Monday, October 8, 2012

School, Surgery, Training

What a wild two months August and September proved to be!!!  


August 15th Chase began Kindergarten.  I worried about how he would transition to Kindergarten and made a list to help his teacher get to know him - which included strengths and struggles
  •   He loves to draw and I consider his trains and people to be the best artwork on my refrigerator (and cabinets, and walls)!! 
  •   He knows most of his alphabet and is working on learning the sounds to them as well. 
  •  He knows his colors and shapes. 
  •  He can count to 20 by rote, and usually can count 20 objects (he tends to skip 13).  We are working on counting backwards by 10. 
  • He often thinks outside the box, and always amazes us when he does so. 
  •  If you show him how to do something, give him time to process it, then show him one more time he usually can do it for you.  He is obsessed with trains and when he was around four he would ask me over and over to draw him a train.  Finally he started to draw them himself.  He does this with other things as well.  He really learns well with flashcards and repetition. 
  • He loves to write letters, and enjoys doing his “work” when he is in the mood to focus. 
  • He is a funny boy, and loves to laugh. 
  • He loves to be read to, and is eager to learn how to read on his own. 
There are some things that he struggles with, which I thought would be beneficial for his teacher to be aware of.

  • He iss a creature of habit.  The first time he does something is usually how he will do it FOREVER!!!  It would not be a good idea to let him be the line leader, door holder, etc. the first day of school.  He will want to do it every day (then again, he may want to do those things anyways).  
  • Being a creature of habit he likes to have a special spot that is all his.  However, if he does have a special spot be prepared that he will “defend” that spot.  In preschool he was once told to sit down on an elephant on the carpet.  From that moment on HE wanted to sit on that elephant.  If another child sat on “his” elephant he would have a meltdown.  After that he would shed his coat and backpack, push people out of the way to get to that spot, and when his teachers began to either stand on that spot or put other children there he would have a meltdown. 
  • We are working on taking turns.  This was a skill he worked on at Community School.  He doesn’t take turns well, and HAS to be first.  He is obsessed with winning.  We work on this on a daily basis at home. 
  • He easily become overstimulated – and once overstimulated becomes aggressive and impulsive.  He is a sensory seeker.  
  • He does not do well with transitions and sometimes will exhibit unusual fears and anxieties. 
  • He doesn’t understand boundaries.  He doesn’t read social queues or facial expressions well.  At preschool when the children would show their annoyance at some behavior Gavin would do he would get closer to them to examine their faces and giggle.  His interactions with other children can get invasive.    He can be touchy/feely which can turn aggressive. 
  • When he gets upset he likes deep pressure – I plan on making him a weighted blanket that can be kept in the classroom so that when he needs a sensory break with deep pressure he can cuddle with his blanket. 
  • When he does something wrong when asked why he did something he will say “I didn’t do anything”.  He is always IN THE MOMENT and doesn’t understand that his actions that happened in the past have consequences
So far he has had a great year.  His teacher put several of my suggestions into play and he has started off strong.  In fact he has done so well that the teacher felt that he didn't need to have his 150 pull out minutes to go to the special education room.  This caused some tension (as it was in his IEP) but we got it cleared up and he now goes to the Resource room for 200 minutes a month.  They are in the process of changing around his IEP so we shall see how that goes next week at our first parent/teacher conference of the year!! 


July 14th I went to the hospital to have my knee checked out.  A week later I had to have an MRI - that was pretty intense.  At the beginning of August I had knee surgery for a meniscus tear.  It has been rough going.  My knee now warns me about cold weather and rain - and it is still working on healing back to health.  It has become abundantly clear that I need to lose weight - which is a good goal.  My kids need a healthy mom!


The most exciting, and I feel life changing event happened in the middle of September.  I took Chase out of school for two weeks and we headed to Columbia, Missouri to attend a two week intensive ABA therapy seminar.  We had the fortune to stay at the Ronald McDonald house while we were there.  During those two weeks I learned powerful positive strategies to increase positive behavior in my son with Autism.  Not only that, but I have been able to implement those same strategies with my other two children as well.  I am a totally different mother and can't wait to share what I learned with my readers!!!!
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