Monday, August 18, 2014

Camp day 1

Today Emily became an "ICanBike" camper.  It's a 75 minute day camp for kids with various special needs who haven't yet mastered riding a bike.   Emily's first day of camp went really great.   It was nice seeing Emily so "active"!!!  She's more of an intellect so for her anyway, that means she doesn't really have much of an interest in sports.  This camp uses special bikes with rollers (think like a rolling pin) replacing the back wheel that gradually get both smaller & more tapered on the sides as the kids get used to balancing & learning how to ride the bike.  The camp has an 80% success rate by the end of the week.  It's a great organization, & I highly recommend it!!!! BUT each kid is different. While Emily is very intelligent.... balance & coordination are slight issues for her, hence her reluctancy to learn to ride in the past.   Having a "coach" will help Emily too & the bikes will help with her balance!    I think she's going to do really well & be bicycling by Thursday.... but I don't want to put any pressure on her so whatever the outcome is, I'm sure it will be a positive one for her.  The camp organizers seem to be very knowledgeable & encouraging.  The parents I spoke with were all great too.  The campers were AWESOME!!  Each one unique, special & all happy to be there, and almost all, wanting to learn how to ride a bike. So far it's been a great experience.   By the end of camp today Emily was high fiving her "spotter" & so proud of herself.   I'm glad we found out about this camp.  Shout out to the.... Love that Max blog! Where I first learned about the program from Max's mom. :) The one & only thing that bothered me today, just a little bit, had nothing to do with the program. It was something one of the parents (who didn't even have a child in the program, but who's associated with the rec center said)  Before I go any further...I should tell you the camp is in our HOMETOWN.  Which is amazing... because when we checked last year it was quite a drive away in North Jersey. So we got really lucky,  it's about 5 minutes from our house!!! :) Anyway, back to the story at hand... Her child recognized Emily from school, they go to the same middle school. She was a year younger than Emily.   Right away the mom assumes Emily is in the class with the special needs kids who have academic delays & are in a special class (not included in regular classes).  She ask Emily if she knows some kids? Which Emily doesn't...  She asked Emily who her teacher is? Side note: no one in regular classes knows who their teachers are until the first day of school. Emily is like, "NO".  So I prop Emily to tell her that she knows one of her classes though?  Emily catches my drift & tells her that she made the Algebra program-(this is difficult program to get into... and is based on her NJASK scores, Her STARR Math scores & last years grades!) After Emily goes to bike, this mom is still talking to me, (I just want to watch my kid!) But she's like so... Emily's just "socially" behind?  Again not really your business but I tell her a few things.. premature birth, etc. I also explain she doesn't have "any" academic delays... she's in the advanced classes, excel & National Jr. Honor society.  She says... "Oh".  (damn right!)   Don't get me wrong I have no problems saying my child is a special needs child (after all she's here at this camp, right?) but what bothers me is when people assume things about her or any kid's ability based on some assumption they have.   Emily's  social "interactions" are different from your child & many children. So what?  Your kid may be able to hold a "typical" conversation per say better than my child right now,  that doesn't make your child any smarter than mine & it might surprise you to know she isn't.   I don't really mean that in any kind of cruel way because I don't know your child from Adam... I just mean it's possible.  That's the point... none of us know each others children, it's okay to ask me something but don't assume things first.   I guarantee if I made assumptions about your child it would bother you as well.   It just frustrates me.  I think it didn't help that it was day one, I didn't know what to expect from camp & I wanted to watch my kid & learn about how this whole thing works & wasn't really in much of a mood to speak to this woman about anything at the moment.  Let alone something that frustrates me in general.    Emily's a bit like Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory & I'm not saying she's a super genius or that she's as smart as he is,   On second thought, who am I to say if she is or isn't.  Emily didn't go to University at 10, that's all I know. lol.  BUT I use him as a reference whenever someone wants to know about Emily, because a lot of people know that character.    Sheldon is very smart but he struggles with "social" issues.  That's a lot like Emily. Shelton wasn't born a "preemie" as far as I know... so obviously Emily has that history & the "side affects" for lack of a better word of being premature as well... as such it's hard to "pin-point" what her "diagnosis" really is. But who cares really.  She's just Emily! I hate people who think they know who she is from looking at her or assuming something about her,  get to know her- then you can see for yourself.  I guarantee you, like all her teachers she's ever have, will think differently about her if you get to know her.   I'm sure this woman was just curious- since her daughter went to Emily's school & she worked there too.  Being Emily was in this camp-- she made some assumptions about her.    I get it & yet it still bothers me.   Because I just wish people would stop assuming things about other people's kids.  For instance,  I volunteered to be a "spotter" today.  I ran alongside a little boy who I'll call C.  He was a super cute lil' boy, he wasn't very talkative but was a pretty good rider, especially for day one! He made turns very well... it wasn't important for me to "diagnose" him.  I knew that if there was something I needed to know about him... his mom, the director or some other person would let me know.   I just treated him like a kid! I didn't ask his parent so what's wrong with C?  Does he go to a "regular" school or is he in a "program"? All I knew is he could do turns like a beast on that bike & I was really impressed with how well he did.  The only thing I said the whole time was, "awesome!"  & "good job C!" It was really nice to volunteer & I enjoyed seeing how well C was doing as his spotter BUT when I saw Emily high fiving & smiling so much at the end of camp,  it put everything into perspective... & I was the happiest mom :) 

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