Thursday, 13 December 2012

End of Year Chaos

I have been too busy to take photos
the last couple of days. Here are a
couple more Christmas ones....
This week has been so busy! I'm trying to embrace the Christmas rush but, I must admit, I'm looking forward to being able to sit down on Christmas afternoon, amidst the chaos of our huge family, and have a doze on the couch!

Yesterday Felix had his final Occupational Therapy session for the year. He was obviously in a mood to pull out all of his tricks because he was amazing! First, he sat and drew on his 'mega-sketcher' for a really long time. He held the pencil with beautiful grip and concentrated on drawing some lines and squiggles. He also used some of the stamps (also magnetic) and made lots of circles and stars all over the board. If I asked him to put a star in a certain place, he would do it. After he had finished drawing, he got out his wooden puzzle with the animal shapes. I removed the pieces and put them on the floor and he picked them up and put them all in the correct place in no time. The OT asked me if she mixed the puzzle pieces up, would he still be able to do it. I said he could, so she mixed them up and he completed it again just as quickly! She also observed his upper body strength and noticed an improvement from the last time she saw him, which was great. She made the comment that (although he has delays in some areas), he is doing some things that other 'regular' two year olds aren't able to do yet.  I love how our kids with Down Syndrome can do things sometimes to  smash the stereotypes! They are SO capable of learning.... never underestimate their ability!

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to be interviewed and videoed, along with Felix, for a DVD which is being made about companionable learning. Companionable learning is the way children learn by playing and experiencing day to day things with the trusted people in their lives eg. Family, friends, therapists etc. Today was the big day! I really enjoyed being filmed with Felix as we went about our usual play time and interaction with each other. It didn't seem completely unnatural even with a video and microphone set up close to us. It was something a little bit different and Felix seemed to enjoy having the extra attention.

After Felix went to bed for his morning sleep, it wasn't so fun any more. The camera was set up in our kitchen, with a bright light and a microphone up close to me; it was interview time. I have been interviewed before; earlier in the year, for a radio show. The interview aired live, and I think it went quite well. Today was a whole different story! As soon as the camera was rolling, I froze. I was asked questions I was very familiar with and all I could hear were crickets chirping in my head..... there was nothing going on up there! Anyone who knows me could tell you that I can talk about Felix for hours, but not today. In those first few minutes they may as well have been interviewing our cat! Oh dear! Thankfully, after my shaky start, I relaxed a bit more and was able to answer the questions although, I'm sure I could have done a whole lot better. The lovely group of people who did the filming and interviewing were so encouraging. They reassured me they got the footage they wanted and were really happy with it. I'm looking forward to seeing the final result, and I'm thanking 'technology' for the ability to edit!!
My little gingerbread men

Tomorrow, Nathan, Felix and I are going over to watch Aaron (12) receive an award at school. He has no idea he is getting it and I can't wait to see his face. Aaron always tells us (with a laugh) that he is "Just the average kid in the family". He does well at school, but doesn't get the straight A's of some of his older siblings. I have always told him that we don't care about grades as long as we know he is working hard, is a good friend and is respectful to his teachers. The award Aaron is getting tomorrow is for upholding the school values. His teacher has chosen him as the boy in his class, who has shown the values of respect, honesty, teamwork and pride this year. What an achievement! We couldn't be prouder of him.

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