Gross Motor — 5 Minutes for Special Needs

Gross Motor


I know what your thinking…NEW SCHOOL YEAR?   How many days till school starts???  I have a friend that started counting the minute summer started.  I enjoy our homeschooling time together.  I love the beginning of a new year…the goals for the year, the dreams of what you want to work on, the reality of what will really happen.  The fresh Sharpened pencils, crayons (even though we have 12 boxes already), the paper, the books, the construction paper…the excitement…the adventures. 

This past school year offically closed today.  My son had his evaluation that we have to turn into our school system with our next notification letter for the upcoming school year.  Our evaluation is a little different.  We take in the scrapbook of pictures of our work because the really is our samples of the year at school.  We don’t have worksheets, we don’t have projects we can present, we have pictures of therapy sessions, pictures of field trips, loooooonnnnngggg lists of books we read over and over again.  Descriptions of art projects, descriptions of fine arts (music) although I’m thinking we might have to invest in a tape recorder to tape some of the vocalizations that are happening more often & for longer periods of time.   We are fortunate to have a licensed teacher that was a special education teacher do our evaluation.  We take our scrapbook (new one every year) and a summary of things we’ve worked on.  I’m always nervous to go have the evaluation done.   Then after she looks over things and we talk…she signs the paperwork and gives me what I need to continue.  Afterwards I always feel so much better.  I second guess myself and if I’m doing more damage then good.  But then deep down I already know he’s blossomed.  He’s doing so much more than the doctors ever expected him to do.  We’ve been out of therapy for over a year now…I’m not missing it, not sure he is either…but the doctor finally requested that we return to therapies…so we’re headed back 1 time a month.  seems hardly worth it, but new insurance only covers 20 visits per year of OT and PT seperate. 

So here’s to another year under our belt.  Here’s to another year of growth and learning.  Here’s to another year of reading books (gonna knock this year out of the park). 

What’s your favorite part about this time of the year?  Is there just one supply that you HAVE TO BUY because it’s back to school time?  Does anyone have those new crayola dry erase crayons & wipe board?  what do you think of it? 

Wish you & your kids a wonderful school year!  May your children reach all their IEP goals.  May all your teachers understand you and your child.  And may your children exceed their expectations! Wishing you MANY  sucessful years to come!


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Would you let your child scale a mountain?

She grabbed the rock above her and pulled herself up. The water rushed cool and quick over our soaked shoes. Steadying herself, my 5 year old reached for the next rock a few feet above her. In the high altitude, we both breathed hard, but her determination pushed us farther as we climbed the waterfall together. Sun in our eyes, family far behind, we kept going until she sat and we both looked down into the valley below.

Letting Special Needs Kids Be Independent

Big Falls, Southern California's highest waterfall.

The whole climb, my heart pounded with the exertion… and with anxiety. What if she falls? Itchy socks throw her into a fit… what if she has a sensory meltdown way up here?

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Anticipation of Orthopedic visit

It’s the night before surgery, and the house is a wreck. Tristan is sleeping but the bag is not packed.

I’m on the internet, Steve’s watching t.v. We’re both in denial that it’ll soon be here.

Early to rise, to arrive at 6:00, not looking forward this, I feel sick at the thought.

I think he’ll be fine but we still ask for  prayers.

When the surgery is over he’ll move upstairs.

To a room unknown where we’ll live for the week.

So soon he can come home and kiss on mom on the cheek 🙂


Ok, so it’s weak but it was an attempt to update at the time (6/22/2008) what was running through our minds the night before a surgery for my son’s hip dysplasia. 

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Learning…I’ve not written about homeschooling yet so I thought maybe this would be a good time.  Homeschooling isn’t so typical for us, we have many challenges to get over.  We do use therapies as part of our daily routine (even if we are still on sabbatical from professional therapies at our local hospital).  We do a lot of reading…Last year we read 163 books (several times each).   This year we’re working on doubling that.  We’re in the 200’s right now.  Things that I have noticed lately are that my son appears to be more aware of his surroundings and is learning to place sounds. 

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Botox Dip

My son had his Botox treatment this week.  I knew about 2 weeks ago it was needed.  It’s funny how that works.  At first you think, is it worth it?  Am I doing it for him or for me?  Actually, both.  I do it for him. His spasticity is so severe, he could curl into a ball, despite my stretching him daily.  He receives it basically from head to toe… I do it for him because it loosens up his shoulders and chest to the point we can move his arms around, up and down, stretching out the elbows…we must, we must, we must increase our bust. 

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Learning to ride…one step at a time…

A Cowboy Needs a Horse

Johnny lives in a big city, but has everything a cowboy could want
(Everything, everything)
He has a place to pan for gold
(Panning, panning)
And he has time to shoot a buffalo everyday
(Shooting, shooting)
And every night, he dreams he’s a cowboy riding the rangeFinally found the words to this song, it’s on a disney sing along VHS we have and we sing it all the time.  (well me & Tristan…and he seems to like it 🙂

Ridin’, ridin’ along…

Oh, a cowboy needs a horse, needs a horse, needs a horse
And he’s gotta have a rope, have a rope, have a rope
And he oughta’ have a song, have a song, have a song
If he wants to keep ridin’

Now a cowboy needs a hat, needs a hat, needs a hat
And a pair of fancy boots, fancy boots, fancy boots
And a set of shiny spurs, shiny spurs, shiny spurs
If he wants to keep ridin’

Oh, the fence is long, and the sun is hot
And the good Lord knows that a cowboy’s gotta keep
Ridin’, ridin’ along

So he gets himself a horse, and a rope, and a song
And he finds himself a hat, fancy boots, shiny spurs
And there’s nothing more he needs, or can have, or can get
If he wants to keep ridin’, ridin’ along

Spurs, shiny spurs
Boots, fancy boots
Sings a western song
And a horse
If he wants to keep ridin’, ridin’ along…

Tristan has been working up to the ridin’ for about 5 weeks now. 

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Is that too much to ask?

This week my husband’s grandmother passed away.  She was 93 year old, never took more than a multi-vitamin in her life.  She did however, several years back, begin her journey with Alzheimer’s Disease.  It was a long journey, spending 10 years in a nursing home.  She had 5 children, 12 grandchildren…and so many great grand children there’s just to many to count…and even one great great grandson.  She had an amazing life. 

So this brings me to mortality…I wonder what will happen to my son when something happens to me or my husband.  He should live long after us, but who will take care of him? 

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If We Build It…

Tying in with last week’s playground challenge, I thought I’d take a moment to tell you about a project I’ve been involved with since last September. This is a “to be continued…” post since the project is not complete yet, but I wanted to get started on the story.

A friend of ours is an interior designer and she works with an organization called Architecture for Humanity. They help design spaces for non-profit organizations and disadvantaged groups. They were asked to help guide a class at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. The class project was to design a schoolyard for an urban school in Oakland called Sankofa Academy.

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All you need is love…

There are times when I think am I doing right by my son.  Is it right that I kept him home to homeschool versus sending him to our public school system?  This one doesn’t take long to remember why I did what I did!  Our schools system offered three schools to choose from, it was nothing short of  “Garden of Shadows” tale out of the “Flowers in the Attic” series.  I do a lot of comparisons with television shows and books I’ve read in the past.  The part that stood out the most to me in the “Garden of Shadows” were where the main characters were hidden in the attic and weren’t able to come out to see the light of day…also they were fed poisoned cookies under the door to “rid” of these unwanted children. 

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