CHIP Geelong parent group

Dr Sandra Lea-Wood and Jo FreitagDr Sandra Lea-WoodOn Friday 6 February 2009 Carolyn Jennings from Active Minds Warrnambool and I visited Geelong for a meeting at Highton Primary School. Dr Sandra Lea-Wood had organised the meeting which was aimed at establishing a CHIP Geelong Parent Support group. A good size group of enthusiastic parents attended.I discussed the importance of parent support groups and the reasons for the need illustrated by a PowerPoint Presentation and giving examples of activities conducted by Melbourne groups.
Carolyn Jennings then spoke about Active Minds Warrnambool and their GEMM program and the nitty gritty details of setting up and maintaining a parent support network
If you are interested in being part of this group contact Dr Sandra Lea-Wood on  0407 320 043
or email


Fairy Nuff Returns

You may remember my ditzy Fairy Godmother from such escapades as Conference Cinderella and Fairy Nuff (Blog entry September 29, 2006).

Well she appeared again recently in response to a time of need.

This time she looked quite like a mayfly as she sat trapped in the string mesh covering a leg of ham.

“I am quite hamstrung by all these regulations”, she wailed.

“What is the problem?” I asked.

“Whatever I want to do I need a permit or a certificate or a qualification. It is just not fair! Why don’t they just let me get on with granting wishes?”

I fought the desire to say “Because you are not very good at it. Your heart is in the right place but you are just not very efficient”

“Anyway, enough about me dear! What are you wishing?”

“It’s Conference time again and I can’t afford to go”

“Well, I could turn this lettuce into a pile of money (green stuff, you know) or I could turn this bread into dough; but last time I did that I was taken into custardy (sic!) for counterfeiting. That was a sticky situation, I can tell you!”

“And now there are all the Food Handling Regulations and the Use by Dates. If you miscalculate, things can change back before the proper time. And I can’t always get the dates. It is getting harder as I get older!”

“In fact I can’t really do too much until I qualify for the Super Sparkle Wand. If you have a Super Sparkle people really take notice of you; and you can be much more effective, even if what you do is just the same as before“

“Why don’t you complete your Super Sparkle then?” I asked.

“Because while I’m doing that I would have to take time off from being your Fairy Godmother” she said with a big sigh


The front verandah seems very empty now as Chup is not there to welcome us home, greet visitors and ambush passing small dogs

She will be very much missed as she had lived with us for 14 years. She was at least a year old when we adopted her from the lost animal shelter. We chose her because she was so vocal and affectionate.

Also in appearance Chup was an exact copy of Kitty-Kat, the small tabby cat which Rainer and I adopted from the animal shelter when we were newly married.

Chup always set up a network for herself so that she could score several meals each night. We knew about this because she would go out and return with a full stomach and smelling of a wood fire before we had given her tea. And one night we caught her red handed miaowing at a neighbour’s door and being let in.

Although she was very petite she had most of the small dogs in the area terrified of her as well as many of the cats.

She used to go walkabout with me. She would accompany me to the local shop or to church, sit outside in the bushes and walk back with me.

At Christmas time she and the dog both had tinsel wrapped around their collars to get into the festive spirit.

She loved to sleep on beds or chairs or curled up in Christian’s bookshelf.

And she had a conversational and rather demanding tone of miaow and a purr which could be heard half way across the room.



ADHDog Ogie

Calling Dr. Harry! 

Our new home has a large area of lawn in the back yard and we have been giving our 12 year old Australian Cattle Dog, Ogie a refresher course in Dog Obedience.

Ogie is apparently in her second puppyhood. She is still very fit and active. Her enthusiasm is excellent but her attention span is woeful.

Sometimes she seems to confuse commands completely and I am wondering whether the problem is forgetfulness due to approaching senility or failing eyesight. For example on the hand signal for “stay” she often barks very enthusiastically as if she had been given the hand signal for “speak up” 



A Gift from Jan Tarling


Ode to Jo 

There’s been many a week

Many a trek

To many an ‘open for inspec’ 

And with every peek

Every rubberneck

She’s becoming more and more a wreck! 

How many bedrooms?

Is it ‘all elec’?

Are there plenty of plugs for computer tech? 

Is it sparkling clean

With nary a speck?

What’s this one with the fabulous view from the deck? 

Oh, she wants it now

Right at this ‘sec’

She’s willing to rush out and write the cheque 

We wish her well

And – what the heck!

If she gets it we’ll come round and ‘discotheque’!!!

My dear friend, Jan Tarling, often gives poems to mark occasions such as birthdays and moving to a new home. She has been sharing all the drama of our search for a new home and was moved to write this for me after seeing photos of one of the houses we inspected recently. Thanks, Jan!







During our recent Planning and Expo evening I took time to appreciate people and groups who have given valuable service to Gifted Resources

Luther College who give me the use of two rooms in the Centre for the Exceptional Learner for the Gifted Resources Office and Library

Charlotte Forward, Co-ordinator of the Centre for the Exceptional Learner, Luther College

Janette Phelan, Learning Needs Co-ordinator for Luther College

Jamie Tarling, the website designer for Gifted Resources

My husband, Rainer Freitag, the accountant who keeps track of Gifted Resources finances and tax returns

Jennifer Grant who has helped me pack and unpack and move and gives help and support at Gifted Resources Guest Speaker and Film Discussion evenings

Gail Forbes who gives prayer support and help at  Gifted Resources Guest Speaker and Film Discussion evenings

There are many others who should be thanked also but this time it was the turn of these particular ones to be thanked. 

Thank you very much all of you.



Dyslexic Teddy Dragons

I had an interesting discussion with Christian (now 18) recently.

When he was 8 he was adopted by a Tasmanian Teddy Dragon called Smidgen Smollett Smutts and when he was 9 or 10 he wrote about them (see

At the time he told me that Teddy Dragons (TDs) have a tonal language with only one word in it – MEEP – but that dyslexic TDs say MEEP but spell it EPME, EMPE or PEEM.

I have been thinking about dyslexia quite a bit recently because of the OGTOC Online Conference with Drs Brock & Fernette Eide and also because of discussions with two Education Consultants who work with Gifted Learning Disabled (or 2e Twice Exceptional) children.

As I was walking home from the shop I was considering the lot of dyslexic TDs. Christian had said that singing was an important way for TDs to learn their tonal language and I was thinking that although there could be a large number of possibilities relating to the tones; the language was necessarily limited by having only one word.

TDs are expected to find one new piece of knowledge or combine existing knowledge in a new way to increase their communal knowledge and to receive a personal reward of a truck full of chocolate.

I wondered if the dyslexic TDs represented the next evolutionary step forward as they would be the ones to introduce new words to the language. I wondered whether they would be appreciated and hailed as innovators or just declared WRONG and ignored.

When I asked Christian about this he laughed and said ” Really, Mum! That was just a joke! TDs don’t have a written language. They only have a tonal one. How can you be dyslexic in a non-written language? That was the joke!”

Ok, call me slow – it only took me 8 years to get my son’s joke!