Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Things are looking good in the Dock. I have begun sorting and decorating for CHristmas. We'll do the tree on the weekend when advent begins. Have been loving Margaret Fultan's Christmas cookbook. Marking can be avoided until Friday. Mum's embroidery mmachine has been working overtime - I want a wallhanging to celebrate our first Christmas here. Dad is flying down on Boxing Day - and I can't wait to see him.

Monday, November 17, 2008

We had a great weekend. Took the brats to a Family Fun Fair on Sunday. It was to raise funds for Phase 2 of an all abilities playground at a local park - a fantastic idea. The New DOrothy the Dinosaur show was there - we all had a ball (and I got a few trinkets for Christmas - have lots to do to get the house ready. I know that it will be a sad day for me without Mum but she loved this time of year - and so do I (thanks to her) so I am still looking forward to it all - seeing the kids celebrate - even though ti will be my saddest Christmas ever.
We had a meeting today re Han going to gov't preschool for 2 days a week next year. It had the AP, school counsellor, district officer (funding etc), preschool teacher, a rep from our EI provider (thank goodness!!) and us. Do I have to say I was a bit nervous??? Anyways the meeting was looking at how we might get a tiny bit of funding/support for little brat and as expected - no we can't. Even with Rees (NSW Premier) stealing the kiddies bus passes (no longer will schoolkids autommatically get free travel)to put more $ into special needs programs. I was a bit surprised that I got a bit teary - managed to keep it together though. I know the cake is small - but really?? I do wonder if we wouldn't be better off finding her a 'special needs school' and being done with it. Why put her through the mainstream mill - just waiting for her to fail - knowing that if she is to maximmise her potential she NEEDS additional support - yep - it seems that 'DS' can stop you getting a visa to stay yet doesn't count when the hat gets passed around in education. "It affects everyone differently" we are told ... mmm yup - so does autism yet it is a funding category on its own. It isn't as if there is a cure for the extra chromosomme!!!!!!!! so - how did it go - as well as can be expected - the system sucks. We have the mainstream idea shoved down our throats ad nauseum yet the reality is that we have to watch our kids 'cope' - the system does very little to modify for them - it is them that have to do the changing - who have to fit in. Rant rant rant...! The school and the preschool teacher seem great. Very welcoming of Han and ready to accomodate her as mmuch as they can - with no additional support. I am actually looking forward to it as I think she will benefit a lot from that environment.And away she goes ...

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Kit's 'SuperSanta'
The brats had their orientation for preschool - they will be going 2 days a week next year. I am very nervous about it - but also excited as I think it will be a great opportunity for them - and I think they'll really like it.
The teacher is very open - has said that she doens't know much about DS - but she is clearly very experienced and is good with the kids and open about finding out stuff. She and I talked informally after an information session a couple of weeks ago and based on that I drafted up a 'Getting to know Hannah' sort of letter with FAQs on the back. Given that the teacher amde a couple of gaffs (like referring to Han as 'downs' when talking to me - I am hoping she reads them too - it entions people first language!! I wasn't offended though - her intentions are good and I wouldn't want to ake her feel uncvcomfortable or defensive - I want her to feel that she can come up and ask me stuff. Still I hope she reads that sheet!
The preschool has a great feel to it - like a classroom but friendly and very well organised. Hannah and Kit played at various things with gusto. The other parents were nice. Hannah managed to make eye contact with 2 other children with a little prompting - so I am hoping she will devlop more confidence when playing with her peers. At the end of orientation the teacher read them a story and they did a little singing - yep - I am looking forward to it for them next year - it should be good.
On Monday we have the 'big meet' which I am a bit nervous about - it is with the preschool teacher, the deputy principal, the Dept district officer - support, the schoool counsellor and in the other ring is myself, P and thankfully someone from Han's EI. I know the intention of it is good but still I feel a bit nervous. Hope it goes ok.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I have so much marking to get through. I just can't get my head around it. This morning I attended a memorial service for one of our students who was killed in horrible circumstances. Such a sad, terrible loss. She was 18. A beautiful girl. I don't know how her mother copes. She spoke beautifully today, with such strength. I know she did that for her daughter and it breaks my heart. The young woman wasn't in my class but so many of my students were there - many of them closely affected by the tragedy. I just want to spend some time thinking about them and the victim and her family and reflecting on how precious life is. When news broke we did not know the names of the students involved but we knew they were ours. I just wanted to spend the day touching my students making sure they were real, trying vainly to protect them - their vibrant spirits so tough yet so fragile. Eternal rest grant unto her ... and peace for her family.

Friday, November 07, 2008

How to avoid saying "ROTTEN!!!!!!!!!"

Here are some excerpts from Miss X's ST teacher - she had an individual lesson early onday morning - can you guess Hannah's mood?

"She required continual prompting to attend to tasks today"

"Despite having her own ideas of what she wanted to colour, XX was able to follow simmple instructions correctly." and

"Hannah was able to recognise an animal by its sound 3 of 4 times - on one occassion XX wanted to finish the activity"

MMMmm - not the best little girl - at least I can laugh about it - afterall I am quite partial to an hornery type (you should see my DH!) and she is usually pretty good.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Checking in

It has been a pleasant ten days in the Dock. I went to a parent information session at the loocal preschool where the twins will be going 2 days a week next year. The preschool teacher seems like she'll be great. They have an orientation next week where P and I will take the brats and then the following Monday we have a 'profiling' meeting with the school counsellor, Han's EI rep, a District officer, the Deputy Principal and us - so the first of the 'big' IEP type meetings I guess - fingers crossed it goes well.
Today is Melbourne Cup and the first year that I don't think I'll even get to place a bet - still I thought I'd trya nd make something a bit festive for dinner to make up for it.
We had friends up from Melbourne for the weekend and that was lovley and relaxing - their little girl is just adorable - she has the sweetest nature.Here are a selection of snaps - mostly we have been playing at home although we did go to a local school fete on Sunday which was fun. On ALl souls day we went to church and afterwards took the brats ot alocal restaurant for dinner - they had a ball and were very well behaved.