A place to show my love for my granddaughter who lives with Cerebral Palsy and my passion for painting. In an effort of raising awareness for C.P. every painting brush stroke I make on raw canvas is a stroke of love, as I discretely paint a green C.P. awareness ribbon in every piece. Can you find them?
Do you know someone who would like to have a painting done? email www.harrold.janet@gmail.com

Monday, June 27, 2011

Professional Photo's of your child with special needs

Pictures, pictures, pictures...Well, we all know how beautiful Hailey is, and her mom Natalie takes tons and tons of pictures of her. Everyone who meets Hailey says the same thing. “Wow, she has the most amazing smile”. She really does, her smile is contagious and inspiring, and truthful, her smile is like the sunshine to me, very warm and sensational, it brightens my day.
As many parents of special needs children know, having your child’s picture taken professionally is not always an easy task. Many of our children experience sensory issues and have a hard time with bright lights, maybe they have a hard time sitting in one position or have difficulty with head control. Why not Have a photographer come to the house. They can capture your child in their natural setting. This might make your child feel more relaxed. Well, a couple of years ago I wanted to have Hailey’s picture taken by a professional photographer so I had Jess from Boston Baby Photos come to our house. She was very good with Hailey, at the time Hailey was not very good with strangers and I was nervous that she wouldn’t be too cooperative, Jess did a great job of keeping her distance from Hailey while getting some really, really good shots of Her. You can see them here We have a beautiful photo book that we will treasure for a life time. Not realizing that it had been 2 years since Hailey’s last photo shoot, I figured I better call Jess again. We agreed on doing trade. She would do another beautiful photo shoot of miss Hailey and I would do a painting for her. I had so much fun painting her family, they look like they are having a great walk through the park. So whimsical and fun! If you are interested in a photo shoot from Jess and live in the Boston area you can contact her here. The photographer who has taken the photo of Jess and her family is here.

Have you had trouble taking professional photo’s of your child? If so, do you have any tips on how to make your child comfortable during a photo shoot, maybe he/she has a favorite toy that may help them feel relaxed.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Any father plays an important role in their child’s development. But the participation of the father to a special needs child is significant. In honor of Father’s Day I’d like to dedicate this post to my son Tommy. We have all heard the expression that anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a daddy. Well, Tommy is a very Special Daddy. Most of my readers know that Hailey was born 4 years ago with Cerebral Palsy. Tommy’s commitment and dedication to his family is exceptional. I’m not quite sure how he balances work, Dr’s appointments, home life, school involvement and still manages to fit in a 4 week trip to another state so that Hailey can get the education that she needs to live a more independent life. After coming back home from the trip to Michigan, Tommy came home and immediately started making some of the furniture that Hailey would need to help her with her core strength and help her on her way to living a more conductive lifestyle. I have always been proud of Tommy as a son and as a person. But today I am most proud of the Dad that he has become.

Although I would like to take all the credit in raising the fine young man that he has become, I can’t . My husband Tom has certainly had a hand (o.k. maybe both hands) in raising him. He was a great example and leader, a symbol of strength and courage and an extraordinary family man, he raised the bar high and mastered the art of being a great Dad. So, we have promoted him to Grampy. He would go to the end of the world and back for Hailey, All she has to do is smile and Grampy melts, right there on the spot. Happy Father’s Day to two very special Dad’s.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Conductive Education at The CLC

The Conductive Learning Center
Grand Rapids Michigan

Well friends, I have to say...The four week experience that we had at the CLC just may have changed our lives and our outlook on life forever! The people who work there are so dedicated and obviously devoted to the children who attend the center. Whether they are there for one session or if they are attending full time, the approach is the same and the goal is to promote independence. It concentrates on developing and improving gross motor skills such as learning how to sit, walk and hold on to large objects, as well as fine motor skills including learning how to hold a pencil and eat and drink. Many parents are surprised to see their child sitting on the potty for the first time.
The curriculum strategies are tailored to the needs and abilities of each student, many who have Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida and other Motor Challenges.
The Conductors are committed to teaching students to reach beyond what is expected. They include music and singing into a structured routine making it a fun and positive experience, so they can learn the necessary skills needed to live a more independent, confident and fulfilling life.
You can only imagine our excitement when they had Hailey up on a walker (with assistance of course) after only being there 3 days! We wholeheartedly agree with the program and want to see Hailey attending on a more regular basis. I’m not sure if that means moving to Michigan, or making the trip there more frequent. It is not even out of the question to open up a Center here in Massachusetts. Either way I have to get more aggressive in my fundraising efforts. Unfortunately Conductive Education is not covered by insurance.
Friendships are different now than they used to be, quality instead of quantity. The entire community welcomed us with open arms. The parents, the staff, and the program director were all helpful and inspirational. We felt a complete sense of belonging and unity. Families who understand, people who have never met us before opened their home and their hearts to us. It is the bond we share as families of children with special needs. Parents who have walked the road before us paved the way. The same families who have learned not to waste their precious time listening to rude comments, awkward stares and low expectations from Doctors.
To all of the Parents and Educators at The Conductive Learning Center in Michigan. I have just one thing to say. BRAVO BRAVISSIMO!