Sunday, 15 June 2014

Planning for transition – Know people before she gets there



The high school we have chosen is not the feeder school for our primary.  Going to a school where you know no one is difficult for any child but if you also have a different method of communication then extra help is needed.  So through out the P7 year we will be creating opportunities for E to meet, spend time and create connections with other P7 children going to the same high school.

The first step in that was to arrange for E to start going one day a week to a feeder primary.  As an opening to this, E prepared and delivered a power point presentation to the class and hosted a question and answer session afterwards.

For the power point, she wrote and designed the slides herself and I think presented a good account of herself.


In the question and answer session afterwards she was awesome.  Every question was given a fully considered response and as always, she typed full sentences into her communication device.  It was I think brilliant as it let the other children and the class teacher see how E uses the device, how long it takes to type an answer and the difference between thinking time and typing time.

She’s now going there one day a week and seems to be settling in well and making new friends. 

Monday, 2 June 2014

Resilience



We’ve all had times when it seems like we struggle from one crisis to another.  Somehow you get through it and are still smiling at the end.  The last few months have been a bit like that for us with E being knocked down and getting a skull fracture followed by me being dizzy for a week and a half followed by health and safety paper work and decisions going mad.  .

I thought it worth reflecting on the resilience needed to deal with these times and what we can do as individuals to nurture our own. 

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from the events and crises that happen.  It comes from within and  comprises of  adaptability, self-control, self-sufficiency,  optimism and persistence.    Although for some this comes naturally, you will be pleased to know there are things we can do to strengthen and develop  our own resilience.  There is plenty of advice out there on how to do this and you may be aware of what areas your feel need most development for you. Here are some of the ideas I found .

Adaptability


  • Accept what’s happening
  • Embrace change by by trying new things  and being continually curious
  • Find a way to develop your creative side.

Self-conrol and Self-suffiency


  • Set aside time for you to look after yourself
  • Maintain a good social life
  • Never talk yourself down

Optimism


  • Interrupt negative thoughts with positive ones
  • Surround yourself with positive people
  • Fake feeling optimistic until it becomes a habit.

Persistence


  • Take action
  • Reflect on past actions and their outcomes
  • Develop an arsenal of problem solving technique


I think it’s easy to let some things slip and maybe not notice until you need it.  I’m going to try and use this to measure my own strengths against and work to develop some of them. For me the first focus is on looking after myself and maintaining that social circle so expect me at a book group near you soon. 

There is also recommendations that having a mentor is helpful.  If anyone is interested in either mentor or mentee let me know and we can perhaps get some pairings together. 

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Up and Comming Events

Will try and make this a regular feature for events and activities that are coming up that may be of interest.  Do let me know of any events that you wish to share.  To ensure you get the information you can follow the blog by email, on facebook and on twitter.

Goalball
We went to see this during the olympics in London and thoroughly enjoyed it.  For the visually impaired, it involves throwing a ball with jingles across a court to score a goal.

                  
Goalball UK together with key partners are launching a new club in Edinburgh so are holding an initial free ‘have a go’ session for anyone to attend – visually impaired or sighted, young or old, male or female, new or experienced. Come along to learn all about this exciting Paralympic Sport!


Date: Saturday 31st May

Time: 2pm to 4pm

Venue: Edinburgh College, Sighthill Campus, Bankhead Avenue, Edinburgh, EH11
4DE. (Participants can be met at Edinburgh Park station at 1.30pm).
     
For more information, and to register your interest, please contact Kathryn Fielding.
Tel. 07795 263642 or email Kathryn@goalballuk.com.  


Judo
 Latest activity news from the High Flyers and Jump in Team at Edinburgh Leisure.

 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Music Makers



It was with some excitement that we read in the Enable Young Families Support Network newsletter  details of music sessions for children and young adults (age 6 - 20) with additional support needs.



Play On music sessions  are run by Paragon Music in partnership with ENABLE Scotland and Strathclyde University.  The sessions give everyone an opportunity to try a variety of instruments and create a piece to play together in public performance.  For those who find an instrument they particularly like, there is also the opportunity to take that further. The instruments they teach include piano, bass, guitar,drums,  percussion and saxophone.  Students get the opportunity to work their way round the instruments finding the one that suits them best.

The sessions currently run in Glasgow in 6 week blocks with each class lasting 3 hours.  The most recent block started on 10 May.  The sessions are open to all and cost £5 per session you are asked to pre book.    The next block is planned to start in the early autumn of this year.  The great things is that family members can also join in the group sessions too if they want and enjoy making music with their siblings/parents - there's no charge for family members because the sessions are primarily aimed at the young person with additional support needs.

We have not yet attended the classes but have a session booked for 31 May and hope to tell you more after that.

Paragon are an inclusive music group.  They identified noticeable lack of opportunity within schools for children with ASN to take up an instrument.  in schools.  Through obtaining funding and support from a variety of sources, they set up these classes to meet that need.  In addition, they are also looking to support music teachers/ instrument instructors to develop the skills and confidence to teach children with ASN to play an instrument too.

If you want to know more please contact Paragon Music directly. 




Saturday, 10 May 2014

#shoesandsplints

If your child wears splints then you probably know the slight feeling of dread when they get a new pair. Immediately shoes don't fit and so starts the hunt for splints friendly shoes.

Based on our past experience I can recommend kids kickers, Lelly Kelly s and if all else fails pull the insole out.  I know you will all have your own recommendations and please do share.

However for a girl of 11 you want more than to pick shoes that fit. There's a shop full of shoes that you can't even look at and just once in a while it would be fun to get shoes purely on look.  Well today we did it, managed to fit splints into a pair of vans - purrfect




So come join in the hashtag and share your #shoesandsplints pics, whether they are functional, stylish or anything in between. That way we will all know where to look the next time new shoes are needed
.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Winter Paralympics - Now You Try

The winter paralympics have started and at the time of writing UK already has a medal.  If your children are inspired to have a go at any of the sports then have a look at the links below for more information:

Skiing


Curling 
Sledge Rugby

Ice skating
 Most rinks have specific sessions for wheelchair users and you should contact your local rink for specific times.


Sunday, 2 March 2014

"I cannot resist, I must draw"

The quote from Beatrix Potter sums up E's love of drawing.  She's always looking to find ways to create pictures and is now making line drawings using her communication device.   She still loves to draw on paper though and it's our solutions to this that I thought would be worth sharing.
Dycem

The biggest issue we have is keeping the paper in place while drawing.  Pressure comes both from the drawing hand and the spare hand pulling and crumpling the paper.  We tried a Dycem mat, but it was too soft to draw on,  we tried blue tack but it didn't bond to the table and we tried selotape but then you have selotape all over your drawing.





Our solution, the post-it note.  

We have used successfully for a number of years 3Ms post-it sketch and stick pad for kids.  This is white A4 paper with post-it sticky along the top shorter edge.  It keeps the paper in place a treat and can be used either way up so making the majority of the paper available for drawing.  Unfortunately 3M no longer sell it in the UK (but do in the US) but it can sometime be found on ebay and Amazon for a reasonable price.


Post-it


 
We have also tried an alternative giant sticky note.  This is a square of yellow paper with sticky along one edge.  It works well even if it is a little big and can also be used either way up.  This is a bit more expensive and can be found at both Amazon and the Present Finder. 




Giant Sticky
3M also have an A4 super sticky (whole sheet) in a collection of bright colours but this is currently only available in the US so we haven't yet had the opportunity to test it out.

Please do share what solutions you have come up with.