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.

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