Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Comfort Zones

"The comfort zone is for those who are exempt from pain but denied progress; protected from failure but held in the grip of mediocrity. Get up and get out of there while you still can... "

Pray I never settle for mediocrity,but that I'd continually be in the place God has for me.

Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Why I had an amnio

Just read a blog post skiing through life - why i had an amnio and reminds me so much of our experience. Have a read, she writes beautifully and reminds me of such a tender time.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Entering Motherhood

I've been thinking about Motherhood - how I was forced to enter into it on a day I least expected it...and just had to go with it!

I consider the process from that first day, and I'm not talking about my process and maybe the differences to the 'normal' new mother, I'm talking about the regular things, newborns, nappies, burps, sleeps (or night wakings ), routines, solids, boobs and bottles...

We take each step, from getting home from hospital, getting used to our creatures [that is my affectionate name for babies for those of you who wonder :) ] and start to put one foot in front of another, we're beginning to establish 'our' way. 'Our' way of doing things, our way of interpreting what the best thing is in that moment, of mommy'ing and adjusting to this new season. So many things to work through - and yet all moms the same things: breastfeeding/bottle, for how long, how to get my child to sleep, must I wake them, when to start solids, what to start with, taking babies out and about, the first high temperature and just so many more decisions / thoughts / mini-processes to go through.
I do find it incredible how everyone says something different, how there's not one way to do it, how you can go from the extremes of demand-feeding and going with the babies flow to a strict time-based routine style of when to feed,sleep,how to play etc! How it seems that there is almost someone to be negative, complain or just not want to understand the choices you've made. Everyone approaches it differently, but yet, there's so much to learn from each other.I love to engage with others and I continue to learn from all moms, with babies of all ages. For me, motherhood can be so emotional. Processing all these practical things - emotional. I don't know why.
I've been at it for a year and two weeks...and I'm still finding my feet. I have established what I think I believe works for me, but its not flawless, it still ends up in days when I've had enough of figuring it out on my own, where i want a black and white manual to follow - but, I know deep down, that I receive so much joy in the process of figuring it out.

The special needs aspect adds a whole different level to the journey, it feels as though each step can feel heavier and can trigger so many more emotions than necessary, but the destination seems richer. It stretches me to make decisions when normally I'd float, to try to be intentional about as many things as possible, to be all that God graces me to be every moment.

But, our journey is really just normal with a special twist, us mothers really do have a lot in common.

Mondays moment

"I'm caught in your infinite embrace,
I find myself here at your feet again,
Caught up in grace like an avalanche
Your word is a lamp unto my path,
Humbled by your love"

God is so good.
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Teaching Children with Intellectual Disabilities

Today I attended a seminar run by one of the worlds leading researchers in the education and development of children with Down Syndrome. The main topics were speech & language, the learning environment, reading and managing behaviour.

It was excellent for me and I'll have to keep referring to my notes when we do hit the various stages with Katelyn - but a few things that stood out for me (and good for me to run through it all and not forget it immediately!).

* Practice changes everything  
* If you're not able to communicate, it really effects your social competence
* There are wonderful strengths of Down Syndrome children, use them in learning
* Being able to move is essential for learning and being involved socially
* Support with success and not with failure
* The brain develops through input and learning continues forever
*Your regular toddler, learns through asking asking asking, but your child with Down Syndrome, who isn't prompting you (for various reasons, inability to communicate etc) isn't being spoken to nearly as much.So I have to giggle and ask God to give me the ability to talk talk talk (which really doesn't come naturally to me!), and repeat repeat repeat.
* Behaviour is THE most important thing. If you can behave, you can always fit in.

There are many families who face the challenges of inclusive education (and some before we will), but I can't but not look ahead and see the difficult questions / choices / decisions / conversations we'll have when figuring the best way to go. South Africa is just NOT an inclusive culture. Am not going to even think further for now, as its an enormous topic, but I trust God that the right options will come available for us at the right time and that we'll feel equipped to make the right decisions for Katelyn.

** I get home from the seminar, to a hilariously cute gorgeous little girl - who has been quite an angel for her father (lucky him!) and a bunch of smiles for her grandparents. Looking at her I sometimes wonder how / when / what / ?????? I'm going to fit in ALL the things that will be so excellent for her(from therapies, to activities at home, signing, making personal books etc etc etc) ...or maybe I'll just rather forget about it all and just cuddle her! **