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September 1992


This daily correspondence between schools she attended and us gives you a glimpse of our daily life. Most parents of typical children do not communicate on daily basis with the teachers. This gives a reader an insight to how important daily communication is for a child with autism.

Kat has attended school since she was 3 years old. These are school notes that were result of correspondence with her parents and her teachers. We have made comments at a later date reflecting back on the impact of these events. Kats School Notes Index







9/17 Hi Danuta !

Thanks for the new note book -

Everyone was here today and Kat seemed very content to be with "the group ". We changed her pants at noon into a pair of shorts since it's extremely warm today (the air conditioner is to be installed " any day " I've been told) and we went out for recess .


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9/18 Hi C.,

Thank you for changing her pants . Also thanks for all the materials you gave me Before recess. Have you noticed any other changes in Kat + or - ?

Just a couple of reminders to put in Kat's info sheet , she can only eat what we send in ( unless Birthday party or special occassion ) and no headphones at any time .

Talking about Birthday parties . Last year we let parents sign up for which party the'd like to help. would you like me to take care of that for you ?


PS. She can read the sheets at home if you have others and have a chance to make a copy . I'll work on them with her during her homework time

9/18 Dear Danuta -

Yes ! I would greatly appreciate your help in preparing for class parties . If you'd like copies or a master sheet of activities this year ( we're still not all set for field trips) I could have them sent home .

We'll get more sheets copied for you Monday _ Kat had a super day today !



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9/21 Hi C. ,

Kat had a good weekend. We had visitors who were surprised how Kat responds and how much more she understands. Someone said that her button was opened and she just looked down & closed it . She easily sat next to other people and gave hugs and kisses on first request

PS. When your copying more sheets could you also copy Kat's school schedule .

9/21 Hi Danuta !

Thanks for the quiet slip - in & out this morning - Kat had a smooth transition back to class.

Could you send back the forms which went home last week ? The office is anxious to get info . on file -

Would you be able to contact the other parents this week about contributing water & juice for the class ? Everyone has been bringing in juice boxes , but we don't know if they're waiting for a sign up sheet or call concerning contributions .



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9/22 C. , the juice & snack " thing " did not work out to well last year. There were so many diet restrictions that we decided to each provide our own , as needed . The spring water should be no problem though I'll talk to other parents to see how we can get that for you . What size of containers of water do you prefer ?

Just a reminder if you could make a copy of Kat's schedule . Could you also hilight _ on the schedule which activities are one on one, which ones small group (how many ? ) Thanks.

9/22 Danuta -

I will send home Kat's schedule as soon as we have our speech schedule from S. - things take awhile to get organized and we are working very hard on making a schedule to best accomodate each child .



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9/23 C. ,

I am very concerned about how much of one on one instruction Kat will receive this year. On Monday you were still working in a circle time at 10 o clock . Kat does not learn well that way. Can you please send whatever you using now as a daily schedule , or if it would make it easier can we set a time to talk about it . Thank you


9/23 Dear Danuta -

I'm afraid you got the wrong impression about class on Monday _ our circle time is 15 min . long and on that day I had delayed it deliberately for Kat's arrival. I've enclosed a copy of our schedule from my plan book .


9/23 C. , thank you for the schedule. This schedule is very different from last years schedule . We have a number of questions and concerns that we need to ask you about the new program :

1. Our main concern is the reduction of one of our activites that Kat benefitted from last year .

2. There seems to be a significant increase in group activities:

A. Last yr /week

Calendar: 1 hr 15 min

Lunch: 5 hr

PE: 0

Art: 0

Music: 0

GroupComputer: 0

Dismissal: 0

movie: 0

Total: 6 hr 15 min

B. This yr /week

Calendar: 3 hr, 10 min

Lunch: 5 hr, 50 min

PE: 1 hr, 44 min

Art: 1 hr, 44 min

Music: 40 min

GroupComputer: 2 hr

Dismissal: 1 hr, 15 min

movie: 30

16 hr, 53 min

For Kat this went from 20% of group to over 50% ? (Please correct if we misinterpreted the schedule . )

3. What is the social awareness program?

4. What is Reading book program ?

5.) Why

6.) Kat did so well last year because the routine and consistancy removed the frustration and helped her understand what is expected of her . This schedule seems to change daily . Kat failed in this type of environment before . We are very concerned.

7.) Math is only taught using computer?

We will appreciate your response to our concerns and questions . If you do not have time to respond in writing feel free to call Tom at 555 - 5555 tomorrow .

Thank you .

Danuta & Tom


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9/24 Dear Danuta and Tom,

The schedule is deceiving in how the time's are placed . K. and I would like to work on the time schedule the rest of the school is in to facilitate the transition time to specials , therapy , and various other parts of the school schedule . His DOES NOT mean we spend 42 min . on each subject . The children receive individual attention during the academics each period - one adult works w/ one child while the other child he/ she is paired with does a seatwork independent activity (Kat may , for example look at her book or use the viewmaster , we have them choose) Please believe our goal is one - one instruction because we know that this is the best for the children .

In regards to the first period of the day , it is deceiving when one looks at the schedule because we spend 15 min . on calendar ( group) abd tge remainder of the period is spent at desk reviewing calendar w/ each child . We spend the same amount of academic time w/ the children as they received last year - 20 min. each.

I will be happy to further discuss our day with you on Back - to - School night next Weds .


P . S . Math /computer = 1/2 period on math 1/2 spent on computer. We still use the same conclusion for math as last year.


9/24 C. , thanks for your explanations, and for all the new sheets . We are still concerned how Kat is transitioning and adjusting to the changes . Are you still monitoring the amount of and frequency of her crying. If you could just monitor wheather it's increasing or not . Thanks (* This has decreased since last week ! 2x Thurs . & today - 5x Fri . & Mon .)

Ps. How do you word the phrases when you work with Edmark w/ Kat

With the sentence I just say "read", when there are these words for example : chicken , apple , with I say "Point to chicken , Point to appple , Point to with " . Let me know if this is how you are doing it . (*You're doing a great job!)

We also started something new with Kat at home , a journal. I hold her hand over a pen and make her write it for example : (I'll enclose example ) . After we write it I read it and then I make her read it filling in words I know she doesn't know. Maybe It could be something she could do at the end of the day. We usually write about what she did and how she felt . Can you speak with K. if this is something that can be added ?


PS. That's a wire jacket but it's not Kat's. I will send Kat's water in the thermos , if its not enough daily let me know thank you .


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9/28 In Kat's bag is bottled water for her . Kat's mom will be out of town for a few days so let me know if you notice any changes in her. It does not appear like I can make the meeting on Wednesday night .


9/28 Dear Tom -

Thanks for the info . Kat had a normal day today , and worked productively . We'll be extra aware of any changes during the next few days.


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9/30 Sorry to hear about the loss in K.'s family. Please give her our condolences. Next Monday looks like a good date for back to school night for us. Is bottled water holding up O . K . ? How is Kat doing with some of the new programs that were implemented this year?


9/30 Water OK - Kat is really doing well _ transitioning w/ little or no fuss, immediate responses and in general, very appropriate classroom behavior - auditory training ? Whatever - we are very happy for you , Danuta , and Kat ! !





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