What is the best way forward
What is the best decision: should we or should we not let Tim go to school, because of the corona virus? That was the question I asked myself in my previous blog. Tim requires help with eating, drinking and his diapers need to be changed. To do this, he must be lifted out of his wheelchair. It is therefore not possible respect the meter and a half rule in school. So, there is a great risk of contamination (also for the teachers). But the regularity of school and the therapies are crucial for Tim. We have deliberately decided that to let Tim go back to school. Then, he experiences structure, learns and does fun things, receives therapy, sees other children and the teachers. He really likes school. This, together with the idea that children are generally less seriously ill from the corona virus, made us decide to send him to school.
With the wheelchair taxi
The taxi ride went well. That is not so obvious at all. Tim used to go to school in a special outward-opening car seat. Now Tim has to go to school in his new and larger wheelchair in a wheelchair bus. Tim has never done that before. It was not possible to create a transition period from the car seat to a wheelchair: we cannot enter the schoolyard and parents are not allowed to join Tim in the taxi. We came up with our own transition and it worked out very well: we went for a test drive in the taxi; so up and down to school, without going to school.
The taxi ride to school takes 40 minutes one way, and with traffic jams 50 minutes. In 3 long rides, where I joined Tim, we practiced sitting with the wheelchair in the taxi. Tim seemed to like the taxi rides, enjoyed it, but was very tired in the end. Apparently it costs him a lot of energy.
Back to school
May 11th, the schools reopened, but we decided to let him go a week later. Tim had to go to school alone, in the taxi, sitting in his new wheelchair. What an achievement! He was happy when he went back to school. He was also very cheerful at home. The taxi ride went well. When Tim saw pictures that the teacher sent, he laughed a lot and made a lot of noise. Glad Tim can go back to school, because he enjoys it so much.
Also, the therapies started again. The therapists believe that Tim has grown the last months, literally. He is getting long legs. He has also grown in his face, he is really becoming a big boy.
I am such a proud mother: we have been working on therapy for years to teach Tim to move his wheelchair himself. Today, I saw that Tim brought his hands to the hoop and made 3 attempts to push the wheel forward. He drove forward 10 cm. I cheered! Tim smiled.
The Minister of Education
It was a complete surprise when suddenly The Minister of Education, mister Slob walked into Tim his class at the school. He visited the school to understand how they are dealing with the Corona virus and vulnerable chidren. The Minister wanted to see all classes, the whole school. At that time Tim’s class was eating and drinking. So unfortunately no picture was taken. Minister Slob himself posted a twitter message on June 8th, with the following text: “Visited mytylschool De Thermiek in Leiden. Talked with teachers and students about the weeks of distance education and the restart of education at school. We are very happy that this is now possible again. “It is very good that attention is also being paid to special education, because it is almost impossible to keep a distance of 1.5 meters from teachers to students.
Who wants to help us? You can do this
The corona time has asked a lot from us: 3 children at home, the oldest has a serious multiple disability. Tim’s sleeping problems, where he is awake for about 5 hours a night, have not made it any easier for us. We out of energy. Tim’s medical appointments will continue. The last month, we went to the hospital once a week. The bus is really necessary. At the moment, we already received 14,827 Euro. A huge amount, but still 20,000 Euro to our final goal 35,000 Euro. We have a long way to go.
We have featured in the alumni magazine of Hein’s university with an article. Very nice because that has unexpectedly produced very nice positive reactions. People spontaneously made donations and offered to help. It gives us a positive feeling that we are being offered help from an unexpected source. We are not alone. That gives hope. Click here for the English version.
We all want everything to be as usual. But that is not (yet) possible. I notice that people (including me) find it difficult to comply with the rules. I would like to see my friends. I have been missing them for months, but I can’t. We still try to avoid contact with people as much as possible. The moment when the lockdown came into effect, many supporting devices were replaced. The new device was delivered to try, but the old ones were not yet been collected. As a result, we had the following supporting devices at home: 2 wheelchairs, 2 walking supporting devices, 2 special car seats, a special tricycle, the stroller for Tim (and also a Lennard stroller) and a special shower chair. You can imagine that our storage room was full, but also Tim’s bathroom and his room. When Tim took a shower, everything had to be moved, which was a hassle each time. Fortunately, most unnecessary tools have now been collected.
Thank you dear people. I hope that you are all in good health or recover well and quickly and that you continue to respect the the one and a half meter rules. By doing this and persevering, we can regain more freedoms. Much strength today. Thank you for your compassion. See you soon!
Dear greetings Jessica