Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Northcott Athletics Carnival

We made our third annual trip to the Northcott Interschool Athletics carnival at the State Sports Centre at Homebush last week.
It's a great Athletics Carnival where kids with a physical disability get to compete against others. The kids events are broken up into categories depending on their level of ability and reliance on equipment. Missy stepped up this year to compete against Primary Kids Yr3-6 together and competed in the category where kids have a high dependence on their walking frame.
The day started with an early rise,leaving home by 6am, along for the trip was Miss H with her video camera, the school banner and H-Ho with her cheering voice ready. Arriving with time to spare, Missy kept checking the programme and was saving her energy just cruising the stadium in her powerchair. As it neared her 25 m sprint, she jumped into her walker and couldn't wait to go to the marshaling area. She stood on the line so fiercely determined to win, the whistle went and she was off, the kids in her race all had Kaye Walkers(a less supportive walker) and were older but... she looked across the field, to see she just had the lead at the 15m mark and that was enough to make sure she just kept her legs pumping to take out the finish tape and be the winner.....
Next she competed in the Bean Bag race, a race that requires them to run to a hoop and drop a bean bag in it and run back to the start and do this three times and then sprint to the finish line. Missy did really well with the bean bags and was heading to the finish line when she kicked a shoe off, a worried look came over her face but she keep running and finished third. Missy went on to compete in the powerchair slalom, shot put and took part in the combined school relay team.

We had a wonderful day , thanks to Aunty K and cousin M for coming to cheer, it's a day when Missy's can really shine and her competitive nature is in overdrive.
The following day at school Missy was called to the front of the assembly with the results read out, Missy smiling away, so proud. It concluded with the school singing her the Bravo song.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Our School's got Talent"

Missy's school SRC recently conducted a competition called "Our School's got Talent" where students could perform anything they like. Performance heats were held over Term 2 and the Grand Final was held last week.
Of course any sort of performing was up Missys alley. So Missy and her friend put a dance together to Miley Cyrus's "Hoedown" they performed wonderfully in the heat to win a spot thru to the Grand Final.
The Grand Final had so much excitement surrounding it, as it was attended by the entire school and many parents, as it was held during our open day for Education Week. The girls had been practicing their dance moves during their lunch breaks with Miss H who does a wonderful job with all the extra curriculum stuff. Missy and her friend recruited another member to the dance group and they throw on the wigs and plenty of bling and took to the stage full of excitment and confidence and danced away to "Crazy" by Hannah Montana. Missy danced in her walker and I was so proud of her confidence to have a go.
Once the performances were over and an assembly was gathered, the results were read out, you could tell from Missy's face that she had no doubts that their act would be winning. Well...... as no places were given just 4 winners in the Junior & Senior Section... they read out three winners in the Junior and Missy's face had started to transformed to a worried look......and then the 4th winner was the "Crazy girls"... well she and her friends took off out the front, jumping out of their skin and smiles that couldn't be bigger.
Fun all around...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dynavox V-Max trial

After trialled the Eco2 and now the Dynavox V-Max, I have a clear preference for the Dynavox. Yes it is more familiar to us but allot of the little annoying features of the Dynavox DV4 have been improved on the Dynavox V-Max.
I will attempt to list them;
There is an improvement in the ability to view the screen when outside with the addition of a light ambient sensor on the front.
Speakers are located on the top front part of Dynavox which allows for better projection.
The is a UNDO button, so in our case if the clear button is accidentally pressed after Missy has spent 10 minutes typing up a sentence , it can be retrieved, the undo feature also applies the page editing that you make a mistake with.
It's an integrated computer/Dynavox, hence providing more Independence to send emails, research the web etc.
Now has the option to read E-Books on screen and games.
Improved and more choices of voices.
Has Interaact Pages, so it shows different pictures of situations appear like a doctors waiting room and you press on an area that you want to ask about, ie press the clock and a popup appears with relevant questions about the time....how much longer? So it provides numerous platforms and encouragement to ask the relevant questions to the situation.
We feel at this stage in Missy's literacy development we didn't want to take her over to a Minspeak system that the Eco2 provides along with a few features that I didn't like on the Eco2.
So I guess we will move onto a Dynavox V-max, our Dyanvox DV4 has served Missy well for five years now, allowing opportunities for language development, computer access, social contact, pre-school and school transition and importantly being seen and expected to contribute to conversations and learnig as she has a means of communication and the ability to demonstrate what she thinks is valuable.