Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Class 3/4 S - Top Ten

In Missy's class during the last week of school, the teacher gave the kids a survey, they were asked to write down the top ten things learnt this year. All the results were collated together and out come the top ten, I wasn't really surprised to hear that learning sign language rated in the top ten.
So a group of 8-10yr girls and boys think that learning sign language was pretty cool, an excellent example of how willing kids are to learn from others, and most importantly learn there is more than one way to communicate.
You never know but some of these kids might go on to be sign language teachers, translators or just give the next person they meet with communication difficulties, the respect they deserve.
Pictures show Missy's sign for "Oh-No" and "girl", these signs form part of a chart that hangs in each classroom, so kids/tachers can refer to it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Santas coming to town...

The above photo is taken at a work party where a Santa visits the kids to throw lollies and hand out presents. This Santa has seen Missy over the years, crying and basically being terrified of him with just a little improvement each year. We were asked my a good friend of Santas, that Santa wanted a photo taken with Missy this year. We asked Missy and with some reservations she agreed.
H-Ho was also very excited and shortly after Santa got off the Fire engine truck we were lucky to have the our local paper's photographer on hand to take this happy snap.
By the end of the event, Missy was driving off to the fire truck wildly waving goodbye.
At last, she has been keen to see Santa at every occasion since then including Missy & H-Ho talking about sleeping on the lounge Christmas eve to catch a glimpse of Santa.

Friday, December 17, 2010

School Gossip

The end of the school year brings lots of exciting events, high on Missy's priority is the school disco.
We rush home from school, grab a bite to eat and race back to school for the start. Missy cruises in her powerchair to spot her friends, not that it takes long, they come running, checking out each others outfits... she quickly signs for the walker, strapped in, she is off dancing with her mates, usually in the loudest spot available. Missy dances all night in her walker, with no regard for sore feet, tired legs and perspiration.
Ever since she went to her first school disco in Kindergarten, she was the last one standing at the end of the disco.
Her love for loud music and dancing with her mates has never waived over the years.
Recently Missy's school grounds was swamped by heavy rain and the entrance to her classroom had a significant flow of water going past the entrance, so Missy's friends decided to take their shoes and socks off to walk thru to get to their classroom. Of course Missy will be a part of everything and she proceeded to take her shoes and socks off with some help. If I could paint the picture, Missy is in her powerchair with no shoes and socks ready to cross the water with her friends and off she drives thru the water, her feet nowhere near the water but could have splashed. That's Missy just being one of the kids.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The School Excursion

The big 3 day Sydney Excursion was a fantastic experience for Missy.
All the planning by everyone certainly paid off, with everything running to plan pretty well. They headed off early from School at 7am travelling to Sydney , the three days were filled with many tourist attractions like the powerhouse museum, Australian museum, Sydney Aquarium, Wildlife World, Ferry ride to Manly, visited the Collaroy beach, scenic world at Katoomba with lots fun stuff like ten pin bowling and rock climbing. Missy of course, enjoyed every attraction and activity to her fullest alongside her peers. For Missy the biggest bonus for this excursion was having her powerchair on the excursion, the school had hired a small trailer to accompany the coach so Missy's powerchair and numerous other pieces of equipment(see above photo) could be stored. We recently purchased a portable ramp and it worked well with the trailer, along with having a bus driver that soon learned how to drive and operate Missy's powerchair. Having a trailer on a coach manoeuvring around Sydney brings it's challenges and many times the driver parked out on the road, used the ramps to get her chair off the trailer and then again to get up gutters. When Missy has her powerchair it brings her so many choices and independence to explore attractions and hang with who she wants.
All venues and timetabling was organised by the teachers to ensure wheelchair accessibility and that toilets were available for Missy are appropriate times, all the venues were good except one that didn't quite live up to it's standard.
Miss H and another Aide went with Missy on the excursion and my concerns about maybe she will get homesick were soon squashed as she expressed she didn't want the excursion to end. She shared a room with her best mates and lots of giggling went on.
By Friday afternoon the excursion was drawing to an end and the long trip on the coach was well underway... Missy sitting on the back seat was perfecting her skills of knuckle sandwiches and wet willies with her classmates.
What a wonderful experience for her, to be so well supported by school staff to ensure her full inclusion, to be able to enjoy all that her classmates did, and as a parent feel confident that she is safe and having the best time possible. I was so proud of Missy's stamina and maturity, that at the age of 8 she was confident going on a 3 day excursion.
Looking forward to another big excursion next year.