The Gangs all here! - Part 1
I was thinking that if I want you to get to know us the best way for that to happen would be to introduce each of us. There are a lot of us so this could get a bit lengthy. I have broken the introductions into several posts. We are all charming people and I'm sure you'll remain interested.
I'd like to first introduce myself and Kurtis.
My name is Lori-ann and the giggly boy with me is Kurtis. I am a SAHM, short for stay at home mom. I have had a very eclectic work background from being a life guard and swimming instructor in my teens to office work to running a daycare out of my home for 14 years. Then I moved on to waitressing and cooking and finally took a job in retail, working my way up to assistant manager prior to the birth of my youngest son, Kurtis. My favourite “job” has always been the role of Mommy.
Kurtis was born at 26 weeks. He made a traumatic entry into the world in the front seat of our car on the way to the hospital. I am a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason” and we didn’t have anything on hand to clamp the umbilical cord with so he remained attached to me while we waited for the ambulance to arrive. After all of the research I have done in the past few years I think that might have been the best case scenario for Kurtis because he was still getting oxygen from me during that time. Of course we can never really know for sure but I suspect his birth trauma would have had a bigger impact on his life had that not been the case.
Kurtis has Cerebral Palsy, Autism and is deaf. We use a few different modes of communication. Kurtis' primary communication takes place using American Sign Language or ASL. Kurtis has developed good reading skills so we use paper and pencil or more often at home we will use a white board. He has also been taught how to use PECS or picture exchange communication symbols. We have found that depending what is going on on a particular day or situation one method may be more effective than another for Kurtis to gain understanding. From the time that Kurtis was diagnosed with Auditory Neuropathy it has become very important to me to find a way to effectively communicate with him. It's been a long journey and when you add the complications of Cerebral Palsy and Autism into the mix, it has been a real challenge. We are fortunate to have a really great team that has worked with Kurtis to develop his multi-media approach to communication.
This picture was taken summer 2010 in Richmond, B.C. Kurtis and I took part in a Flash Mob dance. You can see the dance on YouTube. Click here for the link to watch the Flash Mob dance which was a great summer project that we were able to do together. The learning opportunities were so good for Kurtis. These included Social skills development, following directions, focus, and memory. Not to mention the thrill of performing and the adrenaline rush that comes with the applause from the spectators.
Next up....The Dad