Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day Three - Virginia Beach Adventure

Adventure just doesn't seem like the right word to describe the day. To me the word adventure brings images of fun times - and fun times were definitely not happening last night and this morning.

The conference that I am attending and that my family support group is playing a small role in, got underway officially this morning. Our family support group, Dreamcatchers, tries to make the experience as positive as possible for our families. Sometimes these retreats and conferences are the closest thing to a vacation our families will get. We provide childcare services for the family while the parents attend the conference sessions. We provide one-to-one support for each child, and always plan fun activities like swimming, field trips, arts and crafts, and pretend play. My staff and I do everything we can to make the families feel welcome and cared for. But doing so this time has been an exhausing challenge. Without going into all the reasons for the challenge, here is a list of some of the problems we have encountered:

  • the childcare rooms set aside for us were very small - not at all conducive to children in wheelchairs

  • the rooms weren't ready for us last night, or this morning. So parents had to take their children into the keynote address - not a good thing for children with as many sensory issues as ours

  • the hotel itself is not very accessible. Children must be wheeled across two busy driveways to make it to the childcare rooms or to the pool

And that is just a very small smattering of the issues. I believe we have some handle now on things and we have started accepting children into childcare, but I am physically and emotionally exhausted. Yet there are two more days left for the conference....

But, the smiles on the children's faces right after lunch made it all worthwhile. Here's hoping those smiles will continue for the next two days...


Casdok said...

Yes lets hope so - smiles make everything worth while.

rickismom said...

In my experience, even checking out the facilities in advance (while helpfull), is no quarentee. We ALWAYS check out in advance (a retreat/conference for moms), and inevitably the air conditioning is not up to par, they have trouble locating their transperency viewing machine, etc.

Marla said...

Wow. Sounds like so much hard work. I hope it all gets better.

I was wondering if you got the package?