Saturday, 18 February 2012

The Calm after the Storm.

Yesterday I wrote a very emotional and honest blog.
At the time I was at the lowest point I have been for a long time.
Today is a new day and a new perspective................

Yesterday morning I let the flood gates open.

I have been feeling the tears waiting since before we went to Queensland but have been unable to get them to flow.

Yesterday they came in a tidal wave.

If anyone had of come to my house they would have admitted me to hospital.
For 60 minutes I cried and cried and cried.

At the time I did not know how to stop.
But I did.

Today I feel cleansed.
I feel like all of the emotion has gone.

I realise the adjustment of a new year, (a very different year), Amelia being sad AND grumpy and Little Tom being forced to take on so much responsibility has taken it's toll on me.
The weight of what is going to occur at the AT clinic next month in Brisbane, travelling to Mildura next week and assisting with the Brashat Gala this year has all caught up.

My stress levels exploded.

Thank you to all my beautiful friends, far and wide, that helped me get through it.

Amelia said last night ......
"I want to leave my mainstream school BUT I do not want to leave my friends".
She is now happily sitting with that thought.

Tom HAS BEEN my guiding light through the last two weeks.
His enthusiasm, maturity and common sense makes me laugh, admire and adore his overall personality.

From the moment Tom leaves his classroom he begins telling me about his day.
He is so animated, full of facial expressions and actions, that it can only make you laugh.

So now that the negativity has left my body (I think!) I am going to begin focusing on the positives again.

My beautiful family needs me happy and calm.
That is my aim for this week.


Friday, 17 February 2012

What to do......

One day I will learn.
When you emotionally post a statement on Facebook, your friends worry.
The messages, phone calls and home visits were appreciated.
I am lucky to have so many friends that care about us so much.

The "wine fairy" even made an appearance again.

I am now officially burnt out.
I am so emotionally drained and exhausted.
At least the tears have started flowing so I can now release some of this weight I feel upon my shoulders.

School 2012 was meant to be "time for me".
Instead I find myself stressing over both children.
Instead I have two children that have HUGE things happening in their lives.
There is also "other" things happening around me where I am needed.

Amelia broke down yesterday and said
"I want to go to the special school full time".

I asked her the reasons why and she said......
"It is more fun".
"It is nice and quiet".
"The other one is boring. I do not know what to do there".
"I can play with people at playtime".

Absolutely broke my heart.

Here is this little girl that I only want happiness for and she is explaining to me how "out of place" she feels at her mainstream school.
How she has just found a place where she feels comfortable and belongs.

Sounds like the decision is easy then, doesn't it?
I do not think so.

Once she moves, that is it.
No moving back.

You cannot make such a BIG decision based on a bad day or a "whim".
It has to be well thought about and decided it is 100% definate.

I have absolutely no issues with her attending special school full time.
I am worried about all of the friends she will be leaving behind.
And she has many.
I have explained this, named them, pointed them out .......

But I think she has decided.

Now I am taking her to a place where she feels so ...... different.

I believe that she feels "bored" because she is unable to keep up or understand the work in class.
She said "I do not know what to do in the classroom".

When I see Amelia with her friends and favorite staff members at mainstream she has a massive smile on her face.

She would not see them anymore.
She would be catching a bus to and from school, straight from our front door.
(This is something she is very eager to do).

I only want to do what is right by Amelia.
I want her to feel comfortable and happy everyday.
I never want her to feel "different" if I can help it.

She may only have a short time with us so I need to make it the best possible time it can be.

And then there is Tom.

The responsibility and independence put on this little 5 year old so soon after starting school is also heartbreaking.

I am a mother who likes to see my child walk into class at the beginning of the day and be there waiting when he comes out.

The drop off / pick up zone has never been for us.

But at least he is extremely eager to get out of the car and make his own way to class.
I am not.

But yesterday when Amelia was crying and begging not to go to mainstream, Tom looked at her and said "but I am there. Please don't leave me".

And the tears keep flowing.


Monday, 13 February 2012

Today she is NOT mine !!!

Before I begin my story about today's cringe-worthy moment, I would like to acknowledge something that I forgot in yesterdays blog........

Amelia will also be presented with an Energy Monitor badge at assembly.
After our excitement about Tom, Amelia announced she has also been chosen for her class.
I confirmed this with a reliable source.

Amelia is never given a role or responsibility such as this.
Her self esteem and overall happiness have definately received a boost with this decision.
And sometimes we all need to be "in charge" of something to feel like we belong.

NOW TODAY.........

Amelia and I received a very distinguished Invitation to have morning tea with the "Myer" family.
Yes, that is the same Myer family that developed the well known department store.
It was Mr Sydney Bails Myer and Mrs Sarah Myer.

The charity that had supplied Amelia's laptop computer had previously received the funding from this family.

Beyond Disability, the before mentioned charity, offers assistance to people of any age.
They specialize in technology and equipment to enhance communication.

They have one specific program to assist children still at school, "Wheelie Kids".

Amelia ONLY uses her computer now at school.
We no longer encourage her to write because it is just too difficult.
I would prefer that she began learning about other forms of communication.
So.......all school work is now done on a computer.

The Myer family have kindly supplied this opportunity.

The Property in Red Hill was devine.

They also have a property in Melbourne CBD.

Mr Myer came over to me, pulled up a chair and began a conversation.
Amelia up to this point had been complaining that she was "bored".
When attempts were made to include Amelia IN the conversation she ignored the speaker.
THEN while sitting in a chair, pulled her walker over, PUT her feet up on it, THREW her head back and virtually sighed.
I could vitually see her rolling her eyes.

At this point I was cringing.
Here was a very wealthy 80+ year old man attempting to speak to Amelia and she was being incredibly rude.

The behaviour continued with anyone who tried to speak to her.

The only time she was "herself" was when we were taken out to see the stunning horses and 5 foals.

Whenever I tried to address this behaviour with her, (whispering), she ignored me !!

These people do not "know" Amelia.
They probably believe this is normal behaviour and linked to her disability.

But I DO know.

The Amelia that charms, inspires and impresses everybody was not with me today.

Some other child was.

When we were leaving I asked her why she had behaved so rudely in front of those people.

Her answer made me realise how alert she can be.

"You said that I am not allowed to talk to strangers" she said smuggly.

At least she has still got spark.......................................

Mr and Mrs Myer with Miss Attitude.

One of the beautiful foals (please ignore Amelia's "Madonna" gloves that she insisted on wearing!).

And feeding a foal.


Sunday, 12 February 2012

Rollercoaster and Change!

This past week has been a very BIG week.
Both emotionally and physically I have personally found it very draining.
But it has also been a time of many emotions, a lot of them positive.

 Tom started school for the first time EVER.
Amelia started another school year which included attending a special school 2 days a week (her choice). And I have had my first taste of having both children at school .....and me at home.

 Tom has taken to school, so far, better than any of us imagined.
On Friday he walked up to me disappointed after leaving his classroom.
"Why do we have to have weekends??" he asked sadly !!!
He comes home very excited every day to not only tell me every detail of his day but to also excitedly tell me about "who got in trouble".
 He always ends this particular conversation with "and it wasn't me!!".
Then he excitedly wants a high five !!!
(Scott and I may have been seen high fiving each other and shouting woo hoo).

 On Friday Tom came home with a very special notice explaining that he has been chosen to be the "Energy Ranger" monitor for his class.
This means he has to check lights, computers and electronic devices are on/off during the day.
 The role is perfect for Tom who thrives on responsibilty.
The presentation of his badge will be at assembly next week.

 Amelia is happy.
She is tired at the end of each day BUT she is happy.
Normally I pick her up and it breaks my heart to see her so exhausted.
 This week she survived almost 4.5 days.
That is excellent for first week back. T
he excitement of new class, new teacher, seeing her friends again and having Tom at her "mainstream" school has really lifted her spirits.

She also came home one day very excited that she had "won" a MacDonalds toy in a playground game.
A group of girls were also very excited that she had "answered the question in the game correctly".
Those children will never understand the happiness Amelia felt in being included so beautifully but I was able to enjoy her excitement when she came home.

There were mornings of "guilt" on my behalf.
Where I felt guilty that I should not be leaving her at school today.
But I hoped that the school would call me when she was struggling......and they did.
 If she is unable to function or just feels crap, I want her home with me.
 Not feeling like she has to keep pushing herself to continue.

 Her first two days at Special School was a success.
She really enjoyed it.
I cannot possibly explain how friendly and welcoming all of the staff and children are.
 She will be getting physio, OT and speech during her 2 days there.
And swimming (that is why she just HAS to go Tuesdays!).
 Last week she participated in homecrafts (tye dying a piece of silk) and this week Music Therapy.

 Scott is emotional that Amelia chose to colour her silk red and blue. She told him she is making something "just for him in his favorite footy team colours".

 This weekend I started Amelia on a high vitamin/mineral/protein drink for energy.
Thank you to everyone that suggested this to me.
Hopefully it will help her replace all of the energy she burns doing ANYTHING.

 And me?
I really struggled this week with many emotions.
No children at home to talk and play with.
No children at home to keep safely in my care.
 The guilt of being at home while knowing Scott was having a very difficult week at work.
The guilt of Amelia attending school while tired.

 So I cooked really yummy dinners and snacks.
I kept the house spotlessly tidy.
I ran errands I should have done weeks ago.

 But I never sat down.
Not once.
The rest of my family couldn't ....... so I shouldn't.

 Scott and I had a very productive talk on Friday night.
He disputed all of my thoughts and worries and once again showed his support for what I do and have done.

During the week I was able to attend a "parent helpers" meeting at the school.
Enrolments are lower this year for prep than previous years.
One lady , new to the school, addressed the issue of talking to prospective parents.
She suggested NOT mentioning the acceptance of special needs children.
She felt that parents are turned away with this statement and may think that "these" children get more attention than everyone else.

 I do not need to explain how this statement made me feel.

 But upon reflection I am very happy with my analysis of this statement. If prospective parents are "turned away" by this "acceptance" then I am very grateful.

 Out of 500 children at our school there are 21 funded special needs children.
There are probably another 21 unfunded (thank you to our government and special needs acceptance committee).

 My special needs daughter needs to be surrounded by people who embrace her disabilty both physically and emotionally.
Children AND adults.

Narrow minded, discriminatory and judgemental people can go to another school.
 I am glad that our school "weeds out" those who do not accept all children.

 My child has staff members hired to care for her "special needs".
She does not take away teacher attention from anyone else.

 So I am overall very happy with the people who do choose to send their children to our school that accepts children with special needs.

 But I feel sorry for these children who are sent elsewhere because of the "special needs children".

 They will never get to see what these children CAN do, rather than what they cannot.
They will never learn to accept others and not judge someone immediately.

 They will never create a friendship with someone who could teach them SO much.