Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Update on school issues...

It seems as though things may be looking up for Caleb in terms of his schoolwork. We have officially held his 3 year Re eval ARD, and an additional meeting to discuss the school psychologist's evaluation. I have never seen so much paperwork! While he is still qualifying for the special education AU program (although mainstreamed with supports), he has been determined to have Aspergers. We anticipated this change, as he has been gaining skills and adapting to his environment a little better each year. For educational purposes, whether a child is low functioning, high functioning, or anywhere in between, Autism is Autism.

Our wonderful school counselor has made up a supplemental paper for him to use during all of his classes to help keep him on task, focused, and engaged, and at the same time help teach him learning strategies for the information being taught in a VISUAL MANNER.

After discussing it at his ARD and brainstorming on how to use it in the classroom, it has been officially put into place. I talked to Caleb about it after his first week to gauge how it is working and how he feels about it. So far so good. The teachers sent home each page with his end of week work last week, and it seems to be successful. He is highly motivated to draw Angry Birds, he enjoys SEEING what is expected of him, it is helping him get back on task when he drifts, and is reducing his incomplete work.

Here is how it works in action: (broken into individual, manageable activities)

Now for years, we have been using a modified version of this for transitions at home (with visual supports), but I never knew how this would really look in classroom form with assignments. At home, it looked like:

IF you put on your shoes, THEN you can wear a Mario shirt
IF you finish your homework packet, THEN you can play 10 minutes of video games
IF you put your clothes in the hamper, THEN you can work on a puzzle
IF you complete your morning routine, THEN you can watch 10 minutes of TV

I am really happy that we have found something that works...even if it's just in the short term. I really hope that this can continue and help give him some confidence in his academics.

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