Wow, November has flown by! We have had a very busy month here in the Couri household! The first weekend of November was quiet enough but on the 11th, 12th, & 13th, Hayden and I were off to Shawnee to visit our friends in honor of OBU's Centennial Homecoming Weekend. We had a wonderful time visiting with Brandy, Jamie, Brandon, Willis, Kara, Addie, Lacie, Anita, Dennis, Kate, & Nate! It was a fun time!
On the weekend of November 18, 19, & 20, Hayden and I were off again to attend the Oklahoma Statewide Autism Conference in Norman. Our wonderful friends Kara & Bill McDonald graciously hosted Hayden and I. Kara, blessed saint that she is, watched Hayden during the two days of the conference so that I could attend. The event was amazing and I learned a lot! I was so grateful to have the opportunity to go! My parents made that possible for us by paying for my registration and I deeply appreciated their generosity!
We arrived home in time to spruce up the house for Thanksgiving and for a visit from Nanny and PawPaw and Zizi! (That's my mom, dad, and younger sister for those of you who don't know them by those names!) They arrived on Monday morning and we had a very wonderful visit! Hayden was very happy to spend some time with them and Kelly and I were so glad to get to visit with them.
This morning, we are back into our routine, for the most part. In all that fun, I FINALLY got to start subbing and was able to squeeze in a few jobs, too.
I wanted to write about a session I attending during the conference that I thoroughly enjoyed and came home empowered about. The session concerned writing a positive & person-centered ritual story for the child with special needs. The goal is to write a document that can be reproduced and given to any caregiver your child with special needs comes in contact with. Really, any parent could use it. There were a couple of different ways to do it and so I sat down this weekend and wrote Hayden's. There are two parts to hers. The first part is a single sheet which is categorized into three sections: A Few Things To Know About Hayden, What Is Important FOR Hayden, and What Is Important TO Hayden. I wrote this page from Hayden's perspective, as though she wrote it herself. The idea behind this is that it becomes "person-centered." The caregiver reads these facts as though Hayden herself could say them out loud. I tried to focus on the general facts that would help explain some of the more specific idiosyncrasies that make up Hayden. If you are too specific, you end up with a novella that is just too much for a caregiver to digest and make use of. The second part is written from my perspective and labeled as "Some Additional Notes From Hayden's Mom." This part was kind of for my own peace of mind. I wrote it to compliment the single page...so the whole document reads like an introductory meeting between myself, Hayden, & the caregiver. I kept it as brief as possible while still trying to be as succinct and explanatory as possible. The total document is 3 pages long. My plan is to have it copied and laminated so that whenever we go somewhere new, I have a summation of Hayden that will eliminate a 30-minute meeting with a new caregiver. I decided to post it here so that you all could see what I wrote.
With that I must go. It's time to get back to Curves and work off all that carby-yet-delicious Thanksgiving food I enjoyed this past week! Peace & blessings to all of you! :)