. . . in all seriousness, thanks for stopping by! This blog will no doubt evolve over time, and will include all sorts of content. My aim is to let you know what we're doing as a family, how I'm coping as the mum of a child with Cerebral Palsy, and a variety of other things too.

If you are the parent of a special needs child, I pray that you will find encouragement, hope and support within these posts. I'd like to get to know your story too, so be sure to leave a comment.

I hope you'll come back soon.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Preschool Challenges

A friend of mine, who is studying Early Childhood Education, sent me the following message:
I'd like to tap into your experience and expertise in having children with what is now called "diverse needs." For my studies I'm writing a paper on inclusive practice in early childhood education. I was wondering if I could ask you to reply to me and tell me what you've found to be challenging or beneficial in your experiences with your little ones in preschool.
Any info you can give me would be great! Even if it's just a quick reply, I would be appreciative of any insight you can share with me!!
This got me thinking, and her a more detailed response than I think she was anticipating!  It's also given me the content for another post...

We had issues at the very beginning with Isaac's enrollment, due to him having had seizures when he was in the NICU. I went back to work when he was just over 4 months old. Was very upsetting, since they knew exactly what had been going on since the day of his birth, and Reuben had been there for the previous 2 years. Anyway Isaac hadn't had a seizure since the NICU, but they had to sort out their procedures for what to do in the event that he did have a seizure.
Fire engine at Kids Karnival
About a month after he started he had a cold, and started to refuse his bottle. This was expressed milk, so exactly what he was used to. I always joked about my boys having Tui on tap! (the beer..). It got to the point where he was going for his full 6 hours without any food/fluids. In the end the SLT at the hospital suggested using a sippy cup, because she didn't want him to continue getting feed via a syringe (I told preschool to get the food into him any way they could and I suggested a syringe, because I knew he was fine taking his meds via a syringe).
Apart from that, Under2s at preschool was fairly good.

Fishing from the balance board - making great progress!

 I think that I really noticed the differences, etc when he moved through to the preschool. He was moving about by bum shuffling and crawling. Which in itself wasn't too big of a problem, but when he was out in the playground, the teachers would get him to head instead about 5 or 10 mins before kai time, etc so that he had time to get in there before all the other kids came in.
I'm trying to make this as useful as I can for you, but I think it's going to make me cry. I'll try to keep it to preschool, because there were downfalls in early intervention, and it was only because I kept pushing and advocating for him that he finally got the additional support of his walking frame.
And the rolling walkie thingie...

Now that he is walking independently (Yay, Isaac!!!!) I'm noticing other things. Although cognitively he is at or ahead of his age, physically he is still struggling. The other week they had some mini balance beams (that's the best way I know how to describe them) in the classroom, and had the children running and jumping over these. For Isaac to step over these by himself would be a struggle. He can manage the tracks of a ranchslider, or small steps without having to hold on. But these were a good 10cm off the floor, probably 10cm wide, and in the middle of the room with no support for him to hold on to.
Another day they had the obstacle course outside. Isaac is a determined wee boy, and I would consider myself a fairly tough mum, in that I get him to do as much as possible for himself. But when there are things like obstacle courses and the like, I'm not sure what kind of affect it has on Isaac and his self confidence. He knows that he has a disability, and that he's not the same as other kids his age.

When he was about 18 months old there was an article on Campbell live one night, about a baby that had been in NICU, intubated, etc. And Phil said to Isaac, that he used to be sick like that when he was a little baby, but he's not sick any more. Isaac, with sad puppy dog eyes, said "But I still sick, I fall down all the time." It made my heart break. But it also told us that he knew what was going on, and that he wasn't the same as other kids.
Now that Isaac has turned three, he will qualify for an ESW at preschool, one morning/afternoon per week. Just waiting for that to get sorted, hopefully not much longer.
The current challenge is toilet training. I know this can be a challenge for lots of parents, but when the boy is wobbly on his feet, this provides added challenges. Guess I'm going to need to work more with his therapists, to get the information and strategies, and then pass those on to preschool.

Isaac's ESW (Education Support Worker) starts on Tuesday, I'm really excited as she is someone who spent time working with Isaac last year.  The ESW is assigned by Champion Centre and reports back to Isaac's therapists and us on a regular basis.

Champion Centre has to fund raise large amounts of money each year to continue providing the fabulous service that they do.  Last weekend was their annual fair where my boys had heaps of fun: ice creams, bouncy castle, face painting.  Afterwards, I had heaps of fun playing with photos editing apps on my phone.

same photo

different looks

layered looks

all at the click of a couple of buttons

1 comment:

  1. As tough as things seem for Isaac, he has to try and grasp that he is amazing and beautiful. Kids can be tough growing up and he needs to have that strength in himself to say "Hey man, I'm here and I am awesome" You are a great mum Tui and no doubt you were meant to have this specific wee boy to give him some of your strength x


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