Friday, July 31, 2009

Going home today after an amazing week at WSSB

I've showered, my things are packed in my car & I am ready to hit the road! I would leave now if I didn't think I might miss something in today's last session from 8am to Noon.

This has been an absolutely amazing experience!! I am so thankful I pushed myself to come & very thankful my work paid my way. I learned so much while at the Summer Institute here at the Washington State school for the blind and met a lot of incredible people! I learned more about my student's vision impairment, learned about tools & technology for blind & low vision, learned about the extended core curriculum, learned about Orientation and Mobility, and heard first hand experiences from students, adults and teachers in this community. One of the most important things I am taking away is that I MUST raise the expectations for my student. We will never know how far he can go unless we step back so he can step up! I also learned if he's going to be a successful adult we must start to help him be independent, and develop good social skills. We can't think of him as the adorable 8 year old that he is because he will be an adult before we know it. We need to start NOW to help him be the very best he can be. I have taken lots of notes, I have questions and actions plans to take to each of his specialists when school starts. His IEP is due to be reviewed the end of October and that would be a perfect time to meet with all specialists & his family. I am ready to go back and be an advocate for my student! I love teaching my student!

One of our experiences this week gave me a whole new outlook and appreciation for what my student experiences. We wore night shades to walk around the campus guided first and then on our own. Then all 50 of us went to dinner wearing night shades! It was a wild experience. The NOISE was unreal! I was trying to hear every ting going on around me and this was overwhelming. Oh so many smells I thought I was going to be sick. It was very hard to carry on a conversation, I think because I was concentrating so hard. It was difficult to know when to talk, to not interrupt, and you couldn't really tell if there person you were talking to cared about what you were saying. Eating was nuts! I didn't like not knowing what I was going to bite into. I bit into the lime for my salad three times (ICKY)! I can't tell you how many times I came up with an empty fork. Cutting the chicken on my salad was not easy, nor was buttering my bread. I wasn't too much of a mess but had spilled a bit on my shirt. I dropped my napkin and left it on the floor. It was very hard to orient myself and the stuff around me. I was exhausted by the end of the night!

LeAnne did marvelous with Grandma Marcia & daddy! My mama said she one afternoon she carried my picture around, saying "mama" and then kissing the picture. I talked to her on the phone a few times. It was nice to hear her say "mama" but made me cry too cause I missed her. It has been ROUGH being away from her! I can't wait to give her a big hug and kiss when I get home! I know Grandma and daddy can't wait to have me home either. John said it's boring without me and he's definitely not cut out to be a stay at home dad. I know Grandma is exhausted! Thank-you two tons!

The other great thing that happen this week was on Wednesday we got out at noon so I took a trip down to Corvallis and met Amanda. We had lunch at Subway, got a Jamba juice, and window shopped for a few hours. It was a lot of fun! She's doing great! The conversation was a lot of fun, she missed her dad & lil sister. This was my first time to see her driving and she did awesome!! She's such a beautiful young lady! We are hoping we can afford to fly her to our house for Christmas!!

Have I mentioned I am ready to go home? Well I am definitely ready to go home! I miss my family so much! I'm praying these next few hours fly by FAST!

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