Entries Tagged 'special needs' ↓

Christmas carols

Here’s some priceless footage of Hope performing at the Blind Children’s Learning Center Christmas music program. 🙂

Love Art? Love Adoption?

We have friends in Kansas City who are in the process of adopting a sweet little boy with Downs Syndrome from Eastern Europe. They are hosting an online art sale from today through Saturday to help raise the money needed to complete the adoption. Please take a look at their site… They are amazing people and have so much love to give to this little boy. They just need the funds to make it happen!


Their family blog is here: http://tracieloux.wordpress.com/

Here is the sweetie they are adopting:

For Aidan,


Blind Children’s Learning Center

Today we visited the Blind Children’s Learning Center of Orange County. We moved to Irvine recently, mainly to be closer to Todd’s job and reduce expenses. But it turns out that it was a great move in other ways too! We now live much closer to this learning center, which is one of just two such resource centers in all of Southern California! The other one is in L.A., which would be an hour commute each way. This works out well since it’s only ten minutes from our house! 🙂

We took a tour of the facility, and spoke with the staff. It was great to have them evaluate Hope, and see some of the behaviors I was worried about. She often hits my chin repeatedly, and it is something that has been really bothering me, because it hurts and I can’t seem to get her to stop doing it. They saw her doing this, and said that it is a very typical self stimulating behavior for blind children (she likes the way my chin feels, and it stimulates her). They have occupational therapists on staff there who will work with her to redirect those kinds of behaviors and teach her other things that she can do to stimulate herself that are more socially acceptable. It was great to get that feedback, because I wasn’t sure what her behaviors were stemming from. It turns out that many of the behaviors we have been most concerned about are common to blind children, and have been termed “blindisms”. The staff was so knowledgeable and kind to us, and Hope enjoyed her tour of the facility, and she got to play with a lot neat tactile toys. I appreciated how they have the classrooms geared to help the visually impaired. For instance, they have the kids on brailler machines, and from an early age the kids learn to “scribble” just like sighted kids do with crayons and paper. They teach them orientation and mobility, braille, and many other things.

It turns out that Hope will be able to start attending their preschool program twice a week, and also receive occupational therapy, and it’s all free of charge! What a relief to know that she will be in such great hands. At first I was hesitant about sending her to preschool so soon, but after watching her interact with the staff and seeing her interested in everything there, I think she will do just fine, especially once she is on a routine with it. The staff there also encouraged us that the sooner the better for her to get in and start benefiting from their resources.

We also recently found out some news about a great school in our city that our older two kids will begin attending in the fall. We have been homeschooling for the past five years, since our oldest son was in Kindergarten. This school is an extension of homeschooling, where they go and receive instruction in writing, science, music appreciation, social studies, math, and art on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and then we do our homeschooling on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays which will integrate with what they are doing at the school. We wanted to be a part of it last year, but it was too far from home. Now the school has moved, and is only about 10 minutes away from us here in Irvine. Everyone is excited, and this Mommy is also excited to have a little break this year! 🙂 Hannah will still be with me on those two days, and we will make it a fun date time together. Hooray!

So just wanted to share the good news. Hope goes back in for another checkup at the ophthalmologist on August 15th, and we will certainly keep you updated!