Monday, September 29, 2008
Things seem to be going much more smoothly now! Hooray for now! We met with the autistic consultant from our county along with the principal, OT, special ed. teacher, and 1st grade teacher. The AI consultant had much advice to give, and once the teacher realized it wasn't a critique of her teaching, but more advice on how best to reach Caleb, things went very smoothly. It seems breakfast was a major source of tension for Caleb because he wanted what he couldn't have. Now, we have a sack lunch (from the lunchroom w/ things he can have) waiting for him in the Special Ed. room after he gets off the bus in the morning. He will get to have his breakfast & play computer games for 1/2 hour in the morning. That should give a good start to his day, and hopefully make it go smoother. The AI consultant also talked to the teacher about the necessity of a visual schedule and visual reminders. The teacher was mostly relying on her words being enough for Caleb to understand what's expected, but it was most likely getting him confused & frustrated. The reminders might not be needed later, but for now (since EVERYTHING has changed from last year), it will be added security for Caleb. I really like the AI lady because she reiterated that it isn't his fault for getting frustrated, that it's part of autism. The teacher had said, "But how will I implement these strategies in a room of 32 kids?", and the AI consultant said, "We aren't going to worry about that now. Let's zero in on Caleb & what's best for him, and worry about the rest later." I SO appreciated another professional being able to get through to the school. So, for now....I'm a bit more relaxed :) Better yet....so is Caleb!
I'll still go in on Tues. and Thurs. mornings to help out, and also I'll meet again with his school team to go over any other trouble spots in Caleb's day, but so far the fight has been successfull! Just think how easy the next ASD kids & families will have it :) Which reminds me....that for our district of 500 students, we have about 8-9 children that are possibly on the spectrum. That's much higher than the 1 in 150 statistic! We're much closer to the 1 in 50 or 60 that England is quoting. All who read this: keep praying for this country, these children, and their families!
Also, I hope to soon have some informational posts on dealing with IEPs, the law on education, and resources in your county. Keep watching!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Well, the excitement was short-lived as reality hit us like a brick. Caleb's educators are NOT trained in autism. I have had a phone call nearly every day this last week because he's not doing something right. This after they let him eat whatever he wants at lunch just to avoid a scene. Finally, we had a meeting with the principal & demanded an aide to be next to him. One that travels from year to year to give him security and boundaries. We also demanded TRAINING! It really isn't the teacher's fault as she is being forced to teach 32 children, 1 possible autistic child, and 1 definitely autistic child (Caleb). This, while 1/2 the class rotates to another teacher a few hours a day. It is controlled chaos! However, it isn't Caleb's fault, and he's TOTALLY capable of handling first grade. After all, the days I went and sat next to him, he did everything the other children did! This was surprising to the educators because they just don't understand his capabilities. We shall see what this week brings as a new aide should arise and training, hopefully, will be scheduled.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
School started TODAY! Here's some great pictures of the kids. (Caleb's in yellow). I hope things go well. The older boys will make sure Caleb finds his class okay & doesn't head to last year's room. Otherwise, I'm praying all day for all 3 of them! Oh...I almost forgot! Caleb learned to RIDE A TWO WHEELER BIKE yesterday!! Hooray! We were at some friends playing volleyball, and all they had were regular kid bikes with no training wheels. Caleb found one his size, pushed off, and away he went! Just like he'd always been doing it! NO MORE TRAINING WHEELS! It was just last year that he learned to pedal, now he's riding a two-wheeler like any normal kid! Hopefully school goes just as well and easy as riding a bike :)