Monday, August 23, 2010

Mia has news for you, she has been placed...

We are excited and happy to report that a match has been made with a recipient for Mia! All of a sudden we received the news that she will live and work with a teenage girl with a disability, quadriplegia. After the first moment of disbelief and a myriad of emotions, we realized Mia would be going to school, which made us really happy both for Mia and for her recipient. Mia is a social girl, as we have told you, and she will love it. This also means there are things she needs to work on that relate to a school environment and the needs of a student in a wheelchair.

So off Bonnie went with dog and wheelchair to the local junior high where our kids have gone. After a check in with the principal, we were welcome to train in the school. Today was our second trip to school and we worked on many things. The front doors were the first, working on position, switch and not being distracted by things on the floor. Trips down the long halls went well with some reminders about position, avoiding a toothpick on the floor, and the drips from a leak in the ceiling. We tried the heavy doors to the staff rest rooms and she amazingly opened them after a couple of tries. Bonnie had to learn how to block the door and then have Mia step over her feet to go ahead. We tried the elevator to the lower level. There was only one button outside which Mia knew to push with the "switch" command. Then remembering to have Mia on the side of the wheelchair away from the door and using "go ahead" and "around", we entered and exited as we have been taught. Lastly we did "retrieve", trying some objects a teenager might have; a marker, a cellphone, a package of kleenex and as a challenge object, a student ID card. Mia seems to enjoy working hard and being challenged. For us graduation in October will come before we know it.

Here's Mia napping this morning. We were trying to show how much she likes the bucket of balls, but there was no interfering with her after breakfast nap!

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