Thursday, 13 March 2014

Here Comes The Incredible Sunhine Girl

I confess I was still feeling the hangover of extreme sadness on Monday. I was tired and sore from letting my guard down. I am delighted to say that once again Chloe has found a way of reminding me not to give up and to take joy in her amazing achievements. My frown has transformed into one enormous grin. All the way through this journey Chloe has astonished us with her resilience and ability to adapt to the world. Being Chloe's Mum is truly a privilege. An early educational psychologist report stated that she is a problem solver. It is so true; she uses smell, touch, memory, hearing and her limited sight to explore, play and learn. 


This week Chloe brought home her year one report and it is an absolute gem of a document. Guaranteed to put the spring in the step of any slightly worn out, worried parent. Her exceptional class teacher really understands and values our unique little girl. With the help of a extended team of people including the school's Special Educational Needs coordinator Miss S is ensuring Chloe is keeping up with her peers.Chloe goes to our local mainstream primary school and it is not easy to assess her against the national curriculum. She reads and writes Braille and hears through her bilateral cochlear implants but needs to learn phonics separately from the rest of the class. Phonemes are reinforced to her in a tactile and auditory way. There is a sound field system in her classroom which ensures she doesn't miss out on class discussions and can hear the teacher at story time and other key moments.


Chloe has specialist teachers who support the education of a child with dual sensory loss. A teacher for the deaf, a braille teacher who spends six hours a week with her and a teacher for the multi sensory impaired who coordinates the package and makes sure everyone understands the impact of being deaf and blind on Chloe's learning and day to day existence. Chloe also has an incredible team of skilled, one to one, multi sensory support workers who accompany her throughout her day. Their knowledge, sensitivity, warmth and encouragement enable her to thrive. They prepare her resources, reinforce her learning with pre and post teaching opportunities, check and change the batteries on her cochlear implants, support her peer interaction, mobility and meal and break times. Chloe also has input from a fantastic orientation and mobility officer who promotes her independence and teaches her cane skills and a speech and language therapist who inputs when necessary. A life changing team but I have to say it is Chloe who is exceptional. She loves to learn and delights in pleasing people.


Today I got a 'golden phone call' from the head teacher of Chloe's school. Parents are rung when their child has achieved something great. Today Chloe wrote a warning sign about monsters in the night garden totally independently with a brilliant use of phonics. How clever, how mind blowing that she is achieving these goals.


Her brilliant report states: 'Chloe is a wonderfully determined, motivated member of 1PS. She thrives on challenge, enjoying finding new ways to approach and solve problems. During her time in year 1 she has grown in confidence in all areas and has become fully integrated within the class. Despite the daily challenges that she faces she is consistently happy, enthusiastic and an inspiration to us all.'


Nothing is going to stop our beautiful, determined sunshine girl. My heart is full to bursting with pride and love. The sun is out, all is well with the world.