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Posts Tagged ‘NYC special needs’

5 years later – can The Foorce pull it off?

family shot

This is our team, 3 kids ago (I was equally pregnant in this photo as I will be tomorrow).                      Where does the time go?

Just when I thought we had missed out a year, I found it.  Now the question is, will we get a picture of our team (or at least part of it) on the YAI website for our fifth and final Central Park Challenge?

Tomorrow will be a fun, exciting, and incredibly bittersweet day for me. When I get settled in Houston you can count on me finding something to replace what has become an amazing, memorable and meaningful tradition in our family.

And I would be remiss not to mention that it is not quite too late to help us reach our final fundraising goal for a very worth cause. Click here to visit our team website!

AHRC New York City: Assistance For Families With Special Needs

Your Special Education Student and the NYC Bus Strike – Info, Tips and Updates (courtesy of RCSN)

January 15, 2013 2 comments

Seeing as how I’m not trekking 2 hours round trip twice a day with 4 kids, we just secured car service to bring James to school. He’s definitely one person who won’t feel put out not having door-to-door busing (wish I could say the same for our wallet!).

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People Get Ready

By Lori Podvesker
Yesterday I attended a meeting with Chancellor Walcott and other key people from the DOE to discuss how students who receive special education services and their families will be impacted by a bus strike.  While there was some talk about the “politics” part of the strike, much of the conversation focused on the DOE’s plans for the strike. This includes parents of students with IEP’s receiving MetroCards to travel with their children to and from school and also being reimbursed when using public transportation is not an option. Go here for more information.lori and jack on NY1 2Without hearing any clear, workable solutions from the DOE, I started to think about what I can do now to hopefully lessen the additional responsibilities that are lying ahead of us—managing and initially funding the transportation needs of getting our child to and from school which may also include making additional childcare arrangements—ugh!
So here’s what I’m thinking of doing. And honestly, I have to say that I will be proud of myself if I can do half of the things that I am telling the rest of NYC parent world to do. Because I don’t call myself the “shoemaker’s kid without shoes” for nothing!
  • Speaking with my supervisor at work about how a strike may affect my work schedule—can’t be good for anyone if this strike last for a few weeks or months
  • Asking my beloved retired neighbor if he is willing to accompany my son to school on the days when I cannot afford to miss work—hoping he gives us a discounted rate if we need him for a lot of trips
  • Calling 2 or 3 car services to ask about an estimated cost of a round-trip to my son’s school—possibly shelling out $60 a day and waiting to be reimbursed is so NOT cool—this is because my son goes to a public school that is 7 miles away from our house
  • Calling all 3 of the therapists who work with my son afterschool–need to let them know that he might be late or entirely miss therapy because of the strike. I think this is the one thing that bothers me the most about a strike
  • Going to my son’s school to get MetroCards for us to travel on the train—the boy loves riding the subways and he is gonna love this!
  • Asking my son’s caretaker/babysitter if she is able to pick him up at school everyday instead of meeting him at home—leading to one more additional cost (childcare) that we will have to absorb during this strike except there are no reimbursement forms to fill out for the DOE—ouch!
  • Talking about the strike with my son,  and how things will look and feel different for us in the morning and afternoon during the course of the strike—not an easy thing for a child like mine who struggles adapting to new environments
That’s it. I can’t think of anything else to say except HANG IN THERE and know that you can always call us if have any questions. Or feel free to email me at lpodvesker@resourcesnyc.org if you just need a space to vent—I totally get it!

Parent Support for Special Needs Teens in NYC

This group meets monthly and allows parents to gain support and resources to help their teens with special needs.  The group leaders are a guidance counselor and a social worker at a school specifically for students with special needs and have a wealth of knowledge to impart to interested parents.

Click here for more info or to join online.

Achilles Kids – Upcoming Free Events, July 2011

Independence Day Collage
Achilles Kids 2011 Independence Day Fun Run!
Achilles International Logo
Achilles Kids
Independence Day Fun Run
Saturday, July 9th
Jewish Community Center GYM
334 Amsterdam Ave. @ 76th Street
9:30 AM – 12:15 PMDirections: 1, 2, 3 train to 72nd St. Walk NORTH 4 blocks on Amsterdam to 76th Street.

For more information, please call 212.354.0300 or email us at kids@achillesinternational.org!

 

Achilles Kids  Under the Sea Fun Run

Saturday, July 16th

Jewish Community Center GYM

334 Amsterdam Ave. @ 76th Street

9:30 AM – 12:15 PM

 

Achilles Kids
Shoot for the Stars Fun Run
Saturday, July 23rd
Jewish Community Center GYM
334 Amsterdam Ave. @ 76th Street
9:30 AM – 12:15 PM

 

Achilles Kids
42 West 38th Street, 4th Floor
New York, New York 10018
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More Free Accessible Sports Brought To You By The NYC Parks Dept – There Is Still Time To Join This Summer!

I’m taking James to his first day of adaptive swim lessons tomorrow (see The Murky Waters) – we’ve decided to stay in the familiar waters of Highbridge Pool, uptown. I had planned on taking him to both the Tuesday and Thursday lessons until I started reading about some of the other special needs sports programs offered by the NYC Parks department.

Many thanks to Victor Calise, the NYC Parks Accessibility Coordinator, who has generously and patiently provided me with the information below (while also fielding my numerous emails regarding adaptive swim lessons).

Adaptive Tennis

Prospect Park has an adaptive tennis program for all disabilities and runs from October-May, you can call them at 718.436.2500.

The USTA has adaptive tennis for people with physical disabilities that runs about the same time.

Adaptive Track & Field

There is an adaptive track & field program for kids ages 5-16 with physical disabilities, offered in two locations. In Manhattan practice takes place at Thomas Jefferson Park on Tuesday and Thursdays, and in the Bronx at Pelham Bay Park on Monday and Wednesdays. Both parks start the week of July 11th – just show up and register on site. Ages 5-7 meet 9:30-10:30 and ages 8-16 meet from 10:30-noon. All equipment is provided. And, it’s free! Please click  http://www.cityparksfoundation.org/pdfs/cityparks_Trackbrochure.pdf for more information.

So now I need to decide whether to take James to swimming two days a week or use one of those days to try the Track & Field program this summer. I want to push swimming since he has finally started putting his head underwater but would also like for him to try something new.

In any case, I’ll be all set if this is my biggest problem this summer.

Patience and Foortitude, Part 3: Just Foortitude This Time, With Special Guest Appearance By Windex

As I picked up pieces of mushroom from the bathroom floor, I noticed that my foot was bleeding ever so slightly – I must have missed another tiny sliver of glass. I silently (okay, not so silently) cursed Corelle, makers of the supposedly unbreakable dishware. The only thing that kept me from becoming hysterical was brainstorming potential titles for my post this evening, because I sure as hell had a story to tell.

It started off as a Medium kind of day. James had a medium morning, not thrilled to get up but not upset enough for any theatrics. My 2 year old discovered bras today, and spent the morning putting bras on herself, her head and every stuffed animal in sight. Only medium cute after she got two clasps stuck in her hair and bent them – I don’t have that many bras. My cranky, crying, screechy, teething 8 month old was having a not-so-great day, but one out of three isn’t that bad – it’s almost a given that at least several days a week, one of the three kids is going to have a not-so-great day.

So let’s fast-forward to see how things got from Medium to Extreme (see Patience and Foortitude Part 2: Extreme Parenting).

3:00pm

I picked James up from school and we paid our fifth trip in a row to Walgreens. The pharmacy had misplaced one of his prescriptions I had dropped off the week prior, and because I might sell Vyvanse on the black market we had to have a whole new prescription written and mailed in. The pharmacy called our neurologist (who for now shall remain nameless) last Tuesday, June 7th, but apparently they did not mail a new script until Friday, June 10th. Monday, June 13th rolled around – still no script, and now I had run out of Vyvanse for James. So, since Monday we had been making a daily pilgrimage to Walgreens to check for our prescription, and when it wasn’t there, pick up a single pill to tide us over.

Today was no different – the mail from “Friday” still had not arrived. We waited for 15 minutes for our single pill, and I left with a medium amount of frustration. Let’s be honest, 15 minutes in “Multiple Kid Time” really feels like at least an hour. I mentally added another 30 minutes because I had a fussy teething 8 month old baby strapped on.

3:30pm

On our way home James stops to stare at a beggar sitting outside of Duane Reade. The man calls over to him and James, instead of walking away or toward him, just kind of stands there and stares. I give him a little poke in the back to keep things moving (my 8 month old is still crying and my 2 yr old has stripped down in the stroller to her diaper at this point) and James, in his usual style, reacts as though I  have stabbed him.

He is still kind of grumbling about it as I carry the stroller into our building. An older woman is holding the door and as we walk through James explains to her, “It really hurt when my mom nailed me with a nail in my back.”

4:30pm

Homework done after only an hour of prodding. Baby still screaming – nursing, laying him in the crib, carrying him around, even the plastic cup of water is not distracting this guy. I can tell the noise is getting to James because he repeatedly claps his hands over his ears, none to gently. For those of you who have not had the pleasure, my 8 month old sounds eerily like an amplified tea kettle when he is screaming. It is truly an ear-shattering experience for anyone, let alone James and all of his noise issues.

5:00pm

Husband working late for the 6,893rd day in a row (in “Multiple Kid Time” this is not an exaggeration). Despite continued screaming, I try to make the best of things and let the kids help me cook dinner. James and my 2 yr old get into a fight over the pasta and spill the full strainer into the sink. I put some pasta on paper plates for them and set them up at the other counter. The sink looks clean enough – pasta goes back into the pot.

5:20pm

I walk into the kitchen where my 2 yr old is working on her second banana. She looks up with a guilty expression on her face. I see more pasta and half a peach on the counter. There are banana peels on the floor and banana juice everywhere. Banana juice? Wait a second… my daughter has already dashed from the kitchen as I realize what has really happened. There is a pair of pink underwear on the kitchen floor too. Banana juice, good grief – I must be losing it. I get the Windex out.

5:35pm

The baby is finally down for a nap. Kids are helping to set the table. My daughter grabs a stack of bowls and runs out of the kitchen. “Come back here,” I call. “We need to put food in those bowls!” She tears back into the kitchen and promptly drops the bowls on the floor, where they all shatter. In an effort to escape the situation, she runs back out of the kitchen, through the broken glass. Corelle, I am very disappointed in you.

Miraculously, her feet are untouched. I wish I could say the same for mine.

5:55pm

Glass cleaned up – I even re-Windexed the floor after sweeping to make sure I got all of the tiny pieces. Baby still napping – hooray! I feel bad about losing my temper over the bowls so we make Shirley Temples together for a special treat. We sit down for dinner – James and his sister fight over seats and the last remaining glass bowl. I eat from Bob the Builder plasticware.

6:15pm

I go to start the shower for James and stop dead when I open the bathroom door. There is poop on the floor in front of the toilet – ugh. I hear my 2 yr old running away as I call out,” Who had an accident?” (I would’ve run away too at this point.) Apparently she has decided to clean out her own potty chair and this is the result. I go back to the kitchen for some plastic  bags. And the Windex.

6:30pm

I am sudsing James up in the shower when tragedy strikes. Some water gets into James’s ear! He goes crazy and the shower now becomes a soap-crazed wrestling match. Shouts of “You’re getting me wet!” and “Don’t touch my ear – you’re hurting me!!” can be heard throughout the apartment, and there’s no telling which one of us is yelling what.

The baby is woken by the shower extravaganza.

6:31pm

I carry my 8 month old out to the dining room. My 2 yr old is sitting at the table with a bottle of Windex and a roll of paper towels. The table is covered in pools of clear liquid. The bag of bread and tub of butter is covered in Windex. The mail is soaked through. The dishes are wet. I put my daughter into time out, put the baby down and get to work on the mess – they both immediately start screaming.

6:45pm

I grab the baby and go to get James out of the shower. James is happily standing in the shower coating himself in daily shower cleaning spray. He is pretending it is a gun of some sort, and seems kind of annoyed when I interrupt (very loudly) “What are you doing???!! Put that down!”

I re-shower James as my 2 yr old comes in to poop again. This time I am there to empty the potty chair for her. Or so I think. As I straighten up with the bowl in hand (and baby in the other), my daughter tackles me, screaming “I can do it my big girl self!” The bowl spills all over the floor. I put her back into time out, send James to his room to get dressed, and put the baby down again. Complaints all around. I go get the Windex.

7:15pm 

We are all seated back at the table, playing a makeshift version of Pictionary before bed (I am working on a post that explains the modifications I make to regular boardgames for James). James draws a great insect and my daughter makes four circles for “Four Eyes.” They both guess that my golfer is a woman sweeping. I fill two little cups with mini-marshmallows as a joint dessert/prize for kicking my butt. I feed the baby a late dinner of yogurt and pasta.

7:45pm

I am sweeping up the kitchen and dining room while my daughter follows me around whining, “Hold me, mommy, hold me.” I am already holding her brother. I compromise by singing all of the songs from The Little Mermaid as I sweep. James joins in – it is a sweeping success.

8:00pm

I give James his medicine and send him to wait in his room while I put the leftovers away. My 8 month old is quiet now, as long as I am holding him. As I silently congratulate myself on my one-handed mastery of packing food away, he casually swats the tupperware, sending it crashing to the floor below. Pasta, sausage, mushrooms, onions and tomato sauce are everywhere. I place him on the floor. He starts to cry while simultaneously eating as much pasta as he can get his hands on. I get out the Windex.

8:30pm

We are all camped out in James’s room while I read The Magician’s Nephew to him. Against direct orders, my daughter is repeatedly jumping off of James’s bed to make her little brother laugh, and is succeeding. She accidentally kicks him in the head. I put her in time out. I finally finish the chapter with two babies in my lap, sniffling.

8:35pm

I tuck James in and we all have an “air-kiss battle” for a few minutes, where we see who can smack who out of the room with the best air-kiss (think Mario meets Star Wars). James wins, much to my daughter’s dismay. One kid down. My mood lightens considerably.

9:00pm

I am laying in bed with the two babies, reading Goodnight Moon for the third time in a row. There is a light at the end of the tunnel – I’ll read this book sixteen more times if it means more peace and quiet followed by sleep. Thankfully, it takes only one more read.

9:45pm

I sneak out of my room and duck into the bathroom. I step on something soft and squishy. I take a deep breath and look down. It’s a mushroom. Huh? On further examination I can see at least half a dozen sliced mushrooms on the bathroom floor. I also notice a red smear on the floor and realize it’s coming from a piece of glass still stuck in my foot from earlier. I grab the Windex.