Tag Archives: equal

The Avocado Advocate

I am green, I have no training and sometimes no clue… I am making it up as I go along. 

Clearly I missed the chapter on “How to Advocate for your Child” in  ‘What to Expect when you’re Expecting’, was there one?…

I devour information from PwD who speak, blog, write so eloquently about their needs/wants/dreams, but I am an abloid, how do I really know what MaccyMoo needs/wants/dreams.

I assume he wants independence, free will, ordinary experiences, laughter and ice cream for dessert.

I know he thinks sleeping (at any time of day or night) is for wimps and, should I choose to do his therapy, and mess with his ‘free will’, I do so at my peril.

He is five, he is a boy and he is my son.  I am significantly more than five, I am a girl and I am his Mum. 

How on earth do I really know what is in his heart.

I hope my ability to regularly exist in a ‘child state’, to consider what would have been important to me if I was a five year old boy and to strive to always appreciate a good ‘fart gag’ will stand me in good stead. Will that be enough?

We establish rules at pre-school to ensure he isn’t treated as a ‘precious, ‘special’ little boy’ but merely as a five year old boy – the kids get it, their parents might in time. 

But is that what he wants or what I want.

I find it hard to pinpoint what it is that I want for him.  Do I want him to be ordinary… and then… what is ordinary?  I consider my upbringing ‘ordinary’ but then I loved winning at sports (all of them), I liked being better at school than the person next to me, I liked that as a kid I was in the local paper regularly for my achievements.  Did everyone do this, is this ordinary?

I have struggled for sometime to work out what it is I am chasing for MaccyMoo – but finally…

I think I may have found it.

Thankfully there are people out there far smarter than me.  I came across an inclusive education site – important research as we prepare for MaccyMoo starting school next year and there it was…  the words I had been looking for…

“THROUGH THE SAME DOOR”

This absolutely encapsulates what I am trying to achieve for MaccyMoo – to be able to access life through the same door as everyone else.

It provides a simple answer when others ask “why are you mainstreaming him”, I now have an answer I am proud to share…

As I said, I am still green when it comes to advocacy, but I hope I am getting there. 

 

The site I found was www.throughthesamedoor.com it is Micah’s story of his inclusive college education and regular life.  Thank you Micah.

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The funny tummy family

By Activevoice1

Today is my son’s first day of high school and my daughter’s first day of her last year of high school. And my husband started a new job. We were a household of “funny tummies” this morning …

We arrived at high school without knowing who the aides were, if indeed they had been hired. Even worse, my big 12 year-old was in his manual wheelchair which horrified him, as with immaculate timing his power chair has died. At the end of the welcome assembly parents were politely dismissed and I asked if the school had uh you know actually hired any aides.

And lo and behold they had hired the two aides I requested when I helped interview for the role – a confident young woman with 4 brothers who my hormone-ridden son will fall in love with by the end of the day, and a fit, sporty bloke in his 40s who will not complain about OH&S crap. My son beamed, stood up (with my help) offered his hand to them both and welcomed them to “his” school. And he’d only been there 45 minutes.

Two diverse aides were was just one item on my list of requested supports, many of which the Ed Dept has never done before. Let’s see how the school goes with managing the technological supports and “left field” inclusion options which were recommended at my request.

So thank you God and principal, and Paul and Michael in the Ed Dept for listening to my views on what support at school kids with disability really need, and making it happen. I came home and cried tears of gratitude.

I remember when my daughter started high school: shy, anxious, knowing few other kids. I just wanted her to feel happy, safe and welcomed. That’s all I want for my son. He just needs different supports from my daughter because he can’t walk like she can. They’re both special, and equal.

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