Saturday, October 23, 2010

Excursion Excitement building

Missy is very excited about her school excursion next week. Not just a day excursion but a three day, two night excursion to Sydney with 44 other kids from Year 3 and 4 in her mainstream school.

Planning started for this excursion in Term 1 ,with our school being more than helpful and willing to ensure the Missy has a fully inclusive experience. There was never really a question of whether Missy will be going on the excursion, Missy and us just expected that she would be part of anything her classmates are doing. Our School has certainly accommodated this expectation with enthusiasm.
School planning to date has included two aides being available on the excursion, a trailer to accompany the bus to carry Missy's powerchair and other equipment, all venues accessible, toilet facilities available at appropriate times, activities can be accommodating (including rock climbing),beach wheelchair booked, meals are suitable, and sleeping arrangements.
Of course with all this planning comes the thought of what if she gets homesick, so I started checking the mood and confidence about the excursion, asking "maybe one of us need to come to make sure you don't get up to any mischief" this meet with the forearms making a cross for "NO DEAL", so at the moment she is full of confidence and can't wait to be part of the bus trip, sight seeing, giggling and most importantly just hanging with your mates 24hours a day.
Big week to come, I will keep you posted...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Powerchair Search

We have started the process of finding Missy a new powerchair, she has had her Roller Rad with MAG seating system for five years now and it's worn out along with being to small. The technology, design and features available in powerchairs have certainly changed over the last five years.
Next week we meet with 5 suppliers who will be in our area to look at 14 different chairs that maybe suitable for Missy. We are currently on the books with the Spastic Centre (soon to be called Cerebral Palsy Alliance - much better)and our OT will be assisting us especially with the all important application for funding, expecting the chair to cost around 20K.
Biggest decision for us will be which wheel drive base to choose, our current RAD is rear wheel drive,as Missy drives over allot of rough ground around home. We will also be trialling the mid wheel range which will give a tighter turning circle, more suitable for the classroom and shops.
Missy powerchair has been incredibly important to Missy's life, it provides choices and a level of independence particularly socially, in sport, in the classroom, and out in the community. Missy can choose who she wants to hang out with in the playground or what conversation/group she wants to leave if she is bored - very important. Since Missy started with the powerchair at school, I believe she is perceived differently, she is a kid in control of own wishes, an active kid able to carry out tasks and a very responsible driver.
If I take myself back to when Missy first got her powerchair at 4 yrs of age , I was very nervous and had my doubts as to how proficient she would become at driving. Of course Missy always works hard at tasks and now is a very good safe driver.
It's wonderful that the technology continues to expand and there is so many options available to allow kids to take some control over their lives.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

ABR continues

We have plans to attend another ABR Clinic in November at Sydney, after getting a quick update in July and attending the clinic in March. Thankfully the Clinics are much more compact these days with our videoing, prescribed exercises, workshop and training all over in 2 days. Just Missy and I will make the trip and hopefully will catch up with other families I haven't seen for some time.
Unfortunately my plans for getting lots of ABR done in the school holidays hasn't really come off, with my routines out the window and visitors.
Back to school next week, hopefully I can get back into my routine of sitting down at night and getting in my hour of ABR a night.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Kermit is in use

Opps.. it been a while since I blogged, been a bit busy - believe or not?
Kermit is Missy's new (well second hand but was still new- confused?) Dynavox V-max, it is a bright green colour hence the name. We managed to get it from a USA family who unfortunately their elderly mother passed away before getting to use it. So it actually brand new but a fraction of the price.
In the USA their medicare system puts a high priority on the value of speech and funds speech generating device. If only our broken disability system could see the value and life changing options available to people when they have the opportunity to speak. After our government telling us when Missy was three that a communication device was not a priority and our recent approach to the government thru our therapist meet with a "get in the long queue behind people who have been waiting for a wheelchair for more than 12months" NSW is in poor shape, compared to other states who give families $7000 towards communication devices.
Anyway back to the positives, Kermit is up and running and as I have blogged before we are enjoying some of the improved features. DET were kind enough to fund a 40 hole new style keyguard which is working well- considering I saved the government potentially funding a $14,000 V-Max thats the least they could do. I have been busily programming and trying to incorporate some of the new setups with some familiar pages that have I imported from the DV4. I am yet to master the E-Books and need to personalise some the InterAACT pages to our situations, no doubt we will get there.
So when Missy returns to School Monday week, she will be accompanied by Kermit.