Monday, 25 November 2013

Father & Son Camp - 8&9 Nov 2013

Posting by Xian Wei

My first Father and Son camp with daddy in Tapah, which was organised by Focus on the Family. We're supposed to go last year but the weather was extremely bad that time and we've to cancel the trip at the very last minute. That's why I was thrilled the weather was better this year. 

This was our first task setting up the tent together.

We played balloon badminton with a bath towel. I was nervous because I thought the balloon would fall off.

Understanding each other is important in communication. 

We also played Obstacle Course. We crawled as fast as we could to get to the other side.

 I couldn't balance properly because the log was shaky.

The fathers helped one another. It would be tough to get up there on my own.

Teamwork saved the day!

It was tricky. I sometimes got stuck at the net. My daddy was fit.

Night trekking near the camp site. I was looking everywhere to see if there were leeches. At one point we had to turn off the lights and I heard the sound of crickets. 

We got back to the tent very late. I took a shower and it was FREEZING cold but I didn't mind for I was hot. In the tent, I even watched Pacific Rim with daddy!!!!

Guiding my father was hard especially when blindfolded. After this game my father learnt to trust me more.

The next day, we've to cook our own lunch. We had fried rice and chicken wings for lunch. I'm glad the fried rice was tasty.

On the way to the waterfall .....

It's refreshing at the waterfall after the long and sweaty trek. Very cooling.

Having a splash with my new friends.

Our group photo at the waterfall...

A few people walked with torn shoes all the way out on rocky ground. We're smart to have our local Adidas rubber shoes.

Sliding down the fast moving water was so fun!

Chilling at a nearby stream before we said farewells to our friends.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Ending on a Mixed Note - 31 Oct 2013

I think it's time to update about Ken, the boy that I had shared in my earlier post, Misconceptions about Down syndrome. I've observed and guided him for about 7 months as a volunteer at PKIK. It was a learning journey for me, full of little discovery here and there. 

I've to put aside my academic plans. Ken has no speech and poor motor skills. So in a classroom setting, we do mainly activities that help with his fine motor skills. These are movements to the hands, wrists, fingers, feet, etc in coordination with the eyes. They are smaller actions such as throw/catch balls, kick/pass balls, squeezing balls, using a pair of scissors to cut, using a pencil to write carefully and other tasks that occur daily.

I usually put a surprise toy inside a paper bag. Ken would use the scissors to cut open the bag, but even if the toy drops out halfway, he would still continue cutting until the bag is completely separated.

Ken is not very keen in arts, especially if it gotta use pencils or brushes. So I experimented with marble painting. Placed some water colour paints onto paper in tray, put some marbles in it, and he has to tilt tray to roll the marbles through the paint to create an abstract design.

Ken was more receptive to this activity, he didn't think of it as arts. He thought he's rolling the little balls. After 3 paintings, I began to take notice of the marble effects. What did they look like to you? Yea, the seasons - at least I saw them that way. So for the last painting, I purposely gave him paints with a winter tone. And look at the amazing results!!

I was so proud of Ken, and he showed me that he's pleased too, yes, that's something uncommon because he rarely expressed any response except when playing with balls. He then even helped another student to do the same thing, he's so proud he could 'teach'.

Mixing around with others is not easy for Ken. He's a loner and isolates himself socially even at home. This area we're still waiting for a breakthrough.

Ken is able to follow classroom routines - he likes listening to songs and playing with the triangle.

For the first time, we managed to coax him to do some dance movement with the teacher. It looked like he's warmed up a lot after his "4-season" masterpieces. He felt shy when we gave him more attention, which showed to us that he has the same feelings as any other child!

Thus, this is my last session at PKIK for this year. Come next year, I am anxious to see the students, and any sign of progress from them is indeed worth the time.
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