It's been awhile as it's been a hard year for us as a family. But that is the content for another post. Suffice to say we are all doing much better and looking happily toward summer holidays.
The BIG news is that after Ellie's most recent IEP we started to think about what Ellie will do after school. Though I would give my eye teeth if Ellie could stand and do any kind of work in the community (which you never know - she may some day) right now that is not realistic with her CP as it is. I was asking what about more school for her and found that there are college programs that support people with special needs but they seem to support only those with the cognitive abilities to handle college level work. Ellie is not there at 13 and I am not sure she will be at 21 when her school ends.
The issue I have with school ending for her at 21 is that she is delayed - so instead of acting like my 13 year old niece she acts in some ways like her (wanting to chill on her own and rolling her eyes when I kiss her on the top of her head in front of her carers - so not cool mom!) but in most other ways she is younger.
Also, she has had a hard time as a little kid (see this blog) with medical issues that landed her in hospitals and feeling poorly versus being in school and feeling good enough physically to really engage. She hasn't put in even close to the hours in school in terms of attendance as a typical kid her age. On top of that she has been slowly recovering from a traumatic brain injury. And she is still recovering in many ways. She got her hearing back which was GREAT! She continues to make progress forward in every way. My wish is that she could continue to get help to learn into her 20s. That doesn't exist right now. One day I may have to start a school for her and others who have aged out of their school districts at age 22. I digress.
In all this thinking about this and what she would do after school I realized there is something - two things actually - that she already said she wants to do. One is make music. The other is be a toy tester. A friend told us you can write to toy companies to offer to test their toys. I will be doing that this summer and will report back.
On the make music front we decided to get her involved in doing that now. Dave has recording equipment because he writes songs and sings and he has the tech savvy to teach Ellie how to edit down music. Six Sundays ago we asked Ellie if she would like to make songs for other kids to listen to. She signed quickly YES!
|Dave with Ellie using the MPC|
Now every Sunday at 9am Dave and Ellie and I sit down and Ellie creates a song with our help. Ellie is the composer or the talent, Dave is the production tech and I am the producer. First we ask her what she wants to use to make the song with - namely her toys and a Music Production Controller (MPC) that has all these great rifs on it (See the Mothers Day song) and her voice output device and her Fijits - of course.
She creates a couple of tracks. Then Dave works with her to edit them, e.g., "Ellie do you want to make this part repeat or stretch out?" Ellie choses. I hang around to help with the making of choices and to ensure the pace accommodates Ellie. ;-) We need to figure out how to help her drag and drop the bits of song on to one track. We are still figuring out how to adapt the tech.
She is into it. She pays attention for the whole hour or so it takes. There is no complaining or anything. I think she is quite happy with her Sound Cloud channel where we upload the songs. I need to figure out how to get them on iTunes - which might be the start of her school fund!
I thought I would share this new development with all of you. Here is the link to Ellie's Sound Cloud site if you want to hear her music! Elle Belle on Sound Cloud
If you are so inclined leave a comment which will make Ellie's day.
P.S. My favorite song is "Happy Mothers Day" ;-)