Sunday, June 25, 2006

Jigsaw Skills
A quiet weekend

Not much going on in the shams this weekend. I spent last week investigating alternative childcare centres but have decided to leave the twins where they are after all that! Hopefully we have made the right decision.

They are at a nice community run place that feels like a home. That was/is a bit of the problem. Good intentions - but not the skills perhaps that are needed to bring out the best in Hannah bear. Besides internal wrangling and registration issues that have seen one director move on and an acting one take over.

The philosophy of letting the chldren play and devlop through their own interests at their own pace might work well for typically developing children - it certianly works for Kit who has made a 'best friend' there - he spends a lot of time in 'home corner' with his mate. Hannah however benefits from a more animated approach that encourages her to interact with her peers or prompts her into doing an activity like puzzles or cause/effect toys. She is an active and curious brat but a jump start can really benefit her - especially as she is the only under 2 they have that is not walking.

So I investigated another centre that was very enthusiastic and had a special needs coordinator who seems excellent. But somehow it feels wrong to move them because the staff where they are are inexperienced - after all - what did we know about T21 before Hannah? The staff there seem keen to learn - 7 of them came to a signing evening run by our early intervention program coordinator. So I am giving them another chance but if at the end of the next term I still feel that more 'child minding' is happening than 'child development'. I will have to consider moving the twins again.

So is this the beginning of my career as an advocate - am I failing in it already? Taking the easy option? I hope not. I have got a few ideas on how I can help the carers with Hannah and how I might make some constructive suggestions for interactions with her. Fingers crossed it works out. Here are some pics that I took - part of the plan to demonstrate the sort of play that it is good to encourage the bear to do or the sort of things that she enjoys that are especially good for her to do.


World Cup - Australia v Italy - I have to say that even I am enthusiastic. Never thought Australia would get to this point and as I have lived in the Leichhardt vicinity (full of Itlaian Austalians) for the last 20 years - it will be a great game. They are going to close Norton Street. In our pre baby days we would have walked up there but nowadays I think we'll set the alarm and get up and watch it from the comfort of the lounge room. They are selling half and half jerseys in the area too - as a local with no Italian heritage but a few good friends of that extraction I almost feel that we win either way!

Hannah loves 'row, row, row your boat ...'


Michelle said...

Great pictures of standing and doing the puzzle! I think that should help give them an idea of what you want them to work on with her.

Don't feel like you are failing as an advocate already - I know easier said then done as I've felt like that myself a time or two! I think we are all just learning as we go along and doing the best we can.

I think you made a good decision about giving them the benefit of the doubt since they are inexperienced and now you let them know what you want to see happen; hopefully they will implement those changes.

Shelley said...

Thank you for your kind words Michelle. I am lucky with Hannah's early intervention team - they have been working with the child care people. One of them is going ot visit again next term and let me know whether they think the staff are really using the ideas we give them or if they are a 'lost cause'. I feel that they might get a more honest response because they are not the parents. I also want to make sure that I am not being unreasonable in my expectations of what they can do with Hannah. Anyways for the time being we are going to leave it at that.

Michelle said...

That is great about your EI team being able to work with the day care. If I was working out of the home our EI team would also have been seeing Kayla wherever she was in day care which I thought was great.

I don't think you are being unreasonable in your expectations at all. They probably have preconcieved notions about what to "do" with Hannah and aren't giving her the benefit of the doubt - aren't giving her the opportunity to show them what she's capable of. It's not unreasonable to expect them to challenge her and not just let her sit there doing nothing.

I do hope this all works out and the EI team can keep on top of them to make sure they are doing the right things for Hannah.