Friday, February 3, 2012

Sports, Ice Skating Skiing Sled Hockey.... Anything... Just SOMETHING!

OMG!  OMG!  I am sick of hearing more and more cases of people who don't fit the normal distribution curve to be EXCLUDED from SPORTS... because people who can't walk or think or communicate the same as someone in the Bell Curve doesn't NEED sport or physical fitness!

I don't usually use expletives on our blog, but what an absolute load of B@ll@cks!  (Did you like the pun with the @ sign to make it BALL! ROL!!!)

OMG!  Well today I went for a skate and a swim, my usual friday morning ritual... when I was feeling a little guilty about not taking Oatie for his "diversity swim", Oatie's Dad would drop him off and I'd get him ready for his swim.  Oatie was fine after his vaccination but I just wanted him to have another day away from vomit, and faeces at the pool! ROL!

When I bumped into the principle who was the lovely lady who invited Oatie to swim with her pupils... all 'special needs' I don't like Special needs word... but it's Friday!  Anyhow she was asking after Oatie and I said that he had been Skiing and Ice Skating...

When she said (this is the OMG bit) that all but 1 of her pupils can walk. They each have either physical or intellectual or other hurdles in their life.... but NONE of them have skied and NONE of them have ICE SKATED!

Ok, Skiing is a bit more hardcore... you have to drive to the mountain first, not a huge one as it's only 1.5 hours to the base of the lift...

But SKATING!!! they walk past the One of the two rinks to get to the pool!  She said that there has NEVER been anything to support kids like Oatie or her students to ice skate... and she was taken back in awe that Oatie was in the parent and tot... I did say it had something to do with the fact that I know the instructor and she would stand up for Oatie in a heartbeat...

I have to say that this is truly disgusting...  If any of you ever saw how much fun this ladies students have in the pool 3 times a week, like they're having the time of their life in the pool... it's fabulous... imagine how much fun they'd have ice skating... or skiing with their family?

I was telling this lady how Kidsport only does walking kids, and the Special Olympics only intellectually disadvantaged kids.... where as CADS and the PARAS will aid both... but you have to be a CHARITY!

Well that's it! this is so wrong...  Only this week my good friend Phil mentioned an article about Canadian Children with disabilities excluded from society and not having friends... well not being able to participate in sports really isn't going to help!  That was my point!!! What Activities...Where the 'F' are they? as I haven't found any! The only thing I found was the "diversity Swim" and the pool is EMPTY anyway!

To take an extract from the article:

"As far as anyone can tell, there are a plethora of programs for kids with disabilities, But a startling 78 per cent of parents said their children don’t participate regularly in community programs. There are a variety of reasons. Many programs are inaccessible (and that doesn’t mean there are no ramps, it means they are at inconvenient times or in inconvenient places). Transportation is a major problem for children who, because of their disabilities, can’t use public transit. And cost is a big factor, especially as parents of children with life-long disabilities often stop paid work to become caregivers."

What Plethora... please let them tell me where this PLETHORA is?   There is NO overabundance or excess of programmes that would include Oatie.  What a load of CRAP!

Our rec centre that is meant to be PRO disability, like they let service dogs in etc etc and have the diversity swim and they did agree to let Oatie have his Ice Walker out there...  There is maybe 20 preschool programmes... but NOT 1, NOT 1, not a single 1 will let Oatie join, because of his handicap... not a single programme so what plethora!!??? we had to BEG them to let Oatie join the santa workshop and yes... we had to accompany him...

We have "gate crashed" into the parent and tot, and as it's parent with child... then no one can complain... what happens when Oatie is 6? what then?  I would have to FIGHT to get him into CanSkate!  FIGHT and Skate Canada is meant to be pro- Getting EVERYBODY on the ice but I have emailed them several time and not a single reply to programmes or supporting EVERYBODY out on the ice... it's all empty words! 

I have found 1 sled hockey group but that is in the North of the City and Oatie would need to be say 7 or 8... however they have mixed teams so his siblings could play too which is brilliant!

I look at the sheer joy and happiness and the emotional, spiritual development and the motor improvements that it gives Oatie... each time I take him skating, or swimming, it's like he says a few more words or gets that bit more co-ordinated or throws a spontaneous sentence together... or gives him the drive to strive harder or go for it...  and yes he feels "NORMAL" what ever that is, but he's doing a sport that he sees lots of other people enjoy...  He can't run...... ON LAND!!! but he CAN run on ICE!


  1. Hi Mel - You have to know that I find your passion, your outrage heartwarming. I know that these situations touch the very core of your being. As Gandhi so wisely counsels, "Be the change you wish in this life." Apart from being an incredible advocate for your dear boy and an overall wonderful mother perhaps you might find a niche in the disability community advocating for others who cannot advocate for themselves! I love the pictures and the joy!! Thanks for sharing. . .
    Love, Sharon

    1. I loved Ghandi, I think I watched every Ghandi movie out... I had a few books, my dad was a huge Ghandi admirer too and I recall asking my grandad if he WAS GHANDI! Well I was 4 or so and he did look like him!

      Well I have a few mums who are willing to "run for Fun" It's an idea for the run's name...raise money for any person who needs unique equipment... I'm going to need to do some research and see what's involved to get it off the ground... if we can.

  2. Well, my friend, Dr House says, "Normal is over-rated." Our disabled kids are the new normal, the indifferent are the old normal. They can have their comfortable lives, I am happy with mine and wouldn't trade. By the way, whatever, my wife says above, I agree...that's the way normal is, no?

    1. Normal is overrated... I have to say my life was boring before.

      Well I couldn't agree more, our kids are normal, it's the ones who don't see them as normal are abnormal!



  3. You and Oatie give me pause. And faith. In myself and others. That our kids can shine and be who they are meant to be without barriers.

    Sorry for being MIA for so long--I've been wiped out.


    1. Dear Lizbeth,

      Aww that's so sweet of you, our kids do shine, it's a bit of an uphill battle at times, this is the first week that I think Oatie has won over his group... yep 2 weeks left. only took them 4 weeks to get there :)

  4. Hey Mel! Now I'm wondering, does Canada have some version of our Americans With Disabilites Act? Any civil rights law to ensure inclusion of all Canadians with disabilities in public places and programs? Our ADA is partially why Massachusetts has grounds to be so pro-active with regard to accessible recreation. Its always a "work in progress" but I am astounded that there is so little offered where you are. Sounds like people need more education and to know that access for all is just part of the scene in other places. Feel free to use my blog as an example of what is out there - and check out my latest post - I hope it brings a smile to you and Oatie! :)

    1. Dear Marcy,

      In the UK we have the citizens advice bureau... and you could pop in it would usually be a small hut... but they would give you the low down....

      I will definately find out... I think what I'm going to do is task a few of my friends with different bits of research, there has to be something. We're lucky our rec centre is "fairly" friendly towards people with disabilities... but after he's school age, it will be a fight everywhere you go.

      British Columbia and Ontario has a better policy than Alberta... Alberta seems to be lacking.

      The other challenge is, even if you manage to coerce say skate canada to let say someone like Oatie Skate, you'd then have to dish out for the equipment.

      There is $500 grant from the Cerebral Palsy association a year for equipment, and that's it regionally.

      Equipment seems to be more of the barrier and that's such a shame.

      Your post did make us smile:) I love the photos of everyone skating it's brilliant!

  5. PS - I LOVE the photos of Oatie on the ice! Thanks for sharing them and how beneficial skating is for him. Freedom! Yes!

    1. Today Marcy, I thought he was going to get a speeding ticket on the ice... he decided that he'd be the bullet of Mario Kart and he went at speed... top speed... and the instructor called out "are you going that fast?" I Shouted back... No... it's all HIM! ARRRGHGHGH and to that, Oatie Roared with Laughter taking his mum for a ride!


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