What I learned today made it the most rememberable day on this trip so far. We visited the Ladywood Family Center, which is a place where parents can drop off their children, along with their belongings and do whatever they need to do for the day. It is almost equivalent to a daycare-like setting, however the caregivers will work on the developmental growth of the children in many ways. This is so important and it is so needed because most families can not afford care for their children or have time to work one on one with them as well. This program also helps parents with whatever they need as well. This includes mental health care, learning to cook healthy meals for their children, and teaching them how to be the best advocate and playmate for their child as well.
The center is completely funded, but it also becomes hard when they do not have enough funds to implement the ideas they want and need for the children. When touring the building, they had so many toys, games and fun carpets for the kids that I just know are going to become core memories for all of them. As an adult now, I can still remember what it was like in my head start days, and it almost relates exactly to what these kids are experiencing now. The center is very diverse with many different ethnicities and child needs. There is a room that is geared towards the special education children that cater to their sensory needs. This room is not just limited to special education children, all children can use it which makes for an inclusive environment.
The lecture today was filled with 3 great speakers talking about learning disabilities and special education. My favorite part about the speeches was Sally Parker really opening up about her experiences with her special education children. I understand it can be a hard topic for a lot of moms because of the additional effort it takes to meet their child needs. For her to open up to a random group of Americans, was really kind of her. Sally shared a poem called, “Holland” and it explained how you are expecting to go on a trip to Italy that you have planned for months, but then end up at Holland, even though you were not expected to. Though you are upset about landing in Holland, the longer you stay the more you see how great Holland is. This is a very heartwarming poem that really gave an insight of what a mom with special needs children goes through in the most loving way. I will always hold that lecture to my heart! <3