss her progress and her discharge. We were talking about Elizabeth's 'days' and how she fluctuates day to day for her need of physical support. Her teacher had said they often can know what day she is having if she brings her chair around in the classroom. On these days she often by the end of the morning has difficulty sitting on the floor so she will bring her chair during circle as well. Initially her classroom teacher would tell Elizabeth to put her chair back but after her Resource Teacher pointed out why she does this Elizabeth was allowed to keep her chair. This is a big change for Elizabeth as when she first started school she never sat down and then would be crying at home because her legs hurt. Her Resource Teacher has been a tremendous advocate for Elizabeth and we are grateful that she is aware of Elizabeth and her needs and can help others to be aware as well.
Now that it is warm outside and we are spending more time outside I notice she carries her chair around to play and help me in the garden. We really try to keep Elizabeth active and give her every opportunity to walk but after talking with her teacher I now know that I also to have be careful not to push her and give her legs a break.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

video

Elizabeth is doing great with her new bike. We have bought her a Triton 3 wheeled bike/roadster and she is now flying on it. I love that I am actually getting exercise as I am running to chase her and keep her from danger. She loves riding it and is getting quite daring. The steering was tricky for her to figure out and in the beginning she smashing into everything and we kept having to pull her out of bushes and off peoples front yards. She is riding further on this bike and our goal is to ride to a nearby ice cream shop. Everywhere she rides people and kids stop by and say how cool her bike is, we met some little boys and they could not wait to try her bike, even though it was pink. We still have to modify it with a proper backrest so right now we used bungee cords to tie cushions on it so she can reach the peddles. We just have to find a basket so she can bring her dino's for a ride.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The big meeting (game)

We had our big meeting at Elizabeth's new school today. The meeting is to present Elizabeth's needs to the school where she will attend Senior Kindergarten, this is to let (or warn) the school what they need to prepare for the fall. Our biggest concerns are concerning; safety (during gym time, outside and in the halls), her needing assistance for changing her shoes and putting on her coat etc, a suitable/supportive chair for the classroom is available, having an FM unit available for her, the Itinerant for the Deaf assess her classroom and to provide support, having PT and OT consult and set the environment up for her needs and to ensure she is included in all activities to the best of her ability, equipping the bathroom for her independence (versa frame or grab bar) and ensuring her speech therapy is to continue.
We were lucky to have some of her therapists/teachers present at the meeting as they know her so well and are instrumental with the successes she has made. Her PT made it as apparent as she could that Elizabeth was not safe and requires close monitoring and equipment to maximize her potential but she is not able to outright say what she should receive (restrictions made by the organization CCAC that assesses her need for OT/PT). Her Speech Path on the other hand laid it out that Elizabeth has a moderate speech delay and should be getting the max 24 sessions.
The school staff that were present listened with interest and during the meeting seemed genuinely concerned with her needs and as they had met her they agreed with some of our concerns. Unfortunately the CCAC manager did not show up to the meeting as planned.
I thought things had gone well with the meeting until I asked when would we be hearing what services Elizabeth would be entitled to in the fall. Of course things became quiet and they said they would wait until the fall to put the paper work in for requests for service but she would recieve Speech therapy as requested by her SLP. I politely said I don't think this is the normal routine (I work for one of the agencies and know a bit more than the average parent)and will look into it tomorrow.
So tomorrow I will make some phone calls to find out the process and ensure things are ready the day she walks into her classroom. Waiting for the fall will not be an option. I am fairly aware that fall means maybe an October visit and then another month to order her chair and before we know it Christmas will come and she still will not have a chair. As for safety she is not safe at certain times and has to have support available when needed. I really hate playing this game, I try so hard to be nice and trusting and not get their backs up but now I have to be the pushy parent to get what she needs.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Art by Elizabeth













Pretty much daily Elizabeth brings home pictures she has drawn while at school. I can attest that at least 99% of her drawings are of dinosaurs of some sort. I do beg and plead with her to draw me a picture of a butterfly, flower or a person and she justs laughs at me. I do have to say her dinosaurs are getting pretty good now.