Saturday, May 1, 2010

I Can Learn... Can you?

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2010

Today is Blogging Against Disablism day. This is the day where all around the world, disabled and non-disabled people will blog about their experiences, observations and thoughts about disability discrimination. In this way, we hope to raise awareness of inequality, promote equality and celebrate the progress we've made.

The blog world is such a wonderful word of networking, sharing ideas, meeting people who share similar stories, and networking information.

I can say that before Makenzie's accident I didn't give much thought to ANY of the issues that have become so important in the last 3 years. I could have cared less what was going on in my neighborhood, school district, county, state, or nation in regards to disability. I would imagine most people that do not live with, take care or, or even know some one with a disability, would give much thought to ant ofmajor issues the medically fragile have to fight just to survive.

Insurance, living expenses, medications, caretakers, wheelchairs, physical access to activities and facilities, education, doctors, and the list goes on and on and on.

I really can say I do not have many complaints about our journey through disability so far. Yes,I have felt the stares of curious people. I have overheard children ask their parents what was wrong with Makenzie. I have gotten some rude questions or comments from people in my community, and had to advocate for my princess with nearly every breath for the last 3 year.

The love and support we have and continue to receive far overshadows that stuff.

Our family has such a wonderful group of people who we know both personally, professionally, and those we know only through correspondence and prayer. All who have never stopped loving and believing in Makenzie.


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To date, I think the most frustrating and closest I have come to feeling "discrimination" has been all of the issues we have had and continue to have with the school/school district.

It has been a long battle. A battle that began on day one. The first battle was to convince the Child Find evaluator to put Makenzie in a regular classroom. Then it was teaching the teachers and specialists how to integrate her into the classroom. After that the fight for adequate seating commenced.

I have felt from day one that Makenzie has been perceived by the district... not from the teachers, specialists, and aids.... as unable to learn.

It took over a year to bring in the Augmentative Communication team and longer still to incorporate this into the classroom.

Then there is the battle to keep Makenzie in preschool. yes she will be 5.... in July... so according to the district she will move on to kindergarten even though it has nothing to do with what is in Makenzie's best interest. I have given them many valid reasons to hold her back the biggest being that she is thriving in the social environment, she is finally able to communicate in the classroom and she is barely going to be 5 when school starts.

It wasn't until recently they even attempted to teach her preschool stuff.... even though Makenzie has been working on learning at home for months and doing a mighty good job at it!

I spoke to a gentleman at the district level a couple of months ago, the answers he gave just made me feel even more like they just wanted to move her right on along with no regard to what would be the best for Makenzie. It is all about FUNDING and politics but not about Makenzie's needs all. I feel they don't believe it really matters.

Well newsflash... It matters to me!

Makenzie is smart. She may be in a wheelchair, she may not talk, she may not sit or walk, but she is more then capable of learning a handful of numbers and letters, her colors, and how to take turns. Why can't the school district see that....? Her teachers love her and do their best but that is not enough. The big wigs that hold all the cards need to do the same.

This fight will continue until they see Makenzie as a child worth educating.


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So I guess this is what I would like the world to know about "disability discrimination" from my point of view as a mother to a very smart and special little girl..... No matter how the out side of a person looks, don't assume they are not capable of learning, feeling, and acting like anyone else you know. My daughter loves the same things any other 4 year old loves. She can throw a temper tantrum better then most her age when she doesn't get her way, and she understands everything even though it may not look like it on the outside, she can learn most of the same things as her peers.... she can and is..... just not as much as I would like to see at school. I hope this will change...soon. I hope that the school district will give my daughter the same chance as every other child to learn and grow based on what is best for her and nothing else.

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FEEDING UPDATE:

Makenzie did really well today. She got 22 oz through the G tube with only one episode of vomit which was induced by her brother making her laugh too hard. She had 2 BM's which is TMI but it is indicating that her body is handling the food well. She is well hydrated. She doesn't seem uncomfortable in the least and is sleeping great. She also did a great job eating orally as well! Go Makenzie!

I will write more about this tomorrow, but all in all it was a really good day and Makenzie is doing much better then I could have ever imagined! Yeah God!

Believe... Prayer Works

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