Tag Archives: inclusive ed

school swimming carnival and the “mac-stroke”…

You’ll have to excuse the ‘gratuitous self-promotion’ here.

My husband is “numero uno” on the list of ‘amazing people we get to have in our life’ – and he is responsible for the video and the ‘very sweet words’.

Shawn is a phenomenal dad, husband and friend and he is the one who thinks me ‘slipstreaming’ Mac down the pool at a school carnival is awesome…

Me? well… since Mac’s in 4th Grade, I think it’s simply “about time”.

Results for the day saw Mac manage two 2nds and one 6th placing in his swimming carnival events… He did the “mac-stroke”.

The kids were awesome (as always) and cheered for Mac, regardless of house loyalties, revered his results and were busy telling him how ‘good a swimmer’ he is LOL.


Despite what we see on the video with our adult eyes, it seems I am completely invisible to the kids. My being there is of no concern or consequence. Although I did overhear a couple of kids, who obviously did see me, lamenting that their mum didn’t swim with them (cute).

Trying to go slow enough in the off-strokes was the hard bit – we were trying not to “podium” but it was a case of “swim or sink” – so 2nd place it was.  Mac was able to catch my slip-stream so most of the way I was able to kick along without having to touch him.  Obviously the faster the events the better the slipstream.

The neck-float is from Nancy at Waterway Babies – it is a larger size designed for bigger kids with disabilities.  It has proved a great option for us this summer, Mac loves the freedom it provides by being able to be in the pool ‘hands free’.

We did buy a cheap baby size version off Ebay from Hong Kong to test out while we were waiting for this one to arrive.  And, while it was OK, the WaterWay brand is noticeably better quality and a better size offering Mac much more stability and confidence to experiment with moving his body under the water.

What other tips, tricks and ideas do you have to give everyone the option to participate at swimming carnivals?


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

vale Mrs Young…

The irony of her name is not lost on us as we mourn the loss of a teacher at our school this week.

Too soon, too sudden and too young…  Road fatalities pay no heed to how much you are loved, needed or revered.

Anne was one of the best, one of the teachers who truly ‘get it’ and she was absolutely one of a kind.

Irreplaceable? Yes.

Leaving a legacy she can be proud of? Absolutely!


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fridge magnet friday


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fridge magnet friday


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fridge magnet friday

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I showed this video to Mac today and asked him for one ‘describing word’ to tell me how it made him feel…


was his response – not quite understanding I pressed for more information…

“thankful to know you will help me”

awwww shucks, with slight watery sensation in my eyes can I just say “my kid is awesome”.

In this moment I can honestly say if he never types, taps or says “I love you” I don’t think I could care less.

To know he wants & needs my help – and is confident I will be there for him – means more than any old ‘love you Mum’ he might offer up at some stage in the next 50+ years.

That’s not to say I plan to be a “needy Mum” where I end up in that ‘icky’ place where I am needing him to need me.

I have full intentions of ensuring there are plenty of people around to ‘help him’ – particularly if he plans on doing a PhD via Morse Code à la Dr. Kristin Rytter… thanks Kristin for your inspiration (I think ;-))



Filed under Accessing the Curriculum, Inclusion... straight up!, the big picture

silent treatment

It’s not something I thought I would ever have to worry about but it appears my non-verbal child is actually giving someone “the silent treatment”.

Mac is still a little sad that he isn’t working with his previous aide ‘R’ any longer.

Despite the fact we regularly go to visit ‘R’ at her new workplace – which just happens to be our favourite ‘cake store’ – Mac is not letting it go.

‘R’ is always so excited to see him, and yet he simply turns his head to the side so as not to make eye contact or, if she uses his foot switches, he won’t move his feet.

It really is a tough stance  he is taking.

Shawn sat down with him on the weekend and talked to him about it.  He explained how ‘R’ didn’t leave the school by choice, how it was a financial decision based on being offered reduced hours and how sad ‘R’ was to have to make that very tough personal decision.

He explained how it is actually a little unkind of Mac to be mean to ‘R’ no matter how sad he might feel.  Somehow, I think Mac remains unconvinced.

So, ‘R’ is coming out to our house for afternoon tea on Wednesday.  She is going to meet Mac at school and then follow us home (next time she might actually collect him from school but as she doesn’t know the way, and Mac can’t give directions, we felt it was smarter for her just to follow this time).

Hopefully this will go some way to assuring Mac that ‘R’ will remain part of his life and let him see that she truly has moved into the “friend” role which is way better than a “paid to care” role.

That’s not to say that those working with Mac don’t care for him, but what we need him to learn is that until he starts hiring and firing his own personal support people he has no control of whether they stay or go, whether they are there one day and not the next.  In his current situation these decisions rest purely in the hands of the School Principal and those in charge of rostering.  He needs to know even though people might want to work with him they don’t really have control over where and when they work with him.

It is all about building resilience, recognising the difference between the roles of a paid person and someone who wants to just ‘be there’ and learning how to cope with those sorts of changes.

Hard lessons for a seven year old – but important all the same.

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