Friday, March 26, 2010

We Love Kinderhaus

Looking for a good school for Patricia was also a challenge. I guess we visited around 15 schools. Some are listed under schools accepting children with special needs. But still, they gave me all the excuses not to accept my little girl. One school said that they only accept children 2 years of age, Patricia was 1 year and 11 months at that time. Isn't that ridiculous? Some said she's too young. Some said she needs to undergo therapy first before they accept her. One would accept her but the tuition fee would kill us. It's like bringing a child to a medical school. That's how expensive that is. It was frustrating. And then God sent me to Kinderhaus.

It was a blessing in disguise when I read an article about a girl with language delays. Her mom mentioned her school and how helpful they have been. I immediately searched for it. And though it's not within our target area, I convinced my husband to at least visit the school. We were amazed at how warm and entertaining they were. They answered all my questions well. For the first time after so many school visits, I felt welcome. They have a big outdoor playground for the kids, SPED room and spacious classrooms. They also offer Occupational Therapy sessions. They also have a waiting area for the nannies and mommies. I knew right away that Patricia will be okay here. And one more bonus, it's a catholic school. My family couldn't ask for more.

We enrolled Patricia in their summer program. It lasted only for a month but Patricia adapted well. She enjoyed everyday. She likes seeing her classmates. She loved the sandbox so much, her teachers had to cover it. She participates during circle time. She enjoys recess..=) And most of all, she loves the playground. She has a shadow teacher who assists her during activities.

Now, Patricia has just finished her toddlers program and will be moving up to junior nursery. It's been a year. Time really flies so fast. There were also some highs and lows in terms of Patricia's behavior in school. But I can proudly say that there are more highs than lows, and I'm already ok with that. Her teachers coordinate with us regularly. They talk to me when they observe something new, or when they have some concerns, either with Patricia or her shadow teacher. I feel so blessed.

Thank you Kinderhaus for being one with us in helping Patricia be better. She has improved a lot since that first day. She has become a happier and a more playful child. Now, we're looking forward to another year with you. See you.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Support Group

Besides my family and closest friends, there are still other people who walk with me through this journey. They are my support group. They are the other parents who are in the same situation as me. Not really the same because as I said, no two cases are truly the same. The same in the sense that we're going through similar challenges everyday. The roller coaster ride of emotions. Joy, guilt, anger, frustrations, celebrations, and lots of other things a mom can feel. Name it, we feel it. It helps a lot to know that we're not alone in this world. It helps to have other people you can talk to who knows exactly what you're going through. That's why I love going to Patricia's school and therapies. I love talking to other moms. Conversing without inhibitions, hesitations and guilt feeling. In this blog, I will give special mention to 2 exceptional moms I know.

Kettie is AJ's mom. And mom of Patricia's classmate Anna. I learned a lot from her. She shares everything she knows. She's studying SPED which makes her a great adviser when it comes to teaching our child. She also shares to us good books that can help us along the way and therapy centers that we might need. It's from her that I learned about IEP (Individualized Education Plan). It's through her own experiences that I learn that there will be more challenges in the future, that it's going to be a continuing process. Because of that, I'm preparing myself. That's a big help.

Janet is Keandre's mom. I admire her a lot. She's a cool mom. When you see her, she seems to be so happy and in control. But among the three of us, she's the emotional one. When she starts telling stories, we can't help but cry with her. She tells her stories with such passion. She's actually the first mom that I talked to after Patricia's diagnosis. We met in one of the therapy centers where our children are having sessions. After that, I never stopped texting her. We share everything. The latest researches, therapy centers, schools, teachers and even food. It's as if we're together in every step that we take.She tries everything and does everything for her child. She's a strong woman with a soft and kind heart. Truly admirable.

When the three of us are together, we share never ending stories of our experiences and undying love for our children. We can go on and on and on. Even when we talk about the same things almost everyday, it gives us strength and hope and joy. As we see our children coming out of their classrooms, the smiles that they bring to our faces, it's priceless. We wouldn't trade it for anything. And I wouldn't trade this friendship that I have with this two exceptional moms. =)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Patricia Today - March 8, 2010

Patricia turned 3 years and 1 month old last Friday, March 5. They say that children can absorb and pick up new information faster and better from 0-3 years old, and slows down as they grow older. That worries me. Patricia has been undergoing lots of therapies but not yet enough. I got a call this morning from Speech Clinic, informing us that they already have a slot for Patricia. Thank God, after 6 months of waiting, finally! She'll have her assessment tomorrow.

Patricia is still a happy child, still manageable. She has her tantrums but not too much. We can still handle them. However, now that she's older, she has also become stronger and more persistent. It also seems that she wants to express herself more which also frustrates her more. When she gets frustrated, she shouts or cries or stomps her feet. Good thing she doesn't have violent tendencies, she doesn't hurt us or herself. It can only be frustrating for us too when we can't figure out what she wants. It takes lots of patience and analysis.=)
She has few words now. She can say "mama" or "mom", "papa" or "da", "wow" when she gets excited, "yumyum" when she likes the food, "boo" for blue and "red" when she sees colors, even if it doesn't match, "wa" for one "woo" for two and "ey" for eight, everytime she sees numbers. When she sees Dora and when we say "swiper no swiping", she says "oh man!" It's super cute! She also says "yehey!" while clapping. Only few words but it makes us happy already.

She's also independent. When she likes milk, she gives her bottle and can of milk. When she's already hungry, she pulls her chair and sits on her own, or tiptoes to check if we already have food on the table. She eats on her own, using her hands most of the time, since she easily gets frustrated when she can't get enough on her spoon. She drinks on her own too. When she sees something that she likes, she tries to get it on her own, only comes to us when she realizes she can't do it.

She also plays appropriately now. She loves playing in playgrounds, even when there are lots of children. She likes climbing and jumping and running. She likes slides and see saws and swings. She also likes balls. She seems normal around other kids. The only thing you'll notice is that she doesn't speak to them. She smiles or holds their hands but with no words.

Oh, how she likes music! She sings all the time and she's in tune. You'll know what song she's singing eventhough it has different lyrics. She also has good imitation. She imitates the actions well. We get surprised sometimes, because she's very observant, she will just look first. The next time you sing with her, she can do the actions on her own.

The mall is her favorite place in the world. She jumps with excitement everytime we enter one. May it be Trinoma or Ever Gotesco, it doesn't matter. That's her reward when she's good in school. She also likes the beach. She can stay in the water for hours and not complain. She complains only when we try to get her out of the water.

These are just little things but they make us happy already. Parents with normal kids might say that their child can do more that that. It's just normal for them. But for us, these are big deals. We celebrate them. We cry with happiness when we discover something new. No matter how small. We appreciate small things. That's our reward for being parents to such special angels.