Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Recently Stew brought this lot back from the beach house (which is getting sold)... and I had to go through it all and toss or keep :

As most of this stuff was from my Mum's houses, and my grandmother's, I didn't expect much to be useful ....

ABOVE: this pile of DVD's is treasure! All owned by my brother (deceased).. and virtually ALL shoot 'em up BANG BANG's. The boys in this house will love them!

ABOVE: I found a pile of old photos taken when my paternal Grandfather was working on building power stations here in New Zealand, YEARS ago! He was a Civil Engineer I think... I know that as a child I got to go INSIDE the guts of the Tongariro Power Station and see the huge turbines, before the flood gates were opened for the first time.... it was amazing!

ABOVE: a selection of the photos... I am going to ring around and see if any of the museums or actual power stations want them. It's a shame to not give them to someone who can preserve the history in them.
I also found a smelly box full of old stamps... which are now on Trademe.... I am so not a collector of stamps! lol
TODAY: just going to enjoy the last day of the school holidays with the kids.... as TOMORROW THEY GO BACK TO SCHOOL... ! The 7 weeks of the holidays have flown by... but really it was too long for the kids. They have been quite bored the past few days.... so bring it ON!


I feel bad. I just (finally) got around to google'ing Dyslexia. And OH MY GOD!... Griffin has virtually every 'symptom' of Dyslexia. How the hell did no one pick up on it earlier? AND in particular the school??? I am just livid that it has taken 3 years to get this diagnosis... after I told the teachers right back when he STARTED SCHOOl as a 5 year old that he was 'different'! I should have tried harder .. I should have done more research myself... I am just so angry with myself. OVER IT NOW... just have to move on from here...and get our boy all the help he needs eh?
I decided lunch with Stew would be nice, so the kids and I loaded up the car with stuff to drop off to the Hospice Shop and headed off. I dropped off the stuff, bought a set of blue glass candle holders (so cheap!) and also got the paperwork so I could do some volunteer work there this year and then off to the mall:
While having lunch with Stew me phone rang and it was the linen shop... part of my order was in.. so we hot footed it down to their shop (we were already in that mall) and picked up the Duvet Cover and matching Pillow cases. Still waiting for the Bedspread to arrive from Aussy.
I'm off now to put them on my bed!
Will show you tomorrow. Quite enough on today's blog post already!
*** Anonymous: (LYNISE?)... what pisses me off about the whole thing is that for the first 18 months of Griffin's schooling we were told over and over again that he was "just not ready to learn yet, and that boys were slower than girls to be ready"... AND I kept saying 'BULLSHIT' but was fobbed off. Now we do have a difinitive diagnosis of Dyslexia, and next week are meeting with the Educational Child Psychologist, an Occupational Therapist from Middlemore Hospital, a Clinical Psychologist from Whirinaki AND the school Principal, Deputy Principal and his teacher for this year. Somehow between all these 'PROFESSIONALS' we can expect some progress???
End of Day: and I'm jumping for joy.. kids are back to school tomorrow and I'm going to bed so it comes quicker! nite nite.


  1. I would have loved going through those with you! Not to covet for myself, but because I just love going through things that have been put away. I think the offer to a museum is a great idea!

  2. So know that feeling about the holidays, it has gone quick but my kids are so ready to go back to school.

  3. If those places don't want them I know the local libraries sometimes do to preserve the history of the area. There is a sign up at the Feilding one, so you might want to check ones local to where they were taken.

  4. Hi Chris :) I'm one of your Swap With a Difference group *waves*. What a great lot of treasure you've found, and I agree with Janine, often libraries will take the old photos, or even try a local historical society.

  5. What a stash of treasure! Someone is going to LOVE you!

    Poor ol Griffin. As you said, onward.

  6. Great find on the pictures!

  7. I love rummaging through old TREASURES what a find.... GOOGLE a girls best friend...

  8. stop beating yourself up! You can't change the past. But at least you know what needs to be done now

  9. Heck the NZ Education Dept did not even recognise dyslexia as a real problem until recently - well I presume it is now recognised!! You'd think the school would have picked it up for sure. Never mind, he will get the right help now hopefully.

  10. Those photos will be a treasure to someone. Good for you for doing the research to find out what you need to do for Griffin. I totally agree that the school should have picked up on it. At least now he can get the help he needs from now on.

  11. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Chris, your probably not going to believe this, but teachers don't get trained to recognise the symptoms of ANY learning problem UNLESS they take an option paper that studies a variety of learning conditions. Fortunately I took this paper (when I was doing my teacher training) so guess I had a HUGE advantage when I encountered children in my class who I thought were struggling but the information I had was really just an overview of a range of conditions and teachers are NEVER allowed to carry out an assessment, we always have to do a referral.

    The process of doing a referral takes a min of a year as this is how the procedure works.

    1. A teacher works with a child and notices 'some issues'.

    2. They monitor the situation for approx a month to decide if they think this is really cause for concern.

    3. If the answer is yes, we have to start documention what the professionals calls ' an event', which is basically a brief written statement of what happened during a particular timeframe that the teacher felt was of concern. This can include dialogue between the teacher/child, or between the child/peers.

    4. A teacher will to record a range of situations where they felt concern before they file an application for an assessment. I have had cases where it is blantently obvious that a child has a learning problem so I've filed a request for an assessment, only to have the paperwork sent back asking for a 'substained written report' that documents a range of senarios and the reasons that I feel the child has difficulty.

    It seems they will only ever look at a teachers concern if they can file an application with at least 8mths of observations in it. Of course by then the child could be due to move up a year and its left to the next teacher to follow up and file, and in the past I've had to push for the file to be continued as many teachers simply do not have the knowledge (in their training) to know how to recognise a potential issue.

    In my opinion the breakdown of this problem (children not getting help) actually starts in the University where they teach us all about how the first missionary schools were set up back in the early 1800's but don't teach us about learning disorders that could drastically impact on a childs ability to learn or retain information.

    I have seen this (lack of support for a childs learning) occur over and over again and unfortunately the schools often do not have the funding needed to provide programs to assist. SPELD is the organisation that assist's children with dyslexia to read and write. It is not funded (except in a couple of pilot programs in lower socio economic areas) so it is up to parents to access the service and take their child for tutoring. (done outside class times, and normally in a tutors private home).

    If it were me I would personally not wait until the school did (or did not do something) but would go straight to the SPELD association and get the phone number of a qualified tutor (they are all teacher trained, then have additional SPELD training). The initial assessment will be around $300 and weekly tutoring sessions (normally about an hour each week) will be around $35 -$45 a sesson).

    The tutors will set homework that Griffin will need assistance with but I believe SPELD is invaluable. One of my younger brothers has dyslexia, my parents took him to SPELD tutoring when he was around 9 years old (in the late 70's) and within two years of tutoring he had caught right up to the same ability as his peers. (he had been working at around a 6 year old level, so by the time he was 11 he had progressed up 5 levels).

    If Griffin has dyslexia he will need on-going assistance that I don't believe he will really get through the school as their programs (such as rainbow reading) arn't up to par with what his needs will be and are probably only beneficial to a child who needs a bit more one on one assistance, rather then having any real learning difficulty.

    sorry about the essay.

  12. Chris, you are such a good mum. Don't ever let yourself forget that. Those kids are very very lucky. I have a feeling that with your spunk, your boy will get exactly the help he needs.

    I am so excited to see the duvet cover..I am a duvetaholic...haha.

    Hope you get to relax with some down time and enjoy doing what you love.

    Ps..did you notice that I said mum..instead of mom..yep, I'm cool..xoxo..hugs and kisses from NC USA

  13. Hi ya,

    Just got your txt, yeah that was me, don't know why my name didn't show up. (weird).

    I can't even imagine how frustrating it must be for a parent but I would be livid if it were me to.

    I have never taught a new entrant class but know that at that age their is such a varience in how quickly children learn that they are probably hard pushed to determine what is 'normal' and if they should be worried. The school where I used to work never put a child into a reading recovery type program when they were 5 or 6 years old as at that age they all learn at such a different pace.

    Don't be despaired he is still young and with the right help there is no reason why he can't catch up. In many ways he is at the age when most learning difficulties seem to get picked up on so don't be too hard on yourself about not getting assistance earlier. I am 'out of the loop' regarding SPELD these days, but when I was involved (about 4 years ago) the majority of the children coming through for assessment were between 8 (at the youngest) and 10 being around the norm.

  14. Thanks for your comments yesterday Chris. We have put the new rug down and re-grouped the furniture and it looks great. I think you're right - some cushions would give it a real lift. Unfortunately I'm back at work now, so that will have to wait until Saturday!

    I hear you on the dyslexia. You're lucky - my boy got picked up (accidentally) when he was having an IQ test at 12 1/2 years old. We were told he 'masked' it because he was fairly bright. Not much of a help when he struggled to get exams finished last year in Year 9. We contacted the college to see what help there was for him to find out that there was none. He can get extra time to complete internal exams, but not NCEA, so it's not really any help at all. We'll just have to teach him how to look at an exam paper, break it down into sections and assign time to each section. Not really ideal. I think catching it younger does help because they learn some good coping and adjusting strategies.

    And I agree with an earlier comment - don't expect the school to provide all the assistance. Our other son has some issues with education, and the professionals have been b*gger all help. It's an outside counsellor that has been the greatest help, even if it's crippling us financially!!

  15. Have to agree with Lynise SPELD is awesome, it helped Chris and now we are doing it with Steph well worth the investment in a childs education. And hell within a week or two of the assessment tutoring starts, they can do so much more than a school can offer.

  16. Yes ring SPELD, am not sure if you will have to have another assessment done, we got the assessment done on Friday for Steph and got the results today and will start tutoring next week. And yes much better than Kip McGrath (sp......

  17. I'm not sure what "fobbed off" means, but I like it, and I'm not going to let myself get fobbed off anymore either!

    By the way, yes, Bratwurst are sausages. Yummy, yummy sausages.

  18. Looks like you have received some really great advice. Nice to have someone appreciate what you have been going through - it kinda reaffirms all of your fears .

    Being a Mom is one of the hardest jobs that we all love. I understand some of your anger because over the course of a lifetime I had two boys -10 years apart who both had a learning disability. I tried to help , every which way I could think of. But between the "so called help" and then over here after my boys were "labeled" the other kinds tormented them by saying they were "retards" and just being mistreated by their school mates took away their love to learn and they just wanted to get it over with as soon as possible. They both have grown up to work construction and they will both tell you that it has been a hard road and if they could have learned more they would have been able to help them selves better.

    O, one thing that I did find useful was from a later friend of mine whos child went through it also. She took the path to research the foods that he ate because some can help and some can aggravate . My friend was so precious because she adopted this child . He was removed from an unsafe home and in order for her to get him he had to have a physical. The doctor looked him over and told her that this could would Never be a Rocket Scientist. By then he was hooked and wanted to strangle the doctor for speaking about HER CHILD that way. From then on he was HER son forever and she adored him. She treated him like a normal boy and he has grown up to be quiet a young man. She also did end up home schooling him . I really hate the current public school educations - something needs to change because we are letting our kids down and our kids are OUR FUTURE!

    Good luck Mom!

  19. Here in the States ..we have to go through a long process.. kind of like the one that annonymous talks about!! From everything I am reading you sound like you are doing an awesome job with the kids!!!! I do agree with what another comment are probably going to have to get him help outsid of school...if it is like it is here. Good luck and keep us posted.

  20. Phew so glad you appreciate my rants.. I feel a little like an evangelist preaching the bible!

  21. The most important thing now is that Griffin gets the help he needs to progress through school. He is still young and appears to be a very bright wee boy so I am sure he will catch up & probably surpass many of his peers once he has the skills & knowledge to deal with the dyslexia.

    He is lucky to have a Mum who cared enough to keep pushing for answers despite being fobbed off many times before.

    Frankly Lynises summary of the idiotic process a teacher has to go thru just to get the child assessed is appalling & PC gone stupid. I would prefer my kid was assessed & found to be perfectly fine than left to fall further & further behind. Also the fact that teachers are not even provided with the basics of how to identify a potential problem is insane.

    Have a good evening.

  22. HUGS and good for you and great for Griffin... He will feel so much better about himself and learning :) HUGS TO HIM AND YOU ... hang in there.

  23. Anonymous10:52 PM

    Genial post and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you on your information.

  24. Hi Chris, swap pal Anne here :) thank you for your lovely comment on my birdie. Took me a while to work out what a 'sway' partner was then it dawned on me it was just a typo LOL. How fab to have found that photo of your granddad! I can't wait to be called 'tart', 'weird' and whatever the other pet name was then I'll feel I've been accepted LOL.
    Anne x

  25. Anonymous12:25 AM

    Yes, it's frustrating that G's issues weren't identified sooner but THANK GOD you persisted. THAT is why he's now getting help and, really, that's what matters. Could it have happened sooner? Maybe, but it didn't and you can't change that. Your terrier like tenacity has got him help and that's all that counts right now.

    CHRIS ROX!!!

    (It's sparklingmerlot but can't do the signature thingy!)

  26. I was schooled in NZ and i was 8 before they realised i was actualy 1/4 blind. By this time i was sooo far behind that i should have repeated, but i didn't. I was just left up the back of the class to do my own thing and that wasn't learning, so this doesn't surprise me at all :o/

  27. Wooohoo you made it through summer vacation! Don't smile too much when you drop them off at school. Sorry that it took so long to get the proper help for Griffin. Hopefully this year with the help he needs he will have a great year. Have fun on your first kid free day.


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