There seems to be so much going on right now with end of year assemblies, school parties and things happening before Christmas. Yesterday it was Noah's turn with his end of year assembly at Newstead Heights. He doesn't usually go on a Thursday or Friday, but unfortunately Di has cracked her ribs in a fall and isn't able to work. Luckily Punchbowl pays for a relief aide and he can still go to Newstead.
I wasn't at all surprised when we turned up to see Noah sound asleep! At the moment it seems like he sleeps till mid afternoon and is then awake till around 11pm every night.
Kobe was so cute. He spotted Noah straight away out and kept saying 'Da Da!' and pointing to him (everything seems to be 'Da Da' at the moment, but he was saying it to mean 'Noah'). I was surprised as to how fast he spotted him with all the wheelchairs there.
This year they told a story about going on the bus to the beach.
It's fun seeing the kids reactions as they participate in it with the aides assisting them.
They also 'sang' a few Christmas songs including the Aussie version of 'Deck the Halls' which Jalen actually sang with the choir in their celebration evening on Tuesday night. Each of the kids came up with the aides to put a different item on the line as they sang about it. This is Noah and Bronte who supposedly 'like' each other as they are often caught looking at each other!
The assembly at Newstead Heights always has a totally different feel to the other schools. It is always lovely to watch and to see the kids perform in songs and stories, but when you look around at the parents you see tears in their eyes the whole time. At other school assemblies everyone is always smiling and happy. It's not that it's not a happy time as we are all excited and proud to see our kids, but it's always very emotional as you know they have made it through another year, and you know how much it means for them to be up there doing what they are dong.
They showed a lovely slideshow presentation of each of the three classes with beautiful photos of them doing things throughout the year. By the end of it a lot of the parents (including myself) were wiping away the tears. The saddest thing is if any of the kids have passed away during the year. Luckily this year there were none, but one of the older boys will be leaving as he is now too old to attend. It's sad as you know how much they get out of going to school and they now have to find something that will stimulate them as much during the days as school would.
Each of the kids was presented with a book and an award. Noah's was for 'increased awareness during class activities'. He actually woke up to get his award!
It was all a bit too much for him and he had a big yawn and then went back to sleep not long after waking up! I guess that is what happens when you stay up till 11 pm everynight!
After assembly it was nice to catch up and chat with some of the parents. It's always different talking to the parents here as well as at Jay's school assemblies we talk about what the kids are doing in sports after school, or what we will be doing in the holidays. At Noah's school we talk about how their health has been during the year, the latest piece of equipment they have, or the last hospital visit.
A couple of the older girls have many of the same issues that Noah has, so it's always good to chat and swap stories and see if there is anything that we are doing differently to each other. We often suggest different things like meds or how to get something with each other and then we take it back to our Dr's and say 'so and so uses this' and then the Drs are happy to let you try it.
The principal talked to us about how the school is being majorly discriminated against compared to mainstream schools. If the school got the same funding as mainstream schools it would be entitled to 4 more teachers and 200 more aides! That is one of the main reasons why I still keep Noah at Punchbowl part time as I know he is getting full aide time for those two days. If the school got what they should be entitled to it would make a HUGE difference to the kids as they could have so many more programs such as more hydrotherapy, more physio therapy and could also access the community more.
The school did receive some funding with the governments recent stimulus package and also had a large donation from a local man. With the money they have built a beautiful water feature which the kids love. It's really interactive and has mirrors, and the water actually bubbles back up to the top. Kobe and I checked it out as we were leaving.
Hopefully with some pressure from the school association and a lot of lobbying the school will one day receive the same funding and staffing as mainstream schools. If anyone needs it, it would be these very special kids.