Tag Archives: special needs

Random Madness

Well.  Hasn’t it been a long time, eh?

We’re moving house.  On Monday.  Have you ever ‘transitioned‘ with a special needs child?  Try not to, it is so very challenging.  Moving house isn’t my favourite thing to do, even though I have incredibly itchy feet and always want to live somewhere different, but I would like to just go to bed in one house, wake up in another.  If necessary, I can take a two week Pacific Island holiday in between to allow this to happen…….

Here I am posting some photographs of Mr. D.’s recent works.  Not in order (order is definitely missing at present) and not in context.

A paper cylinder drawn by Mr. D. has pictures of every increasing/decreasing size (inspired in equal parts by Bugs Bunny and Vi Hart, the mathemagician); Mr. D. was giving his version of infinite series.

We also have some Lego figures:  person on a couch, washer/dryer with man adding washing powder.  We started these in response to Lego Quest (http://legoquestkids.blogspot.com/) a wonderful blog for homeschooling families that love Lego.  We had been a part of an online Lego club but as they were nation-wide, the live classroom didn’t work well for us time-wise.  Lego Quest gives you a regular “mission” to build Lego pieces and then will publish the submitted photographs.  Woot!  My lad loves seeing his things publicly displayed (who doesn’t, right?).

Last, and most certainly not least, are two playdough creations that now look a little worse for the travelling.  We have Mr. Shark and Mr. Penguin, both seem to be in response to watching the three episodes of Great Barrier Reef by the BBC on DVD.  Can’t vouch for the parentage of Mr. Shark but I do think Mr. Penguin is just a little bit Elvis, little bit Roy Orbison, no?

There you have it.  So much more work has been done – reading is improving at a rapid rate – but I haven’t had a chance to get my head around it let alone photograph or chronicle it.

See you once we’ve moved!

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Even more free stuff

Hootie Patootie!

We’ve been searching the web for (more) online science resources for our voracious experimenter and this is one we love.  We always try the tele-seminars for free each month – some video content and the sound of nearly 3,000 online/live kids all cheering and enjoying science.  Yay science.

But they’ve linked us up with a few other free offerings – I’m keeping my eyes open for the best ones and when they come through I’ll post them here.

A big of background on Supercharged Science – but only a bit because you’ll see for yourself – but they are all presented by Aurora, a real life NASA rocket scientist!  Not just that but she is charming and engaging and really seems to care that the curriculum is accessible for all ages.  Have a look at the video, download the HUGE book of experiments for FREE and then tell me what you and your kiddies think – would love to know.

http://www.sciencelearningspace.com/members/go.php?r=6197&i=l22

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As well

On the same day Mr.D. managed to fit in deconstructing our old hand-held vacuum cleaner.  Perfectly good cleaner, few years old now, but we lost the recharging unit within the first week!  Not me. Someone in our house did.  Sure it wasn’t me.  Couldn’t have been me.

Anywho – he has been dying to take it apart – probably due to its marvelously futuristic shape – and he finally did.  Just to add more mess to the living area.  Like this:

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Forest Frolic

Sunday and the lad needed his exercise!  What to do?  Daughter had yet another birthday party to attend so Dad did as Dad’s must and braved the foul weather (not so bad, actually) and the foul-tempered boy (got much better quickly) and off to the Northeast Woods they went.

You know – those great woods near Highland that they want to plonk a development on?  You don’t know them?  Better catch ’em before they are all gone.

I am hoping Dad will weigh in on comments and tell me what some of the stuff in the photos is – hopefully he will remember – but I do know a grand time was had.

3 cheers for exercise!!!

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NIDES – what’s that?

What is NIDES?

NIDES is North Island Distance Education School.

But I thought Mr. D. was home schooled?

He is.

But this says Distance Education – doesn’t it?

Yup.

So what’s the deal?

The deal is the best possible deal for our family – it is wonderful, amazing, encouraging, supportive, financially viable, and all around splendid!

So what is it, already!

Mr. D. is enrolled with NIDES.  As such, he is a Distance Learner but that just means he learns mostly at home.  He does a lot of technologically challenging things and tackles a lot of work online.

What sets NIDES apart from many other Distance schools and nearly all homeschooling co-ops, curriculum groups, etc. is that they hold e-ClassAll hail e-class! This means that for one day per week, Mr. D. goes to school like any other kid.  We drive to a campus, he takes a packed lunch, and he has a classroom.  He also has a teacher (this year, his class of 20 or so kids has two) both of whom are beyond tremendous.

This classroom doesn’t focus on academics; rather, it fosters social skills, encourages good ethics, arranges field trips and other gatherings that provide opportunities for community building.  They have a playground and a gym.  They learn skills, they have guest teachers (artists, musical theatre, etc.).  Parents may stay.  Parents may teach something in class if they wish.

Looking beyond the wonder of Mr. D. being able to experience a somewhat normal classroom without all the usual stuff that hurts and bewilders, there are his fellow pupils.  I hope they don’t mind me saying this but I say it with pride – they are eccentrics – one and all!  There are even other ‘gifted’ and ‘gifted and disabled’ kids on campus.  Elementary school kids one day on campus, bigger kids another.  Small buildings – large green land!

When my boy can say “but Mummy, NIDES kids wouldn’t ever laugh at me” then I know we’ve found our educational home.

Yeah – all right – there is also the bonus of Mummy and Daddy having a day without children in the house.  Just in the spirit of openness and stuff. *g*

For a Special Needs kid with social difficulties and lots of educational needs – well – NIDES is a blessing.

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I would walk 500 miles and ….

Well – if we could get Mr. D. to do so, we’d probably all feel better.

Two hours of walking, hiking, and looking will have to do.  Thank you, paterfamilias, for taking Ms. E. to a birthday party and dropping her off, then voluntarily taking the lad for his two hours of exercise.

They explored Kin Beach (not far from home) and apparently had a grand old time.  Not very adventurous but lots of fun.  And wonderfully therapeutic.

Both heavy muscle exercise and time spent in nature have a calming effect on our little lad so these types of walks are especially good.  He’s been doing 2 hour walks since before his third birthday – he really does love to explore and move.

Father tried to take a photo of the sunshine.  Not our sunshine.  Sunshine far away on the mainland.  We remember sunshine.  Sorta.  Warmish, right?  Vancouver Island in Winter – not warmish, right?  Sigh.

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Back-up Plans for Special Needs kids

Yes, it has been okay for me to laugh about my injuries the other day in the bathtub but the incident has raised a lot of …. issues.  (Warning:  Bitterness ahead)

First, let me say how glad I am that both my temples, especially the right, whacked down firmly on the bathtub in a flat manner; as my in-house brain guy tells me, if I’d just angled it slightly then I would probably have rearranged the interior of my head somewhat.  Probably not for the better.

Second, all the other injuries are relatively minor and have subsided and become general aches and moans.

Third, I give thanks that the people that read my blog (for the most part) have no idea who my beloved’s boss is.  That is because I want to rip him a new one.  Yes.  That’s right.  Tried to be polite.  But this ex-friend and power-hungry moron seemed to think my husband was ringing in to cancel work so that he could look after our kids.  He suggested alternatives for the future, including perhaps the hire of a Filipino maid (he’s the second health professional to suggest that and like the first time, I find it morally reprehensible).  Or perhaps we could ring up some emergency childcare respite type people – he’d even offer to pay!  Ha.

This was not about the kids.

This was about whether I had concussion.  Whether my biplobia was sign, symptom, or just passing through.  This was screaming woman, scared kids, and a father due on a ferry that only I could drive him to.

So boo-hoo, boss.  I don’t like the idea of my man disappointing ‘clients’ (btw: preferred patients – its truer and less capitalistic).  I don’t like that people may have rearranged their day to accommodate my man and then he has to let them down.  But I also don’t like a boss who thinks he can ride roughshod over everyone in his chase for a dollar and put the emotional screws on my hard-working husband.  The things I want to say to this ex-friend would see me booted off the web for life, probably, so I’m keeping it restrained.  This man used to pride himself on the family-like closeness of his team – now he rarely knows their names before they turn around and leave.  C’mon karma.

Now that the venting has finished, there is something way more important.

What do parents of children like ours do when the main care-giver/educator is not able to function?  We have no relatives nearby.  We have friends who could help but they all seem to have families somewhat like ours, too, and it would be a big burden for them.  This is a small town.  We do not have respite workers for long-term cases let alone “I’ll just call in an emergency and hire you” type respite workers.  What arrangements can be made that can get all of us through the day without too many meltdowns and tantrums?

In our case, my husband stayed home.  Yes, he obviously let down people who were expecting him at work.  But seriously, what were the options?  If someone comes up with something viable, please let me know.  These scenarios getting scarier the older we get.

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