Tuesday, 11 September 2007
Today we went to Kids Paradise as part of the school holiday program run by Family Based Care. The boys were very excited and had a great time. We got there early so Aaron, Jay and Harri ran straight down to 'The Hub' which is full of different XBox games and other computer games. They wanted to have a turn before it got really busy.
The hub is in the middle floor. The CRAZY thing about Kids Paradise is that it is a brand new building with three levels and absolutely NO disabled access!!! Don't get me started on that one. I have emailed back and forth the manager when it first opened and we both agreed to disagree in the end, as I was getting nowhere with telling them how disappointing and discriminating it was. Noah can get down to the bottom floor by going outside and right around a huge car park, but there is no way he can get to the middle level. It all came down to 'funding'. I still can't believe that there is no law to make sure new public buildings have disabled access.
First of all Noah and I had a look in the 'Waterworks Room' and then we went and sat in the ball pit and talked to another parent who was also there with FBC. She has two children who are in wheelchairs but so far they do not have an official diagnosis. The Drs are thinking that they may give them their own diagnosis and use their last name as part of the syndrome as it is something that they can't find anything that is close to them. Both of her kids went to Early Learning with Noah, which is an early intervention program for kids from birth to school age. She also has another child who is younger but is not disabled. The coolest thing is that she can hook her wheelchairs up together so she only has to push one at a time!
After a while the boys came up to see what we were doing and decided they wanted to go right downstairs to the huge big inflatable slide, jumping castle and rock climbing tower. Aaron took Noah around the car park so he could also come down. While he was doing that I had my camera and was snapping photos of the boys going up and down the slide. Harri was hilarious as he was too small to get up the slide himself and would try to grab the first 'rock' to hold onto, but just kept on sliding down. The teenagers that work there are really nice (it is run by a church group) and the guy running the slide kept on coming down to help Harri climb up.
After Jay had a go on the rock climbing tower, Harri decided he wanted to 'do cooking', which meant he wanted to go up to the pretend shop upstairs. It has lots of food, aprons and cash registers so Harri just calls it 'cooking'. He loves scanning all the food that people want to 'buy' and always tells me everything is 'fifty bucks' - very expensive oranges and bananas! Must have been another hurricane that we didn't hear about :)
It was lots of fun and great to spend some time with other parents who have kids with disabilities as well. The teenage girl that I helped at ten pin bowling was also there with her family today and I went to say hi to her Mum and introduced Noah to her and told her that he was my son. She was shocked as she just assumed I was working with FBC like the day before. It was good though as she could see that I could relate to her and talked to me about how hard it is to be a carer and to get ahead as you can't work without losing your carer payment.
Later this afternoon I went to 'work'. Today I worked two and a half hours helping out at swimming. I spent the first hour or more in the pool helping the little boy in the wheelchair, that was in my lane at ten pin bowling yesterday. He loved the pool and giggled, splashed and kicked the whole time. The kids were great and kept wanting to splash all the workers. At half time I got to get out and get changed and be a 'spotter' which just meant I had to watch the pool to make sure everyone was safe and chat to the parents who weren't swimming. The second half was more full on in the pool than the first half, as there were two kids with autism, so they had more workers actually swimming second half.