Our family has recently made a big move, from the Gold Coast to Toowoomba. We have been here for almost a month now, and the change so far seems to have been a positive one.
Matt is thoroughly enjoying a new work opportunity, which has brought with it the chance to learn many new skills and a much needed change of scenery.He’s been spending some time in his old stomping ground, fixing motorbikes, riding them, and fixing them some more :).
Callum has taken the change in his stride. The increased opportunities to hit the motocross tracks have no doubt helped him to see the positives :). He does miss his old school and his friends and teachers, but has definitely seemed to make some new friendships quite quickly, and has been blessed again with two beautiful teachers. Having my mum in town has meant I have been able to more easily commit to helping in the classroom here too, which I am thoroughly enjoying. I have found the parents, staff and students to be very welcoming too.
Claire’s reaction to the move was initially rather unsettling for us all, with some extreme head banging which resulted in quite a bloody and bruised forehead. She spent the first week or two cuddling up to the drum that she was very generously given by our amazing music therapist, and beautiful friend, on her departure from the Gold Coast. The drum has been instrumental (ha ha) in providing adequate feedback to Claire in her moments of high stress. Ever the optimist, I must say that while I was saddened and stressed that Claire seemed to be so unhappy with the move, I was encouraged by the fact that she could recognise that things were different, and that she was attempting to communicate that she was stressed.
Claire is enjoying her weekly visits to the Early Childhood Development Program, which involve music, sensory activities and outside play. Through this program and through Baby Bridges, we have made some new connections and I am very excited that Claire has her first play date with some new friends next week.
We have met with the disability services team, and are hopeful of accessing some services via the state funded FECS team next term. We have been using our Better Start funding to access physiotherapy and occupational therapy, and have slowly begun making connections with the other medical professionals we need on our team to help care for Claire. It’s a busy time, but it has been refreshing to be able to share how far that Claire has come, when letting our new therapists know about Claire’s capabilities.
Since her adenoid, tonsil and grommet operation in May, Claire’s speech development has been wonderful. She vocalises so much more and is attempting more real words. We are also really excited about the efforts Claire is making to stand upright, pulling herself up at the couch, on her very special borrowed ladder, and on anyone who will stand still near her long enough, especially if you sing ‘Dingle Dangle Scarecrow’. She also now has her own crocodile walker, and has enjoyed opportunities to use this at playgroup, in the parks, and at the shops. I have recently applied for a disability parking permit which will hopefully make it easier to use the walker in more situations. She currently manages only very short distances, and it is a great challenge to carry Claire and her walker from car parks to flat surfaces conducive to the walker use.
For me, having my parents, grandparents, cousins, and school friends close by has been a huge benefit of moving to Toowoomba. I miss the friends I have left behind, but we have already had some lovely visitors and are expecting more in the near future. I’ve had one return visit to the Coast so far, and I took Claire so that we could squeeze in some music, some play dates, and a session at Conductive Education Queensland on the way home. We expect another trip that way soon.
There is just one week to go until school holidays, and I will be looking forward to enjoying the Carnival of Flowers festivities with both the kids. With the cold Winter days becoming few and far between, and the parks exploding with vibrant colour, the move to Toowoomba is continuing to feel like the right thing to do at the right time.