In my defense, there has been a lot of things going on over the past few months. I was struggling with the necessary change in mindset between working in a high performance sport environment, and then being at home with a child who has physical disabilities. The company that I work for was in the process of restructuring. I decided, since I'd been there for 5 years, that it was time to look at moving on. After numerous applications and interviews, I secured a position as financial administrator at the Cochlear Implant clinic. I've been there for a couple of months now, it's been a steep learning curve, but I'm really enjoying it and am slowly getting my head around everything that this job entails.
We've been having problems with Reuben's behaviour over the past few months. I was getting really bad - hitting, kicking, biting, swearing, name calling, throwing things, etc. I was finally able to get some help to put some strategies in place to help me deal with and diffuse the behaviour and the anger. A lot of kids in Christchurch have been having problems due to the ongoing stress from the earthquakes. I wan't sure if that was what caused Reuben's problems, or if it was because he was a 6 year old boy, or because he had a younger brother, or if it was because he had a sibling with disabilities. Probably a combination of all of the above in varying degrees at any one time.
I went to a session at school that was put on with clinical psychologists talking about what to do with kids that have been suffering from ongoing stress. It was an okay session, but I was pretty down by the end of the session, To be honest, if it was just the earthquakes I could handle that because I know that they're not going to be forever. But it really highlighted to me that Isaac's disability was going to be ongoing, like for the rest of his life. Not quite what I was hoping to get out of the evening.
I've been talking with various people who read my blog, and it has been really encouraging to hear some of their comments. One couple in particular, we met at the mall one weekend. They said that it was great how not only did we get Isaac out and about, but also that we were open with other people about the experience we were going through. Now, any of you who are reading this at the moment who have special kiddies, will know that as a blogger you don't put everything you're going through in your posts. But I'm pleased that I'm able to give people a bit of a glimpse into our Tutti Frutti life.
One of the additional benefits that I've received from having Isaac at Champion Centre, is the connection that I've been able to make with other mums. I never realised how isolated I was until I hooked up with a group of champion mums (past and present) who go out to dinner and socialise once every six weeks or so. It's great being able to share experiences and concerns with others who are on the same page and a great excuse for a night out.
What's Isaac been up to, I hear you ask. Well, let me tell you just how fabo this little guy is! Each week at his therapy sessions he works really hard. So hard in fact that he can hardly keep his eyes open on the two block drive from Champion centre to preschool. The therapists and teachers all say how much of a pleasure it is to see him each week. He has worked so hard and progressed so well, that he is moving to a different session when classes resume after the summer break. This year he will be going fortnightly instead of weekly. There's some down sides about that - not being with friends and teachers that we know and no computer sessions :( But on the plus side - meeting new friends, new challenges, new teachers.
We had some new front steps installed. The rise was too deep for Isaac and he struggled to walk up them by himself. Now, although they come out a lot further, each step isn't as deep and with that combined with the handrail that got installed at the same time, he can now walk up and down the front steps by himself. It also means that he can go out and play with Reuben or the neighbours without the need for me to stop what I'm doing to help him down.
Mid December Isaac had an appointment with the Paediatric Neurologist. He'd been referred by his neonatal consultant, who had also said that she'd be passing him on to the developmental paediatricians. When we met with the neurologist, he said to us that since we'd been referred to him, there wasn't much point in seeing the developmental paediatricians too. So he would take over managing Isaac's case. Sounds like a good plan to me.
Over the last few months, Isaac has been relying on his walker less and less. The week before Christmas, I decided that he didn't need to take it to preschool. Most of the time he's dump it anyway, and we'd have to go looking for it before we went home. Going to the mall has started to be easier (and quicker) if he holds my hand, or walks independently if there aren't many people around. Result - he hasn't touched his walker in 4 weeks!
Bye for now, I'll be back soon with more on Christmas and our summer holiday...