The title of this post was a paper I wrote for an assignment in my Administrative Law: Governance and The American Rule of Law System class while I was getting my Master’s Degree.
Here is an excerpt:
“Inclusion is a hotly debated concept in education because it relates to both educational and social values, as well as the student’s sense of individual worth. With inclusion as with any controversial topic there are those that hold vastly different views. Some skeptics view it as a policy that incorrectly thinks inclusion will save school districts money by having to have fewer special education teachers. They also think that trying to force inclusion on all special education students is discriminatory just like forcing them all into special education classes would be. On the other side of the coin there are those that believe all kids belong in regular education class rooms and that teachers should be able to meet the needs of all students regardless of what the needs are. The majority of teachers and parents fall somewhere in between these opposing views and often wonder if inclusion is legally required and question what schools and their staff must do to meet the needs of students in special education.”
This week the theme for Special Saturday, inspired by the Olympics, is exercise.
In our house for the last few years our summers have been filled with pedal pulls. A pedal pull is a contest where kids from 4-11 years of age compete to see how far they can pedal a tractor with a weighted sled behind it. In the Midwest during the summer many of the little towns have festivals and at many of these festivals they will have a pedal pull. So our Saturdays (sometimes Sundays) involve us hopping in the car and going for a road trip to different small towns and watching our kids compete in these pedal pulls!!
Our son Aidan just turned 11 years old and he as of today has 36 pedal pull trophies including a second place trophy at the Iowa State Pedal Pull last year and a fourth place trophy last year from the National Pedal Pull. On August 12th he will be competing for the first time in the International Pedal Pull in southern Iowa. He is a strong boy and he usually makes quick work of the pedal pulls that we attend each weekend.
The video below is of his winning pull in Riceville, IA this weekend. There were five 11 year olds that signed up and of those five there were three kids that placed at the national pedal pull last year. Aidan placed fourth in the boys and the first and third place girls were also there.
Cece also enjoys doing pedal pulls sometimes!! We sign her up for the pulls and when they get to her name she decides if she is going to pull or not. My wife usually helps her walk over to the tractor and places her on it. With the help of Rick (the owner of the pedal pull company) Cece will usually go between 5-10 ft. Then she gives Rick a big hug and in MN goes to get her free pop (in all the MN pulls they give a can of pop the kids). While we are waiting for her turn to pull we walk around which means she is in her wheelchair and I am pulling her hand. We see everyone that is there and they see her. When she starts to pull something magical happens, everyone watches her like they watch everyone else but then someone will start to clap. Then someone else claps and pretty soon everyone is clapping for Cece louder than they clap for anyone else that day. Watch this video and you will hear the clapping and watch Cece give Rick a big hug!!
For our family this is better than the Olympics!! Aidan gets to use his size and strength to amaze the crowd and collect trophies while Cece gets to pull for a cheering crowd, to get a can of pop, and a hug. As parents with two wonderful kids for a moment we can forget about our crazy life and watch our kids have fun and be in the spotlight. As a family we can do something that for a few hours on the weekend helps us feel normal.
It would be wrong for me to end this post without talking a little more about Rick and Sandy Scholbrock who own Kid Power Pedal Pulls. When we started going to pedal pulls we met Rick and Sandy and over the past few years we have gotten to know them and we are proud to call them our friends. At one of the pulls last year after Cece had pulled Rick stopped the pull and went into his trailer and pulled out a special trophy for Cece that has a toy John Deere tractor on it. That is her one and only trophy she has and it proudly displayed on top of her dresser. We see them a lot over the summer and every time when Cece has pulled Rick has taken the time to help get her on the tractor, encourage her to do the best she can and let her give him a hug. Rick and Sandy you are truly amazing people and you will probably never know how much we appreciate what you do for our kids and others, thank you!!
Check out their website: Kid Power Pedal Pulls
As a parent of a child who has been diagnosed with epilepsy I personally do not find seizures/epilepsy funny. This week my wife and I rented the movie Tower Heist starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. Much to my surprise when I was watching the movie there was a scene where Eddie Murphy’s character started making fun of Ben Stiller’s character calling him “seizure boy”. He says it more than one time and he talks about eyes rolling back in his head, foaming at the mouth and it was very scary. (more…)
Our daughter Cece was diagnosed with intractable epilepsy at three months old and she has been having seizures on and off ever since. Her seizures are pretty controlled by medicine at this point but at the end of 2011 she had three weeks in a row with over ten minute grand mal seizures. Early on after we had first discovered she had epilepsy every time she had a seizure we would call 911 and the ambulance would come and take her to the hospital. (more…)
My wife Regina and I have two children Aidan who is 10 and Cecelia (Cece) who is 9. They were born 15 months apart and they have always been close. Aidan is a great big brother to Cece and does all the things that big brothers do. If you meet him he will proudly tell you he was the first person to make Cece laugh and he is probably right.
In honor of Valentine’s Day next week this weeks #specialsaturday theme is “Us Time”.
My wife Regina and I have been blessed by great parents who for almost every Friday night since our kids were little have given us a date night. We always go to the same place to eat, El Mariachi’s, and order the same food, Las Tapatias with no pico de gallo and two waters. We have been there so many times that the servers know what we are going to order before we even say it. Our date night usually lasts 2-3 hours but it is the time I look forward to all week when we can spend time together just the two of us and for a short time forget about all the crazy stuff that is going on in our daily lives.
Today we were interviewed along with some of Cece’s staff for news story relating to a seizure Cece had in December.
Here is the awesome TV coverage and yes Cece was a perfect Shining Star!!
Please comment and share with others!!
Thursday in Minnesota was beautiful afternoon full of sun and warm temperatures. Our daughter Cece loves to go on walks when the weather is nice out so this above normal day in January gave her an opportunity to do just that. Usually the personal care attendant (PCA) would take her for a walk by herself but since my wife decided to go with her since it was nice out and Cece has had two grand mal seizures in two weeks.
Cece loves her baby dolls so when she walks she will push one of her dolls in a wheelchair in front of her. The route they took was the normal route which means that they know many of the people from previous walks because they will talk to people if they are outside. At about 3:40 they noticed her hand would not stay on the handle and when they were asking her if she was ok she was not responding normally. Once they realized she was having a complex partial seizure they took her out of the wheelchair and placed her on the PCA’s lap who was by now sitting on the ground. (more…)
As a parent we often have to change what our child is focusing on to get a desired outcome from them. I can remember when our son Aidan was younger I was trying to give him Tylenol or cough medicine before bed as he was not feeling well. I ended up putting his medicine in a syringe and then filling another syringe with warm water and I told him if he drank down his medicine he could squirt me with the water. Why that time did I choose to pick that method to get him to take the medicine? I have no idea but it worked and all I had to after he was in bed was to change my shirt. That is what is called a win-win.
Our family tries to eat supper together at the dining room table when we can but since our daughter Cece had foot surgery in October we haven’t been very successful. Part of it is because she has been more comfortable sitting on the couch and part of it is because some days we are to tired to force her to sit at the table if she starts throwing a fit. Last night my wife had fixed a great supper for us so we were determined to eat at the table. When it was time to eat we told Cece that we were going to eat at the table and she immediately points to the couch saying she wanted to eat on the couch. Since we wanted to eat at the table we said she could play at the table while we ate supper. She said no to many things but when we suggested Yatzee she smiled and got very excited.
Supper for us involved Cece sitting on my lap, feeding her supper, eating my own supper while we played Yatzee. Is that the perfect supper? No but we were able to at least eat at the table together without having anyone throwing a fit. Hopefully in the upcoming days we can continue to eat at the table and eliminate having to play Yatzee. Maybe tonight we will be watching YouTube videos while we eat or write on paper but in either case we will still be eating at the table. Is this a win-win situation? It might not seem like on the surface playing Yatzee and eating supper is a win-win but in our life it is.
When have you had to redirect your child to get the desired outcome from them?