Thursday, January 21, 2010

So? ... How's it going at school?....

Well it would appear that Mr. Nathan is doing quite well and adapting just fine in his new school! During the first week Nathan had some good and bad mornings, meaning the drop offs were a little difficult on some days. On the 5th day, the daily morning routine was essentially established, we barely have time to put Nathan's indoor shoes on, that he's already gone down the hall and is opening the door. (He has things to do, can't you see?!)

So just how well is it going? Read for yourself... these are comments written by his teachers in his communication book:

Jan 14th- Nathan is still very curious about the classroom, so he is not staying in one place for long. Nathan is taking lots of different work off the shelves. We played kneebouncers on the computer and went to the gym, were we danced and played with the parachute. He seemed to really like both. In he afternoon Nathan explored more of the classroom. He loves the dollhouse and especially the doll stroller. At circle time, Nathan laughed and he laughed, he enjoyed watching the other children.

Jan 18th - Nathan was a little grumpy to start but settled in. Our music teacher comes on Mondays and he seemed to enjoy it.

Jan 19th - Nathan seemed a bit sensitive today. Lots of moaning (whine sounds) throughout the day. He sounded sad, but also made the same noise while being redirected (i.e dumping material) He was very interested in other children when outside. He wanted to push the kids on the scooter and we explained to the children that his moaning was a way to ask to play. After that Nathan would chase (walk fast) the kids, and do it all over again. Awesome to watch!

Jan 20th - Nathan is showing us his more "assertive side" with more protesting while being redirected (Generally about removing objects he's mouthed) He's very interested in materials, and showing a lot of interest in kids. i.e yesterday while in after school care, Nathan requested to be picked up (arms up) he chose to do so while I was picking up another child and they both moaned at each other trying to be picked up. Fighting over me! So cute!

Jan 21st - In the morning, we worked with blocks, puzzles and the computer. Nathan also had gym, he is not really into the activities yet, but he is always watching the other kids.
This afternoon while outside he ran and played with Gavin. He would push Gavin to go down the hill and then moan for him to go back uphill. We explained that the pushing meant "go please" and the moaning was "more please" . Gavin would wait at the top of the hill for Nathan to come find him and then also at the bottom. So cute! He should be tired with all that exercise.

So there you have it... Nathan is making new friends, his teachers are helping him and doing such a wonderful job of it. In a week, Nathan has learned to sit down to put his shoes on, he has learned to hang on to the railing while going up and down the stairs ( it blew me away when I saw it) and wearing his glasses more often. We are having success in other areas too.. don't believe me? See for yourself....

Feeding Mommy is so much fun...
(I'm signing "more")

she's chewing all that stuff I just put in her mouth, it's kinda funny.

Aaww yes, doing my favorite thing ever. Playing on the computer Somehow things are looking a lot more clear today!

Working hard

and playing hard.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

First Day of School!!!.

Guest Poster: Sean Ashbee (Nathan's Dad)

Nathan started pre-school today. He is going to a Montessori school that is right on my way to work so I'll be dropping him off and picking him up most days. I brought him in a little late this morning so he would have a shorter day to get used to his new environment. I expected to stay for about an hour to answer a few questions and take some pictures. Nathan had other plans...

Nathan seemed happy enough as he walked up to his school with Bunny Bear.

Nathan's new pre-school.

Nathan was fine when he got to the door. When we went inside there were three women waiting for him: Darlene, Crystal, & Pam. Darlene will be his primary aid and Crystal and Pam will back her up. Nathan was a little overwhelmed and immediately turned and fled. Nathan was crying. I picked him up for what I expected would be five minutes or so to let him calm down. Five minutes turned into an hour!

This picture makes Christine cry, but he wasn't this way for very long.

I sat with Nathan and the three aids and we tried to come up with a toy that would distract him. We tried all the noisy toys that he normally responds really well to: a piano, a guitar, maracas. The maracas were the best - he started to laugh a little, took them in his hand, and then promptly threw them. But, the breakthrough came when Crystal went downstairs and got a "caterpillar ball thingy."

Nathan playing caterpillar ball. Left to right: Crystal, Pam (hidden), Darlene.

We had a lot of time to talk and his aids had great questions. This school is about 30% special needs kids, which to me feels just right. Everyone has a really welcoming attitude towards special needs and it feel like a really warm and supportive environment. Christine and I will be meeting with the staff on Thursday afternoon to discuss Nathan's curriculum (algebra, etc.).

Once Nathan was off my lap he started walking around and found toys to play with, things to grab, and baskets of toys to dump out. In other words he was happy doing what he loves best.

I think we've found a great school for Nathan. I'm sure Christine will have many more stories to tell you about it as the year goes on. I might even do a few posts myself - I certainly look forward to taking more pictures.

Sean (the Dad)

Monday, January 11, 2010


My nephew and new cousin to Alyssa and Nathan

Liam Patrick Lizin

Born at 12.08pm on 8th January 2010,
weighing a very healthy 8lbs 14oz

First family photo
My brother Patrick, sister-in-law Louise and the new little Prince Liam

Look at that face!!!
I want to smother it with kisses!!!
I have to plan a trip to England now!!!!

Ahhhhhh Patrick you look so happy! I love you and miss you so much!
You are an awesome uncle and your an awesome Dad- I can already see it!
Now go smother that kids with lots of kisses from his auntie Christine!

Friday, January 8, 2010

He's in!

I haven't blogged in a while as we've had quite a few things going on in our lives.... lets call them character building experiences. Truly testing my stress levels and taking them up a thousand notches.
Let me explain... In mid November, our primary daycare provider- Tanya phoned to say that her children were sick with the flu. So I had to take one week off work because we don't have back up daycare for Nathan. My friend Janna, has on occasion taken care of Nathan, but was unable to help us out because she had to work, so I took advantage of the time off with Nathan to enjoy some mommy/son time. The following week, I got a phone call from Tanya; she's in emergency with her daughter Lilly. Her fever has spiked, and she's been admitted to paediatrics, one of her kidneys is not functioning- Lilly is two and this underlying condition came about after she had gotten H1N1. (Miraculously- Nathan managed to escape contracting the virus, I'm really not sure how because he was around them the whole time)
So with Lilly in the hospital, we were once again without care for Nathan. I went to work and Sean stayed home with Nathan and had some Daddy/son time. The following week Tanya phoned and explained that Lilly was feeling better and that they were home from the hospital- all was good and Nathan could come back to daycare on Monday.
On Monday afternoon, Sean gets a call at work asking him to please come and pick Nathan up from the hospital, Lilly has been readmitted, things are much worse....
That night Sean and I discussed our options: who was going to stay home from work because everyone we know works and we have no other person who knows the tube feeds... So we alternated- both my work and Sean's work have been extremely accommodating through all of this. My friend Janna had stated that she was off between Christmas and New Years and so she agreed to take Nathan during that week while we had to work, except that when that time came, Janna's entire family got sick with the flu again.... so back to square one ( I was seriously thinking: Someone's got it out for me! Can you believe my luck??? So I took time off with no pay and Sean used up all of his vacation days. In the meantime I was phoning daycare centres, asking for availability: Nothing, "we can add him to the list" they say. Yes he's 101st child or the attitude on the phone was less than favorable when asking about the integration of special needs. "What's he got?" was one response, or we don't have room. I cried almost every night! Why am I being tested like this??? What have I done?
I contacted a centre in town called the Cridge Centre, they were advertising for 3-5 yrs old spots. I called and made an appointment, the centre was great, they were happy to take Nathan but in the end Nathan could not be placed in this daycare because he requires his own aid, and that would throw off the adult to child ratio!!! GREAT!! Another road block... Seriously, did I tick someone off, again why is this so hard???
I emailed a Montessori style daycare, explained my desperation, explained that my son had RTS, I'm not sure why but I poured my heart out in this email. The woman who responded to my email said that she did not have room, but that she would add me to her wait list. A few days later she called me, she said that she was very moved by my email and said that she used to work for a school called Island Montessori, they have have a full-day preschool program as well as before and after school care. The Montessori school works closely with Queen Alexandra early intervention and are aware of the needs and requirements of children with special needs. Therefore all his therapy would continue and be supported at the school. The staff on site deal with all kinds of special needs. She had called the school and asked if they could accommodate Nathan. She asked if it would be okay for the school to contact us to find out more. I said, "absolutely- Thank you so much!
Well we ended up waiting almost 3 weeks for an answer...with the school closed over the holidays and our government support worker unable to reach someone and then on holidays herself, things dragged out. On Wednesday of this week (Jan 6) we received the long awaited phone call. Nathan has been accepted to Island Montessori. His first day will be Tuesday Jan 12th. Sean will go to school with him for a few hours so I should have plenty of pictures to share with you.
We are thrilled that Nathan has been accepted. He will grow and learn and I suspect we will see big changes in his growth and development.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, the day we got the news that Nathan had been accepted , I was going to ask for a leave from work because we had nothing lined up for the following week. I'm so glad I didn't have to! When Sean phoned me at work to tell me Nathan had been accepted, I felt overwhelmed and burst into tears. My supervisor came running over, everyone was concerned that something bad had happened. I could only say, "I'm ok- these are tears of joy- He's in... Nathan's in!"