Thursday, 25 April 2013

Planning for grade 3 - IPRC

Yesterday I attended an IPRC meeting for my daughter it was an opportunity for me to discuss my daughters needs & strengths. It is also an opportunity for me to make sure everything is in place for the following school year.  I felt like a broken record reviewing my daughters needs again and again as we had many school meetings over the last few months  due to a few challanges we faced this year.  

Next year I've reluctantly agreed to my daughter attending a special education classroom at her home school for children with developmental delay.  I truly hope this is going to be an ideal situtaion for her.  She will have a teacher that is dedicated to working with kids with signifigant chanellges.  I  hope this teacher and support staff will see my daughter like any other child as a communicator and a learner and set high expectations for her.  I know she needs the extra support this classroom can offer her but  I don't want her to be treated like a baby. She's 8 and needs to be enouraged to be as indepentant as possible.

I found it troubling reading through some of the Ministry of Education Categories and Definitions.  My daughters IPRC states that my daughter has a developmental disability  which is defined as "a severe learning disorder".   Yes I see that and I get that but it is hard to swallow and accept. I see how far she has come and I have so much hope that she will learn to read and communicate effectively in the future.  

The definition goes on to state:
a) an inability to profit from a special education program for students with mild intellectual disbabilites because of slow intellectual development.
b)an ability to profit from a special education program that is designed to accomadate slow intellectual develeopment;
This is the part that really bothers me is this really NESSCESSAY?
c) a limited potential for academic learning, independent social adjustment and economic self-support. 

OUCH I find that last part very hard to read, accept and feel that last statement is just so negative it hurts this Mom to the core.   I worry it sends such a negative message to parents, teachers and support staff about my daughter and all  kids in this category that they can't learn, socialize or be indepentant.  I feel these statements leaves little room for optimism about my daughter's future. I am always overly optimistic, my glass is always half full, the sun will always come out tomorrow. For my daughter I always knew she would be a walker, and I love that she is a gymnast and a soccer player. I just knew she won't need to carry that oxygen tank into the classroom with her.  I was ever hopeful she would learn to eat one day.  All these things she accomplished they were big deals.  She can crawl, sit on a typical chair to enjoy a meal or a show. Feed herself a meal using her utensils.  I continue to hope that one day she will be a better communicator and a reader.  I'm certain her future will be meanful and serve a purpose yes she will likely need support in whatever she does but it still be purposeful and meaningful. Not only to Ashley but too many people that she will meet.

I was told that kids with severe learning disabilities can learn to read they just have to work at it a lot more then typical learners.  Which means picking up and reading a lot more books.  Ashley and I read many leveled readers each day she enjoys this time with me and loves books. I can not tell you if one day she will be a reader. But I can tell you that I will only fail her if I don't try to teach her.  

Just believe in my girl and all that she can do.
So I'm  just going to continue to think positively about the upcomming school year.  I would love the ministry to consider the messages they are sending parents, teachers and our kids.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Ashley enjoying winter the Koolway!

It has been a long and snowy Canadian winter.   Ashley is always itching to get outside despite the weather.   She is glued to the backdoor if Daddy is outback cooking on the barbeque.  I hate to tell her it's too cold get out there.  Now Ashley is sporting this  Koolway Sports custom made snowsuit. 

Ashley's Koolsuit is purple and hot pink. Koolways snowuits are custom made in Canada and come in many colours.  The best thing is the warmth Ashley legs are now nice and warm while on the ice or being pulled in a sled.  For someone on a slegde or in a chair it is very easy to get cold since your not moving around. We used to put on snow pants and  blankets on her legs but the blanket would  fall off.    Her Koolway leg blanket zips to the Koolway Jacket, plus both the jacket and leg blanket was made  for extra warmth and stays put.    

Koolway generously custom made Ashley  this suit  in-cordination with  PAL site.   Ashley is one very lucky girl! 

I can now quickly get her dressed and we are off and enjoying this never ending winter.  She has been skating three times since getting her Koolwaysuit  just over two weeks ago.   She is living life the Koolway!  Ashley and I both say Thank you Koolway Sports!!

Also exciting news...

Ashley  is starring in a video called "The Climb" and two photos "Walking on Sunshine" and Let's Play at this years Filmpossible 2013 compeition. 
If you have time it just takes a second to vote.  Jump over to Filmpossible to view and vote on all the amzing entires that are bringing visibility to disability.   All entries are submitted by people who believe in a world of possibility.