Notes home

When J started school mid November I took him to and from school.  2 weeks later he started riding the bus.  I miss those pick up times because the teachers were very generous with letting me know what was happening and how he is doing.  Since that time, I have gone to pick him up about 3 times partly so I can get the report.  One of the teachers even told me that she missed teaching in the private school she was at previously because she saw every parent every day.  I like getting reports.  When I leave the kids with sitters I want to know when they woke up/went to sleep, what they ate, what they watched, what they played, everything.  So its been killing me not knowing what is going on with J at school everyday.  I would pick him up if I could, but Little J is usually going down for a nap at that time and besides J LOVES riding the bus and since it is a short ride it is good for him to work on his separation anxiety.  All that is background.

I’ve seen a lot of positive changes in J since he started school, as evidenced by the previous blog entries.  Last week we got a report sent home from the school speech therapist.  She comes to the class and integrates her work into the classroom setting so as not to disrupt the day.  He receives speech therapy based not on his actual language, but how he uses it in relationship to others (eye contact, reciprocal conversations, relevant speech when playing, etc)  So the report had several of the goals from his IEP and then a quantitative and qualitative observation.  He has not yet met any goals, BUT they all had a summary that either said “progressing and on track to meet goal by annual review” or “making progress but will not meet goal by annual review.”  I’m choosing to focus on the positive that he IS progressing.  The major difference we have seen at home is in the relevant speech area.  He very rarely answers us with a movie/tv line when asked a question anymore.  He doesn’t spend days on end concentrating on and repeating (echolalia) a section of dialogue from which ever movie is the object of obsession.  And there isn’t any one movie or TV show that he begs/melts-down to watch on endless repeat every day.  There have been one or two that he has asked to watch once or twice a day, but it has only lasted a week at most.

Tuesday he came home with a sticker on his shirt in the shape of a star and it said something like “super star” and had ribbons attached.  I tried to get him to tell me what it was for since there wasn’t a note in his take home folder but he didn’t know.  Today his folder had a star paper that said “Jonathan knows all of his upper and lower case letters.”  I am going to assume that the 2 stars are related.

Also in his folder today was a paper with a header that said “Notes Home from Mrs. S”  The note was handwritten from the lead teacher and gave me the peace that picking him up from school does.  I wish they would send these home every day or at-least once a week. 

Mr & Mrs B.

J has adjusted to our classroom very(underlined twice) well.  He is such a happy & very intelligent young boy.

He knows & follows without any prompting or visual cues the daily schedule, and most days only needs one verbal reminder when transitioning from play time to circle time.

He is beginning to join the others in play.  It is amazing the change from his first day with us.  Mrs. S

It truly is amazing.  In the beginning they had to use a visual flip-chart schedule to engage him in the classroom routine.  He often would tantrum over having to leave playtime behind.  I thank God that he was put in a class where the teachers were interested in what would work for J and not making him fit a mold.  Mrs. S told me the 1st day we met that she approaches all her students as puzzles and they work together to find what will motivate them to learn and be great students.  She also has a number one rule that what is fair for one student is not always fair for another.  Most of the kids do not get time-outs because they don’t respond.  Some get stickers or stamps for completing centers, others get a favorite toy to hold.  We have an education planning meeting next week.  I just hope that he gets a teacher as kind and caring for next year.

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10 comments on “Notes home

  1. Hi Kara. I dropped by from Michele’s to let you know how much I enjoy your view of your world. You speak so eloquently about those little moments that mark your and your son’s life. Your words speak volumes about the difference that a great teacher can make in his life.

  2. It is always a wonderful thing when you hear how well your child is doing. Just a suggestion… maybe you could request weekly reports on his progress? They may be willing to do this and it would help you feel more connected. I am so glad to hear he is making progress!

  3. It is amazing the difference a truly gifted teacher, one that cares and is interested in their students, can truly make. I love that they described the student as ‘puzzzles’. Great analogy!

    Thanks for dropping by my blog 🙂

  4. hey there! I like picking my son up from school, he has ADHD and has had some issues, but I like to get daily reports from his teacher just so I can keep track. We have had great teachers that have been helpful, up until this year, so it’s been hard, but I’m trying. I am so glad to hear your son is doing well.
    here via michele

  5. “thank God that he was put in a class where the teachers were interested in what would work for J and not making him fit a mold.”

    That seems to be the key to success! I am glad he is doing so well in this class.

  6. Wow Kara. I see what a struggle this must be from day to day but you certainly have mastered the gift of seeing the positive.
    Your love for your child is so evident.
    Michelle sent me and I’m glad she did.
    God bless.

  7. Thanks for visiting (and making it through the world’s longest post!). 🙂

    Wow, it sure sounds like J is in a class with the right teachers. It’s lovely to read about how well he has adapted and that they see how bright and intelligent he is. That is my fervent wish *IF* we decide to put Nik back in school next year (or later?) —that we have teachers who believe in Nik and his abilities rather than limit him by his disabilities.

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