Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Official Homeschooler

I just thought I would mention that Kevin is officially a homeschooler. Of course, we signed up last school year and again this school year as homeschoolers with the school district. But I haven't felt much like a homeschooler because nothing has really changed since we have been on a dedicated program since Kevin was two years old.  But this year we have joined a local Catholic Homeschool group where we already knew a few families from our church who had helped us with Kevin's program in the past. I asked these families for help again with Kevin's program to help motivate Kevin to do his daily crawling and creeping laps. Over the summer I had a couple neighborhood kids coming over to help me and it worked out really well. Kevin enjoys having the kids come over to "play" with him as we do laps.  We have received a good response from the homeschool group and I now have someone here everyday to help me.  I am also making an effort to get Kevin's Friday morning program done early so we can join the homeschoolers for the Friday Fall Hikes at the local parks with a picnic lunch afterwards.  Here is how I introduced ourselves to the homeschool group.

We are new to calling ourselves "homeschoolers" although I guess you could say that we have been "homeschooling" and "hometherapying" our son since he was two years old.  Kevin is now almost seven years old.  He is diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to a brain injury he had before birth that was caused by a stroke.  A few years ago we found some experts in Philadelphia that have answers to help children with special needs and developmental delays.  Twice a year, we return to Philadelphia where Kevin receives a neurological evaluation to determine the progress he has made in the last six months.  They also provide us with an individualized, fully integrated program that puts me in charge to help Kevin develop and reach his fullest potential.  This program includes nutrition, physiological, intellectual, social, sensory, and physical. 

The doctors told us that Kevin would never walk or talk.  But with lots of prayers, hard work, and extra hands, Kevin began walking when he was four years old and we continue to have faith and hope as we wait patiently for his speech to develop.  Even though Kevin can walk we continue to belly-crawl and creep on hands and knees because this will continue to help organize the mid-brain.  There are many benefits to crawling and creeping even for well developed kids who walk because it is most important for the brain to develop and be organized.

In the beginning, Kevin's program required us to ask for a lot of help.  This is how we came to know some families in the ARCHE group that have helped us in the past.  I need help again.  We hope that some of you (old friends and soon to be new friends) may be willing and able to help us with a part of Kevin's program.  I need help motivating Kevin to crawl and creep laps around our house daily.  As you can imagine laps can become mundane but it is exciting for Kevin to have friends to "play" with during this time to make it fun.  Hide and seek is one of his favorite games while doing laps or simply having someone else there crawling and creeping along with him is sometimes enough.  Not only does this help me get Kevin's physical program done but it is also greatly beneficial for Kevin to interact with other well kids socially.  Age does not matter, Kevin has interacted well with kids of all ages that have helped us in the past.  We have even had kids earn service hours by volunteering with us. 

It gives me comfort to know that we will be with families that place an importance on good values because we strive to surround Kevin with people that see him for his abilities instead of his disabilities, just as all of us would.  I hope that you will consider helping us.  We look forward to meeting you. 

Monday, September 19, 2011