Well, the last official day for Neil as principal of Omakere School, and Ben's last day as a pupil there has been and gone. It is quite bittersweet for us, because Omakere has been a great place to be, especially for Ben and Neil, and we have met lots of amazing people. I will miss my friends, especially Anna, and Ben really doesn't want to go. He has already told me that he will be shy at the new school and hide behind my leg, and when the kids ask what he is doing, I am to say "He's just feeling a little bit shy right now'! So I have learned my script and we will see how long this shyness lasts. Ben is a pretty outgoing character, and he has lived at a school for the past 18 months, so I don't see him being shy for too long!
For those of you who don't know, Luke is the reason for our move. The Early Intervention available in this region is fairly basic- he saw the VNT twice in his first 5 months, and although he has now been seeing her monthly, this is not optimal. She has been great, with lots of good suggestions, but it is something I worry about a lot, especially as all the research points to Early Intervention having amazing outcomes for kids with DS.
So we looked at a couple of options- one being returning to Palmerston North. That would have been relatively easy, with our house there and all our friends for support. But the services there are very similar to what is available here, and seem quite fragmented. There is a great group started by parents, ABCD, which provides some extra intervention, and I have driven the kids there once a month for that too.
The best option was the Champion Centre in Christchurch. We have got a place there for Luke next year. We (Luke, Emily and I) will go in every Friday for therapy, and it is done in a fairly holistic manner, with the VNT, Early Intervention teacher and speech language therapist all in the same room. Plus with Mum in Christchurch it is the best option by far. She has been wanting to get her ands on the kids for years!
We leave on the 8th of January. Only 3 weeks to go. Hopefully they will be 3 lovely hot Central Hawkes Bay weeks, because I couldn't appreciate last summer as I was so pregnant and uncomfortable.
I am looking forward to our lovely new house in Ashburton- won't miss this one too much. But I will definitely miss Omakere, being up at the school and the Playcentre, and all our new friends.
I hope 2009 will be an easier year than this has been.