Green Eggs Green eggs ham and baloney and after the macaroni we’ll have onions….
Oh wait this is blogging not Girl Scout campfire songs. (how I wish for it to be that simple)
Last year we found the trend to be bad Mondays at school and excellent behavior the rest of the week, repeat week after week. Same thing is happening now. J has started getting green cards in class, but never on a Monday. Last week he had red cards on Monday and Tuesday. He actually started on red on Tuesday because he hit his parapro with his backpack and stomped on her feet, but he had a good afternoon and still got stickers. They started a new system for him where they place a rewards chart taped in front of his seat. Every day he has the opportunity to get 3 stickers (about one per hour) and it is monitored by his parapro. The red/yellow/green cards are monitored by the teacher. So last Wed-Fri and this Tue-Fri he had green cards and 2-3 stickers each day. WHEW!
However, I have found out that this district is not as perfect as they seemed at first. School started on the 14th. His preschool teacher called me last Tuesday on the 12th to say that she just then got a request for his records. WHAT??? An entire month of school has passed? Now, I do have to say that the new district did already have copies of nearly everything available because I hand delivered them, but I filled out 2 separate forms giving them permission to obtain his records all before the end of the 2nd week of school. Then while I was on the phone with Mrs. S, she said that no one had contacted her at the beginning of the school year to find out more about J. I gave them her info and let them know that she was willing to give them some personal insight into J. They assured me that they would be calling her. I feel like if they had we could have avoided many of the missteps that have happened. Along with the fact that no one made him a picture schedule, which is in his IEP. When he knows what to expect, he is much more compliant. Now that we are a month into school there is no need for one. UGH! If I had known the 1st week that it wasn’t done, I would have been on them every day until it was. Oh and when I talked to his parapro yesterday, she said that they had yet to respond to her request to read his IEP. So she has no idea what his goals are suppose to be!
The past two Thursdays I have gone to his class for an hour to volunteer. Last week he had his substitute parapro and I was able to give her some tips and tricks and she was able to tell me more about his days. She also offered to watch the boys for me on occasion. I took her up on it for Saturday and they all had a great time together. There is a possibility that she will be his full time aide in the spring if the other one gets into Student Teaching. I am actually hoping for this change. She takes great interest in J. If he brings up a show he likes, she goes home and looks it up and brings him back a printout of a picture from it. If he wants to draw a certain animal and she doesn’t know how, they look it up on the computer and try it that way.
This week I got to talk to his regular aide. She is doing her best, but I don’t think she has the same connection with J yet. We also exchanged some info andshe is trying to put it into practice. Due to her family leave after her 1st week with him, training sessions off campus, andsick day she hasn’t spent the same amount of time with him as the other one. Today I sent her a list of his favorite shows so that she could do her homework. Since J is very echolalic, it helps to know what he is referring back to. Sometimes his echolalia is in context, but it may take a few leaps for a grownupto understand his context. She has started bringing him a book to read at the beginning of class and then lets him take it home. She tells him what book to look forward to the next day and exchanges them when she gets him off the bus. It seems to make the transition easier.
Oh and about the bus…We finally have a steady set of drivers and types of buses. It was well worth the wait. We went through 3 sets of drivers in the morning but the last one is a good match for him andso is the aide. There is no more forcing him on the bus. Some days he balks at the step but they always have some kind of incentive to get him in his seat without physically picking him up. Some days it is a calculator to play with and some days it is a surprise box that has a treat inside if he sits down and gets it open. I HEART them! And he seems to really like his afternoon driver. Although some days she seems relieved to drop him off. He is usually talking a mile a minute when I open the van door, so I think he talks her ear off. 🙂
New Changes/Challenges at Home
This year I decided to earn a little extra money by watching some kids at home. Since J is only in 1/2 day Kindergarten and Little J is home, it doesn’t make sense to work out of the home and pay for daycare. So I am doing daycare at home. I have one precious angel that comes 15 hours split up over M,W,and F. She is so snuggly and sweet and well mannered. She’s 18months old and I hope it lasts into her next birthday. The earliest she comes is 12pm and the latest she stays is 9pm. The other two kids are a 5 year old boy and a 3 year old girl. They come at 4pm four nights a week and stay until 7:30am. It was tough at first but now we have a fairly strict schedule. Going from feeding, bathing, and putting to bed 2 kids to doing it for 4 takes some practice. Especially since the other 2 have to be in bed an hour earlier than mine. We’ve had our challenges with behavior as well, but are hopefully turning a corner. They come from a broken home and when they spend their 2 weekends a month and 2 Wednesdaysa month with mom, they come back in BAD moods. I found out after the 2nd time that it is because mom doesn’t make them go to bed so they can just drop where they are at 12 or 1 in the morning, mom uses bad language and feeds them junk. One of the days after a visit, the boy got in trouble at school for picking a fight, using a string of curse words, and giving the finger. Luckily he doesn’t try that here. His little sister, however, does pick on Little J and will hit him if I am not looking. Dad doesn’t tolerate it though and completely backs me up. So its a work in progress. There is no contract, so if it doesn’t get progressively better, I will just quit.
I do have to say it has made me more organized. Since I have to get up at 6:30am *YAWN* with them, I get a lot more done than when I was getting up at 8am or later. And J definitely thrives on the structured evening schedule that includes an hour of outside time (or he can play on the computer when they go out.)
I would show you J’s handwriting sample of his name, but that would negate our anonymity. I’ll find something else he has written. 2 months ago he could write NOTHING and would cry when we mentioned it. He hated holding a pencil. He still doesn’t like it, but is less adamant about not doing it.
Sorry for running on and on, its been too long since I’ve blogged.
Have a good weekend everyone. Ours is packed with park events and church activities and visiting with friends.