A few months ago I decided to get a contract going with FSCD, which is Family Support for Children with Disabilities. Originally I got the contract to help cover the cost of any trips to and from the Children's Hospital for Hunter's appointments. They will help financially with the cost of transportation to and from appointments as well as pay for any parking while at the hospital or doctor's office. We don't have many appointments for Hunt but every little bit helps when it comes to finances. The FSCD will also help cover other costs that a family might incur when caring for a child with a disability. I had a lady come out to the house and give me the full run down on all the different things that they can fund. One of the things they will cover is a program called the Triple P Program which is a parenting program that helps parents deal with challenging behaviors. They come right out to the house and once a week they will teach us how to address certain issues we are having.
Best of all though, is that the FSCD is funding a program for Hunter called Brilliant Beginnings.
Brilliant Beginnings is a "multi-sensory, Early childhood Development" program for all children, not just those with special needs.
One day when Hunter's Growth and Developmental specialist, Shirley Van Dyk, came over, we got to talking about how it was unfortunate that Hunt was 1 DAY too young to be going in to preschool this September. I was lamenting how I wished he could be in a more focused routine play group setting where he could be learning from people who weren't ME. I'm slowly learning that children tend to listen to their mother's LAST!! Everyone else first.
So Shirley mentioned that a college of hers had started a program called Brilliant Beginnings. It caters to all children but there is a special needs program that she could potentially refer Hunter to and if there were spots left then perhaps FSCD would fund the program for him. Shirley referred us, Melanie and BB got a hold of me and came over to meet Hunter and explained the program to us, she and I contacted FSCD, Susan at FSCD made an addendum to our contract and Hunter got a spot in the BB program!
This is exciting on sooooo many levels. Here is why.
Hunter will get one YEAR of the BB program to start off. The program is 2 hours a day, 5 days a week, one on one play therapy/behavioural therapy, IN MY HOME!
Coleen is the girl who comes over EVERY weekday to play with Hunter from 9 am until 11 am! EVERY WEEKDAY!
Let me reiterate!
Coleen is a young lady who comes to MY house in the morning for 9 am!
She plays with Hunter for 2 hours! Monday - Friday EVERY WEEK FOR A YEAR.
Are you getting the picture..?
Here... I HAVE TWO MORE HOURS IN MY DAY EVERY WEEKDAY NOW!
I HAVE 2 HUNTER FREE HOURS TO CLEAN MY HOUSE, SHOWER, READ MY MAIL, COOK MEALS, DRINK A HOT CUP OF TEA!
I asked Coleen today what my role in the play therapy should be and she said "Honestly, you don't really have to do anything. Most parents go out, go shopping, go for coffee, clean their houses, catch up on work and the like. But you certainly don't have to be here or participate." After she said this I said, "wow ok..I probably wont GO anywhere but that's good to know." I then proceeded to hide in my bathroom and weep quietly. I felt a complete flood of relief wash over me. I gained my composure, went back out into the living room and folded 3 baskets full of laundry while I watched Hunter and Coleen play.
I also had time to clean the cat litter, feed Phoenix, put some laundry away, tidy the kitchen and sit in the sun in the yard for 30 mins.
I am absolutely ELATED that Hunter will now have play time EVERYDAY just for himself, and to know that he will be working on new skills with a qualified behavior therapy team.
This means so much to me. He is going to have so much fun, learn so much, and expel some energy doing it!
Today, Coleen got Hunt to wear his glasses the ENTIRE time she was here. He even wore them for an hour after she left because he forgot they were still on. One small step for Hunter, One GIANT leap for Mom!
Thank you Coleen.
Thank you Shirely.
Thank you Melanie.
Thank you FSCD.
Thank you Brilliant Beginnings.
Thank you Hunter. I love you and I hope you have fun every day with Coleen.