Tag Archives: inclusion

Guest Posts from the kinder team….

18 Feb

Well, this is SORT of a guest posting…. LET me explain.

We are loving BC’s new kinder. His teacher and regular assistant are FABULOUS, CARING and PASSIONATE about what they do. It’s lovely to watch.

AND BC’s new kinder assistant is AMAZING, DEDICATED, MOTIVATED, INFORMED and just one of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve come across in recent years. She’s also the mother of a 7 year old girl with cerebral palsy, so she knows a lot about CP, inclusion and advocacy. AND she’s a lot of fun. BC told me so tonight.

One of her suggestions was for me to place an exercise book in BC’s bag so she, the teacher and the other assistant could communicate with me. I did as she asked and wrote a short paragraph in there this morning, as I was neither there to drop off or pick up BC today.

About an hour ago, as I was checking through his bag, I remembered the book, so thought I’d check to see if there were any messages left in there for me. I was expected maybe a sentence reminder or something I’d forgotten and a simple sentence about his day….

Guess what I found?  THREE pages of notes, one page from each of the staff members and even a strip of very cute photocopied pics from the day.

WOW.

I can’t tell you what this means to me. This hardest part of having a child with limited communication skills is not being able to share in experiences he’s had when I’m not around. It just hurts that he can’t TELL me what he’s done, what he’s enjoyed, what may have upset him etc.

I’ve been trying (in vain) to get BC’s child care centre to give me ANY kind of information about what he’s done during the day, things I might need to do, bring etc and I’ve had next to nothing.

So THREE WHOLE pages of notes about his third ever session of kindergarten was overwhelmingly special.

Once I read the book, I sat down with BC. We used his PODD communication book, signing and speech to talk about the activities and other things mentioned in the book, looked at the photos and talked about the different kids. WOW. He was so animated and excited. It was AWESOME.

AND just so you know what I know now, I can tell you he had a fab day today. Don’t take my word for it, here’s just a few excerpts from the book:

Ms B (our new assistant)

“He was using his communication book great. I added the word ‘dolls’ to his things list as we had water play outside (washing baby dolls). He then chose ‘sandpit’, ‘swing’ and ‘bridge’. Ms J (teacher) is happy to make a little bag to put on his walker for his communication book. She has some dinosaur material. I asked BC if he would like that he said yes. He also thanked Jenny. He is such an adorable boy and a pleasure to work with”

Ms J (teacher)

“I will take measurements for the bag and make is ASAP. BC has really enjoyed today’s session. Inside he had lots of fun in home corner, pretending to eat fruit and have afternoon tea. He had a fit of the giggles when Miss C was racing in and out of home corner and they pretended to talk on the phone. He did a fantastic job packing up the tea cups and dishes…a very happy session!”

Ms E (regular kinder assistant)

“BC raced after me to check out Miss M’s treasure and then indicated he wanted to go in the cubby house. In there he played with Master L. BC covered him up and he began to snore. BC thought this was a good idea so he got into bed and Master L covered him in a blanket and BC began to snore! It was such fun that everyone wanted to join in. He had a wonderful time”.

It’s all simple, simply stuff, but thrilling in just how ‘normal’ it is (sorry, I hate that word, but I think you get what I mean!) and I hope you can see why I am already looking forward to savouring the next instalment of his kinder diary (as I’ve decided to know call it!) on Friday……..

One of the kids

6 Apr

BC attends child care very Friday. He’s been in the kinder room for about 6 weeks. It’s a combined 3-4 year old room. He’s 3 and a half. Nervous Nelly that I am, I was worried how he would settle in – with the bigger kids, less staff and more structure. But BC wasn’t worried at all. First day in the kinder room, he walked in (in his Kayer Walker) and joined the circle of sitting children as if he’d been going there his whole life! He barely even turned to wave goodbye to me ;-).

Fast forward to this week – when we arrived on Friday, one of the bigger girls had “saved” him a spot sitting next to her and it was his turn to be a ‘helper’. He was beaming. But it gets better. When I went to pick him up, he was chasing another child around the outside play area. CHASING. The child being chased by my son (wow he can move when excited!) was squealing in delight. All the kids were playing too. It was a wonderfully chaotic scene of squeals, flailing hands and flushed cheeks.

What was so great about this scene was that no-one was treating BC differently. He was just another kid playing chasy. The walking frame was irrelevent to them, as it is to us. It’s just a means to an end.

As I watched them play and enjoy themselves I wished I could bottle the scene and share it with the world. I wish that the people who stare at, or sometimes point, or even comment about BC when he’s walking in his frame when we are at the shops or the park could take a leaf out of those kids books and just not see the frame at all either. Just another kid. Because that’s all he is – just one of the kids. And I couldn’t be happier about that!

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