Rory Gardiner's Webpage

25, Feb, 2010

Thursday 25th February 2010


It was Sean's turn at school with Rory yesterday and he really enjoyed it.  Spending a day at school every week or two gives Sean the opportunity to participate in Rory's world.  He gets to see how Rory is performing at school, academically, socially and physically.  Rory enjoys having this dad alongside him, and it brings a different dynamic to the class room.  It also helps to break up the week for the four of us. 

The fist activity yesterday (Wednesday) was a Pseudo word test.  This was followed half an hour of cricket with Sport Northland.  Rory hit the ball three times, and completed some runs for his team.  He was thrilled.  The opportunity to participate, and succeed, in physical activities improves Rory's self esteem and confidence, and increases his motivation for next time.  Before morning tea the class read Fearless Phil and had a test on the story, afterwards they continued their work on nouns.  During Maths Rory worked with his group the Terrific Triangles.  Sean was assistant teacher, a role which was outside his comfort zone.  I think it surprised him how much he enjoyed it.  After lunch Sean and Rory went for a swim at the Dargaville Pool, then by chance bumped into our old neighbours Clive and Iris.  They were happy to catch up with them.  After school Sean and Rory took Sam for a haircut.  After years of short hair Sam has decided to growing it longer, and was looking a bit scruffy, so I insisted on a haircut before we go to Australia for Rory's Wish.  I agreed he could keep the length (I can't believe how quickly he is now growing up) and the hairdresser did a great job cutting it into shape.  He and Sean were in the bathroom this morning (longer than me!) styling it with gel and a brush.  I worked at Whangarei District Council yesterday.  They have advertised my vacant position, and given me a three month contract, at one day per week, to finish an outstanding report.  I am glad to have the opportunity to complete the report, spend some time with the Future's team, and keep my finger in a little work-wise.  WDC have been very good to me since Rory's diagnosis.  I know other employers would not have been as supportive.  I am making headway on the report and it will be an achievement when it is finished.  I also managed to touch base with Catherine one of the Physiotherapists from the Child Health Clinic at Whangarei Hospital.  We organised a date for Rory's first session when we return from Australia. 

Today school started with swimming.  Rory spent time on the English learning programme on the computer.  This was followed with Word Works - the children worked in a group, then as individuals to make a story more interesting.  I was pleased to step out of the class to have a discussion about Rory and his needs with the Principal.  Having a parent at school in class with a student is an unusual situation, and is a potential source of stress for the teacher.  As with everything we are feeling our way as we go.  There is no way to speed up the process (or any point).  I know everyone has Rory's best interests at heart.  We are all trying to be flexible and understanding to support Rory, and open lines of communication are important.  I ducked out at morning tea to get another pile of public library books for beside the boys beds.  The children resumed their Reading activity on Fearless Phil and completed a worksheet identifying problems and solutions in the story.  I have started helping a little more in the class room and it is a new challenge.  The children usually settle with silent reading after lunch.  This afternoon they are working on their topic - Quest.  Rory has an appointment with the dental nurse at 2.30pm.  It will be interesting to see whether he will let her give him a filling in his tooth.  Prior to Christmas we hit a brick wall with the dental nurse and Rory left the clinic without being treated.  I wonder if he has grown stronger since this time.