23 February 2018

Project 'I've Got Your Back'

24 Dec 2014 - The day we received the special positioning tomato chair. C was 1 year 9 months old.
C in class on his Rodeo

Fast forward 2 Feb 2018 - Delivery of his special buggy, Convaid Rodeo, in replacement of both his tomato chair and stroller he had outgrown.

The Rodeo met a few of our needs e.g. good support for his legs, table top for school use, recline, customisable features, room for expansion etc.

But as with all good things, it came with downsides i.e. insufficient storage space for his milk pump, cough assist & suction machines, canopy, rain cover & tray (when not in use); and the fabric of the chair did not provide as much support for C's back as required. He needed a firm backing that straightens his spine to prevent excessive slouching.

Hence, the birth of this DIY project.

Materials from Daiso:
- Neck warmer (top left)
- Plate rack (bottom left)
- Leisure Mat (right)

Cost: $6.00
Assembly time: 2 mins

- Cut leisure mat as shown, keeping the seams for mid 2 sections (with elastic band) intact.
- Place mat on rack with elastic band over it.
- Insert rack in warmer.

- Rack provides firm backing.
- Leisure mat (EVA foam) provides the cushioning.
- Warmer keeps insert intact and gives a softer feel. Can be substituted with pillow/cushion casing of your choice.

I went for quick solution with ready materials within Daiso. These pieces fit together perfectly with little alteration required.

"Cushion" fits perfectly on Size 14 Rodeo

10 January 2018


像往常一样,我推着婴儿车带闻越上学。到了校走廊刚把车停了,正忙着解开闻越的安全扣时,眼角瞧见有位家长走了过来并问道: "孩子生病了怎么还带来学校?"。我边抱起闻越,边冷淡地回了一句 "我孩子没有病"。转头就往校里去。

到了放学时间,又来了位伯伯好奇地问道: "孩子鼻子为何有个管子?"。我简单地解释一番但伯伯好像似懂非懂。

你们有过类似经验吗? 会怎么做回应?会感到不悦吗?



20 November 2017

A Year On

Graduation Portrait
We're back! C had successfully completed Nursery 2 programme! Hooray!
I am especially thankful for having preschool's and AWWA's support. Both had worked closely to accommodate, to create an inclusive environment for C. Am also grateful for his classmates who were accepting and kind. It meant so much to have friends called his own.

Being different, being the minority in mainstream environment wasn't all rainbow, pretty and nice. There were days where C weren't up for it physically (those unavoidable disappointments and helplessness for not able to keep up or participate); there were times we were ignored by other parents; there were times we received unnecessary stares and unkind words from kids and adults alike. But all in all, there were more good than bad. We did well.

In second half of 2017, we participated in two field trips. One such was a day trip to WingsOverAsia Aviators. C was extremely excited on his first outing with the company of his classmates. Like most boys, he enjoyed learning about planes and jets. When given the chance to be in a real plane, he couldn't resist. That's when we faced a roadblock. This plane was approximately 1.5m off ground. We had to climb the ladder, balance ourselves on the plane's wing then squeeze into the tiny cockpit with low-set seats. With floppy C requiring support everywhere, it was no easy task maneuvering into the plane. Though it took much efforts to get in, the smile on his face was priceless.

The most memorable event was the year-end concert - New Beginnings, held at the church's auditorium this November. C was asked to represent his class to give an opening speech before the song item - 保护我的是耶和华 (all in mandarin! He didn't speak any Mandarin till he started school).
" 耶和华是我们的天父。出也蒙福,入也蒙福。
It was indeed a proud, tear-jerking moment for us. Please enjoy!

12 July 2017

All Is Well

I took a hiatus from blogging and Facebook due to our hectic schedule. An almost complete disconnection from social media sparked friends' concerns over our disappearance.

Sengkang Fire Station
Thank you all for the SMSes and emails. We are doing well. C has grown a lot, very outspoken and sociable. He is still with the kindergarten and AWWA but under a new initiative - a collaboration whereby AWWA played a more supportive role (in providing therapies, feedback and appraisal) in the mainstream environment. We have completed half of first school term under the new initative, adjustments are being made to fine-tune the programme. While it is too early to evaluate and comment, I guessed we are doing fine.

We usually spent our mornings at the kindergarten and home therapy sessions (physiotherapy & occupational therapy) in the late afternoon; leaving little me time after 3Cs - chores, cooking and caregiving. I was grateful for the June school holidays that provided the much needed break but it also made it difficult to resume our routine when new school term started.

Our days are quite monotonous at this point in time, mostly shuffling between home and school. Our first born will also be taking part in P1 registration exercise this month. We will be doing less blog posts and instead focus more on their education and personal development.

Please feel free to drop us a line if you ever miss hearing from us and are keen to know how C is doing. I would be more than happy to share an update. Love and God bless.

22 March 2017

Writing A Barrier?

One of the few cheap gadgets I've invested to make learning easier for C. Boogie Board Jot 4.5 Clearview is a translucent LCD board that comes with a detachable backing and alphabet flashcards. Use it to doodle or slot flashcards in between. Download apple app, place it on top of mobile phone and you can do interactive math quiz too!

This came in handy when C was asked write his Chinese name. We practised the strokes on the board before writing it on paper. The stylus glides on easily with little effort, ideal for C weak hands. Saves paper and erases in a click of a button. The only down side is words come out fluorescent yellow and not so visible under bright light / lighter background. Put it against darker background solves the problem.

This is how C learns! When there is a will, there is a way.

20 March 2017

Joyous March

We celebrated C's birthday almost 3 weeks ago. It was his very first birthday celebration in school with his very own group of friends.

From the birthday song dedication during morning assembly (see vid) to cake cutting and goodie bags distribution, C was all grins. Indeed special and memorable for us all. Can you believe this baby of mine is the oldest in his class?

Having a great time with his classmates!

Just today, I left him during snack break to wash his pump. Overheard this kentang boy requesting (in mandarin) for milk from auntie and thanking her for serving it. When I returned, he told me the milk was yummy.

Me: you drank the milk?
C: yes
Me: how? who fed you?
C: i drank it myself
Me: (checking the cup & table for spills) u sure u drank it?
C: yes i can hold the cup on my own. You see... (demonstrating)
Me: (impressed) wow the cup is heavy and you managed it well

New school term, new milestone, greater independence and speaking better mandarin! 😁

What have I learnt so far after making C go mainstream? Pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone made us realised what we had missed out, our potential and the possibilities. From putting C's immunity to a test, him drinking independently from a water bottle & cup, eating an ice-cream cone, kentang (english-speaking boy) to communicating in mandarin, recognising and writing Chinese characters etc. Things I thought he would not be able to do, he had done it.

Now we believe we can do more.

11 February 2017

A Birthday Wish

C: I'm going to be 4 years old soon. 4 years old, I can walk?
Me: I'm not sure if Caelen's legs are strong enough to walk for now. Maybe one day a miracle will come. If Caelen cannot walk, mommy will be your legs.
C: Yes I know. You will carry me, you can push me in a stroller or I can 'walk' with my powerchair. Let's continue to stand and make my legs stronger.
Me: Let's pray together...
C: (at the end if prayer) I want to say Amen on my own. Amen! I wish I can walk.

The kind of conversation we had tonight (of the many times he wished he could walk).