Tag Archives: primary school

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"

in which Tim becomes a teacher…

So the last day of Grade 3 has arrived.  This is Tim’s last day as he has now completed his teaching degree and next year moves onto the local casual rosters with the hope of picking up a full time teaching position in the area.

We always knew we only had the year with Tim in the teacher’s aide role and, while we are sad to see him go, we know there is a bond between he and Mac that will likely stick.  I chuckled when one of the teachers told me about the boys at the class party and how Mac was eating green icing of Tim’s finger…  like it was the most natural thing on earth.

I am really proud of Tim – he has been so open to learning and embracing the mindset we share about disability.  He is going to be a very different teacher to the one he would have been 12 months ago.  It is wonderful to hear him acknowledge those same sentiments.  Tim has established some great opportunities for Mac that I believe will set him up for the remainder of his primary schooling in a very social and engaged way with his peers.

As a farewell gift for him from Mac and the class I had to sneak around to all the kids for them to give me ‘words to describe Tim’ and develop a ‘wordle’ which I then framed for him as a piece of art to hang on his wall.  He was pretty thrilled with his wordle and the kids were blown away seeing their words turned into something so permanent and lasting.




Thank you Tim for the most amazing year.  Mac will be working on learning about text messaging & emailing in 2013, and since he has your details in his iPad I expect you’ll be at the top of his list ;-).

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December 20, 2012 · 11:44 pm

school photos

image found on http://weheartit.com/from/m-a-l-e-d-i-c-t-i-o-n.tumblr.com


Tough times for a child who can sometimes take on the form of a pretzel.

Depending on the time/place/moment/noise/temperature/season… Mac can be tough to get a decent shot of.

After an epic fail in Year 1, where I was meant to be helping, and subsequently Mac’s individual photo was atrocious, I have been banned from assisting by Mac’s dad.

So Shawn has had the task, and has done a great job, for years Kindy and Grade 2.  As a hardened journo from way back, he isn’t shy asking for a ‘re-take or do-over’.

This year he wasn’t available so Mac’s aide, Tim, took charge and assured me he was up to the job and was going to make sure it’s a good one ( although I don’t think he realised how much easier said than done this actually is 😉 )

I do think it will work out ok – Tim’s nothing if not determined.  On collecting Mac at the end of the day Tim advised, “we didn’t get him smiling, but he did look ‘a bit posh’ ”… hmm, intriguing… can’t wait to see it now.

Tim took the initiative for Mac to have ‘two sittings’ for individual photo at different times of the day and said the photographers “were extremely accommodating”.  I love that Tim took the job so seriously – he and Mac appeared to have a good time, even if Mac wasn’t prepared to smile whenever a camera was anywhere near him.   But Tim being a bit pushy  helps the photographers know they can ask for a redo themselves and not feel like they are embarrassing anyone, in fact it would be welcomed.  It also sends a message that it’s ok to set a higher standard for all kids photos, particularly those who aren’t always as easy to photograph.

In this era of digital photography there’s no real extra cost to taking those few extra shots here and there.

I actually think there’s almost a social role for photographers to ‘step up’ and ensure they are presenting those most at risk of being devalued, in valued roles through respectful and thoughful use of their art.

Still, glad they are done for another year but only ‘half glad’ that kid in the pic at the top of the post isn’t mine…

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

my kid is a “cheater”

It is that time of year again.  Cross Country events are upon us.

As you know Mac has taken part for the last two years “running” in his ‘chariot’ jogger with an ‘able assistant’.

2009 X-Country
2010 X-Country

This year Mac and his aide ‘Ms M’ were teamed up for the  8 years Boys event.

The races are getting longer each year and this year took place at the Cross Country course proper (not the park near school).   The Cross Country course is next door to our property on my Uncle’s property so Mac was definitely in his ‘natural habitat’.

Shawn was in charge of drop off & collection for the day.  So, when Mac got home I asked how he went.

Shawn explained that, apparently, Mac came in first place…

“but there may have been a disqualification on the basis there was suggestion of a ‘short cut’.”

I asked Mac…  “did you do something sneaky?”

Gosh, whoever said “boys can’t lie to save themselves” was right (hey, maybe that was me that said that, it sounds very familiar).

Mac’s face was the sneakiest, cheekiest look you have ever seen.  He dips his head and tilts it to the side, his eyes shoot to the right with a slight squint, the arms come up and cross in front of his lap and his mouth is just the epitome of the ‘sly grin’.

Clearly – there had been some skullduggery afoot.

The next day Ms M was telling me how she and Mac had started out strong then found a cutting in the track suitable for ‘taking a break’.  She said they were killing themselves laughing at just how funny they were hiding from everyone and out of sight of the spectators.  They had found themselves particularly entertaining when they joined the front-runners as they came back around.  Ms M does a very good job of ‘winding Mac up’ into hysterics and I think he really enjoyed the sneakiness of their approach.

Thankfully we have a school of good sports no one seems to have cared that Mac cheated.

Mac has agreed that:

  • “YES”, he thought it was very funny to take a short cut, and
  • conceded that “YES”, it is OK he was disqualified under the circumstances, and
  • “NO” he doesn’t care he won’t compete at the next level.

I think it’s great for him and the other kids to see the fun side of these events.  It helps the other kids learn that it’s ok to be light-hearted and, let’s face it, when there is no way Mac is ever going to truly compete against them on level playing field – it’s ok for everyone to have a laugh along the way.

It all goes a long way in helping them to learn they don’t have to be ‘precious’ about disability – Mac’s not.


Filed under Uncategorized

the fly swatter

School Assembly started, the ground was too wet from all the rain for the children to sit, so they remained standing.

Some were fidgeting, others wriggling, some almost at attention.

One young boy from Mac’s class, L, was wriggling and jiggling a little more than most.

His mother, standing along side me sighed, with a hint of despair. “He hasn’t been still once” she said shaking her head. “It’s not natural for children to be still” I tried to reassure her.   To be honest, I don’t think my approach worked.

fast forward six hours…

A similar group of parents were waiting for the bell to go to collect the same children who had started their day with a school Assembly.

The mum of the ‘wriggler’ came up to me, a twinkle in her eye. “You’ll never guess” she said laughing. “Mrs R overheard me scolding L, for not keeping still in assembly, as they were walking back to class”.  “She apologised for the confusion, and explained that she had asked L if he could shoo any flies out of Mac’s face during assembly”.

And so L did.  He was conscientious and committed to the task at hand.  He shooed and he flicked and he whooshed and he swiped.

It’s just really hard to be still when you are on fly swatting duty’.


Filed under first grade here I come, friends


Welcome to the Kindergarten class of 2009 taught by Mrs Collins… henceforth known as “K-C”.

happy day

What a day, what fun, what a blast!

uniforms, school lunch, school bag, wheelchair, seating system, bean bag, change bag, bibs, bandanas, teeny tiny hat…  OK, so maybe a little more “baggage” than the other kids…  

Mac’s amazing friend from ‘Pedagogy at Five’ is in his class along with some good friends from Pre-school.   His School Angels (Teacher’s Aides) are delightful and enthusiastic – there are lots of things to work out  – but I am sure we will get there.

We prepared a Cheat-Sheets-4-School for his Teacher and Aides.

Mac added a 20 min sleep to his day’s curriculum – no one seemed to mind.

All in all it was a good day – looking forward to tomorrow.


Filed under kindergarten at last

Hello world!

Inky Ed! will follow the journey of one little boy, Mac, as he starts kindergarten in 2009.

Mac will be going to school “through the same gates” as all the other five year olds – he will be accessing an ‘inclusive education’ despite his multiple disabilites.

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Filed under Preparing for Big School