Tag Archives: special needs

walk like an egg-gyptian…

Easter time again so for Mac’s school that means eggs-on-legs, egg-o-ramas as well as the more traditional hat parade.

The benefit of getting two years of “eggs-on-legs” means the ability to ‘recycle’ – we embraced the chance to re-use one of the ‘eggs’ from last year’s walking egg / wheelchair contraption.

This year we added an Egyptian pharaoh hat left over from a fancy dress party a couple of weeks ago, some ‘walk like an Egyptian arms’ and covered the blue pants with two pieces of fan folded A4 paper stapled together with some glitter cardboard triangles.  A final flourish of some glittery paper around the eyes and our 2012 egg was now and “EGG-gyptian”.  It was a pretty good pay-off for about 20mins worth of work.

Here’s Mac, Luca and Miss A showing some of the finest eggs-on-legs I’ve ever seen.

Screen shot 2013-03-29 at 3.49.55 PM

And a blast from the past… I found this gem of Mac (R) and Luca (L) way back in pre-school circa 2007 when they were gorgeous little four year olds.


I strongly believe full and authentic inclusion in the pre-school and daycare settings should be the norm for ALL children.  Too many families are buying into the idea that Early Intervention centres are where you go ‘instead of’ pre-school.  Early intervention (the action not the place) is important but not at ‘any cost’… be wary of those claiming early intervention can only happen in a segregated setting – you might just end up on an undesirable path where your child loses their rightful and valued place in their community.   I spoke about this some years back at the Early Childhood Intervention Australia conference… my stance remains unchanged.

Click the folder if you are interested in reading the paper I presented to the conference.Folder-ECIA


Filed under Access all Areas, Inclusion... straight up!

crrrcht… he’s still OK!

Shawn has just returned back for breakfast after his overnight at Mac’s school camp.  Mac is sleeping in a dorm room with three other boys and Shawn is in the next room… It was decided Shawn head down each night just to help out since Mac’s sleeping is still a fairly new phenomenon.

To give Mac and the boys some independence we decided to give them a walkie talkie to tell Shawn if there were any problems.  We had thought the rooms were adjoining but this wasn’t the case so the walkie talkies were a good option and the boys were keen to take on that role.

Apparently the walkie talkie conversations through the night went something like this…

9:30 PM       LIGHTS OUT

All boys in bed…
Mac pretty much asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.

9:35 PM       FIRST CALL

Tom: crrrcht… he’s still OK. Over.

Shawn:crrrcht… OK (chuckling), how about I’ll
presume he’s fine UNLESS I get a call.

9:45 PM      SECOND CALL

Tom: crrrcht… Shawn, Mac’s making a noise
and we can’t get to sleep

Shawn: crrrcht… What kind of noise.

Tom: crrrcht…[mimics Mac’s delightful lip smacking]

Shawn: crrrcht… Oh, that’s not that a bad noise (thinking of all the dramatic noises it could have been),  maybe you guys aren’t trying hard enough to get to sleep.  See how you go if you just ignore it.

Tom: crrrcht… oh, OK then.  Over.

Shawn checked them a little while later… all sound asleep.

4.30 AM        THIRD CALL

Tom: crrrcht… umm Shawn, Mac’s making a weird moaning noise.

Shawn went in to assist.  Only to find Mac really sound asleep not making a peep.  As he rolled Mac, just in case he was a bit uncomfortable, he heard a “weird moaning sound” from one of the other beds….

Ahhh, too funny, Mac wasn’t actually the culprit.  Sid, one of his roomies, was the ‘maker of the sleep moaning sounds’.

Tom settled back in and all boys slept for a few more hours.

Well done guys – you are all kinds of awesome!



Filed under Access all Areas, friends, Inclusion... straight up!, the big picture, things that make me go "glll"

fridge magnet friday

This is perhaps my favourite quote to do with inclusion – so simple, it just goes to the heart of the matter.



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Filed under fridge magnet friday, Inclusion... straight up!

who owns those kids over there?

Just want to tell you… they’re awesome!

I could see the corner of a piece of paper poking through the zipper on Mac’s school bag.   There’s not normally stuff in that front pocket… I reached in to see what it was.

Now, clearly… this is not Mac’s own handiwork.  I believe there has been some wonderful collaboration on this project.

What I love is the insight or inclination whoever it was had to help Mac send a “love note” home for his Mum.

Mac wouldn’t yet have the communication on his device available to him to say to someone, “hey, can you help me make this” without them needing a lot of patience to ‘hear him out’.

I just love that someone thought I’d get a kick out of that coming home – they were so right.  I get the ‘warm fuzzies’ every time I look at it.

Thank you to the parents of the ‘mystery children’ that helped Mac make this.  You are growing fine, thoughtful little citizens – keep up the great work.

What a wonderful gift.



Filed under friends, Inclusion... straight up!, things that make me go "glll"

fridge magnet friday

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Filed under fridge magnet friday, things that make me go "glll"


It was an interaction full of sincerity.  Mac’s newest aide “M” was on her first full day working with him.  She had been learning about his equipment, how he uses his foot switches and trying to find out more about him, from him.

M was explaining to Mac how he might have to “bear with her while she learns all about the equipment and promised she would work hard to master it quickly”.

“M” then asked him  “what she might be able to do that would help him the most?”

Mac started his auditory scan.

C – H – O – C … then up to word prediction:

C H O C O L  A T E

Yep, all “M’s” sincerity wasted – this kid is in it for himself, cheeky little bee-bop.

Although, I have to admit to been secretly impressed by his answer – to me it says so many things…

I am can spell…
I am a smart alec…
I have a sense of humour…
I am cheeky…
and, well,
I actually do like chocolate.




Filed under Accessing the Curriculum, things that make me go "glll"

the curious case of the missing ‘R’

Mac’s wonderful aide of 15 months ‘R’ wasn’t able to return to the role this year.  Sadly reduced hours & lack of job security for her just couldn’t meet her needs to support her own family.  That’s the downside for ‘Learning Support Officers’ – jobs they love, jobs they are great at, but jobs that just aren’t that secure.

Mac will miss ‘R’ incredibly  as she will him.  But, he has told us he will “work hard for anyone”.  When Shawn asked him if ‘R’ was in his class after Day 2 he actually gave a sad face – not something that happens very often.  Physically that kind of facial expression is difficult for Mac, so it was impressive to see him manage it when he actually felt the emotion Shawn’s question evoked.  That being said, Mac is nothing if not resilient – so I think he will be OK.

The upside is that R will likely stay involved in Mac’s life ‘outside of school’.  She has made that very important transition from paid support to friend.  This is an important shift  – natural supports are far more valuable than any paid support… ever.

A goal is for Mac is to see his life filled with people who “CARE to CARE” as opposed to those “PAID to CARE”.

Thank you ‘R’ for sharing the most amazing year and a bit with us – what a blast….  and absolutely, we’ll see you ’round.


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Filed under friends, Inclusion... straight up!, the big picture