We were at a great event yesterday hosted by the NDCS (National Deaf Children’s Society).

It was at an interactive museum in Belfast (N. Ireland) called W5.

Interestingly, I found out that W5 stands for the 5 questions: who, what, where, when and why?

I have four wonderful daughters.

The youngest, Brielle, is profoundly deaf and uses cochlear implants. 

She’s also mostly blind, has cerebral palsy, does not like to eat and is tube-fed, has a chronic lung condition…basically a whole collection of things due to her severe prematurity.

I’m so glad that my girls are really hands-on and involved with their little sister. 

Brielle really is delighted when they hold her hands, play with her, talk to her, do a game together or just mess about. 

I can’t imagine things any other way.

We do most things as a family. 

disability participation

Family time and sibling time are so important. 

Don’t get me wrong - I think it’s healthy for all of us to have our individual identities, friends, activities, too. 

But we can learn so much together, strengthen our bonds, and have lots of fun doing it!

So yesterday they explored W5 together. 

Granted Brielle wasn’t able to actually do everything, but she tried everything alongside her three big sisters.

The Upsee worked great in this kind of space. 

She had so much freedom and feeling of independence to explore and be upright with her sisters. 

Playing at the water structure, exploring the science area, dancing about on-screen, and walking about the museum.

I could see many curious looks coming our way, but Brielle is oblivious to them, and I don’t really care anymore if people look or stare at us. 

Whether she’s in her Upsee, her gait trainer, her wheelchair, getting a PEG-feed, scooting on the ground, whatever the circumstance.

Yes, my daughter has special needs and is different than a lot of kids.

disability participation

She’s also very sweet and happy, curious and most of all, loved.

The girls had a lot of fun playing shopping together in the play shop, Brielle got her own basket too! 

Brielle was especially excited pressing all the buttons to get  different coloured lights and sounds! 

Her sister stood behind her supporting her while she stood and pressed the buttons.

There’s also this big climbing structure that they went on. 

At first I figured Brielle and I would be watching the older girls on this one. 

But there was a little netted platform I sat her on at the bottom of the structure and she loved it! 

disability participation

I was thinking, why can’t she be involved on this activity? 

She just needed modified involvement.

Lastly, I think she got a kick out of the crazy lights and noises in the lazer guns robot-killing adventure! 

Although she didn’t wield a gun herselt, she was pushed alongside us as we ran and shot in the dark at these light-up robots. 

I’m sure she was wondering what on earth was going on!

But she was smiling and happy in her chair, that’s the main thing smile

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