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May 1996

 

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

 

Date

Notes

Comments

1996-05-01

5/1

Sorry E. my brain is away but Iam here . We rushed her out this morning and I did not get a chance to redo her book. I will look for the watch at home . We could clip it to her back pack. That way it's always with her.

Danuta

Hi ! worksheets are not a problem on M & W as she has special 1st thing &only works in the class for 1/2 hr . Melissa needs them for TH & F & now we'll need more for Wednesdaystoo.Quiet so far - off to music . She did very well - watched a film strip . Went outside to play as a reward . Played alongside the girls in the class - did not interact w/them though . (They played with each other alongside Kat! ) She had fun ! Back in class she's working quietly . A good day !

E.

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1996-05-02

5/2

Kat made my mouth drop this morning . We were packing her stuff & she came up to me and said : " I don't know where is the library book " . She remembered and we forgot . Unfortunately we still can't find it . She said it was " lullybyes. " Could you check what bookit was .

Danuta

Melissa , Kat played with ball during recess no swing !

Danuta

5/2

Hi ! We had a very interesting assembly today . They watched a video on flying w/ an ultra light plane . The class w/be going to sit in the plane this afternoon @ 2:00 behind the 5th grade classrooms . She would probably enjoy this if its' possible for you to come back . She sat for 25 mins w/ only getting 3 smiley faces out of 8. She didn't really need the smiley faces reinforcement !

*Note - during the assembly she kept on scratching & pinching her legs . Also - @ 10:00 she kept repeating it's 10:00 over & over despite my attempts to stop . She even started to " cry " & say "time for a walk" during the assembly . Then she said "I feel happy " w/ her crying face ! I sat down w/ her & told her in 5 mins we'll go for a walk . she said OK.

Info

Field Trip - Monday , May 6

Bring a bag lunch

Spending Money(if you want - $5.00 )

Justa second to write - thought I'd try to conquer " Hooked on Math" Cards D this morning so I MT all those facts she missed on a baseline test. Would you please give this test to her later ? If she doesn't pass w/ 90% or better , we'll have to target each fact 1 at a time !

Great job weaving in art - used "up and down" toteachher how to go in and out.

Melissa

Hi E.,

What are the hours of the trip on Monday ?

Have you heard from John about Wednesdays yet ?

I have enclosed the Fashion show money .

If the schedule changes just let her know that walk will be at a different time or what the sequence of event's i s on the calendar . She is really figuring out the power of calendar & clock . she checks her schedule at home daily to know who is coming and when.

Melissa , I wanted to talk to you about targetting the Hooked on math . Maybe we just let her listen to the tape if she learns that way great if not we can target each fact as it turns up in 1st grade math . That way the facts will be maintained by the worksheets. Since Monday she will be at the Aquarium Do you want to just get together & review her program ?

Danuta

PS You &I generalized might be starting to work. I was hugging her this morning &saying "You're so cute, You are so cute " and she turned to me with a smile & said "Iam cute."

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1996-05-03

5/3

Good Morning ! We will be leaving school around 9:30 & should be arriving back here at school before 3:00 . You can meet us here - I'd say come at 2:30 to be safe - & we'll meet in the classroom.

I ran into J. yesterday, & he said he needed to speak w/ Mrs D1. &all the teachers involved before calling you . Everyone involved needs to meet before Wednesday ,however , I don't foresee any problems. There are two more teachers involved , computers &health , & theymust be notified before she begins their classes.

The schedule for Wed. will be

9:00 - 9:10 Homeroom(w. E)

9:10 - 10:00 Music

10:00 - 10:10 Walk

10:10 - 10:30 class room

10:30 - 11:10 Health (w/ Melissa)

11:10 - 11:45 Computers

11:45 - 12:10 class room

12:10 - 12:50 lunch / recess

These times are approximate - but don't forget to contact the bus company & tell them not to p/u Kat on W - TR - F .

Thanks for the Fashion Show money . The parents really appreciate it.

Don't forget to packher lunch w/ a drink . Do you want her to have her bookbag w/her & some books to lookat ? Or Put her lunch in a paper bag w/ her name on it . Also $5.00 spending money if you want . just her lunch & snack ? How about a " reward " treat ? like Raisins , granola bar , etc . Let me know.

You can call me @ home if you want .

A good day in Art . Off for our walk . Back in class she's working quietly.

Today w/ Melissa 5/3 10:00 AM

* Computer Room - went over programs and procedures for next week.

* Gym - Olympic Games. Shotput , broad jump ,javelin, discuss (asked her to repeat name of each as we went to each station - will cont . as mini VI drill so that she can identify as well as do

* Spelling Test - when we returned from gym , Mrs . R1. gave class a spelling test . So I decided to have Kat listen and follow along - 15 words and a bonus word - She did Beautifullly ! The only Thing I modified - when Mrs. R1. gave the word , I whispered another word in Kat's ear . She loved it and I was amazed at how she could follow each number. Big Reward for this one!

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1996-05-06

5/6

I hope you'll have a great time . I put in pretzels you could bring raisins ifyou have any left. Iwould not bring the bookbag or books . But you might bring smily's . What you might try if she wants something say do this quietly first' andthen you get a _______ . I put $15.00 in the side pocket of her lunchbag if youd like her to get ice cream or reward or souvenir .

Good luck

Danuta

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1996-05-07

5/7

Hi , I'm glad Kat had a great time. Mel said that Wednesdays were approved by John starting this Wednesday. Please let me know so that I can put extra worksheets in Wed.

Danuta

Hi ! Yes , Melissa & I spoke on Friday & Kat. Wednesdays will start tomorrow! We need a new calendar for May - June w/ her new schedule. She's been makinga "growling " noise for the last 10 mins . I wiped off a smiley facein the hopes it will stop. So far it did . (9:15) She' very happy this AM - bouncy & bubbly . Oh- here's that "growl" again . I'm enclosing an Aquarium packet that the children completed today during any free time . I had her work on the coloring clown Fish page . She was very unhappy & "cried" out loud. A smiling face wiped off . She colored sloppy & I had her go back & color better, over &over again . She holds & presses the crayon so hard that her hand hurts ! She would stop & hold her hand . She's still scribbing though w/ her crayon ; showing no control w/ the crayon . After I "tortured" her w/ the coloring , I let her get a drink from the water fountain @ the sink in the room . Boy , did her face light up ! It's hard for me to keep at her to " do it better" in the classroom , as her outbursts disrupt the children. Like today when she would " growl " or cry out . But we worked through it . On her math w/s, she got mixed up on the subtraction &added instead on some papers . I gave her another set of math w/s to see how she did & watched her,& when she made a mistake , said "NO". She was really stumped on 6 - 2 (8 ? , 14 ?) 6 - 5 (11 ? , 12 ? , 1 ? ),& 6 - 4 (14 ?) . You probably have to go over those *facts again*. She started on "It' s 10:00 " 3 X & I wiped off a smiley after the 3rd time . She looked stunned ! but was quiet after that ! All in all a good morning. Listen for that "growling" noise she makes in her throat ; Maybe she'll do it at home .

E.

*I just let her write anything after the 1st 3 mistakes & circled them for you.

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1996-05-08

5/8

Hi E., is the noise you referring to usually during " silly talk " or just out of nowhere ?

The facts she is mixing up hopefully will go away as she gets more practice adding bigger numbers . She is learning sums of 14 & 15 etc. & that's why others are affected.

Danuta

5/8

Good Morning . This noise is out of nowhere . I spoke to Melissa about it & she said she's heard her do it also. I handed her the journal & she's busy writing by herself . * Would you be able to make the print larger on her daily calendar ? I can't read it & neither can any of the children in her area ! Kat even looked at it to spell Music by herself & then stopped & asked me how to spell it. Thanks ! She sawa film in music - & sat quietly for the most part. Some humming & arm moments

In haste . . . . M 5/8

Health - first time - fantastic ! Participated in all class activities ( even role - playing ) Very quiet and listened with out distraction .

Computer - a little tense whenfirst began Some crying ; shestifledafterIprompted " Quiet " . . . Then we got into program and no behavior problems at all. Quietly worked - some difficulty w/ inhibiting key pressing before next step came up on screen . I prompted w/ " hands on lap " - she responded well ( short whimpers ) but all else when fine.

Question - Kat is not using her thumb for spacebar . At this point , Should we interrupt program to physically prompt this ?

Classroom - good listening ! Heard Mrs. R1. say "Line up for lunch ." Little time for worksheets but will up practice on known math facts ( add ; subtract ) as I read E.'s note.

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1996-05-09

5/9

I can't believe this school is almost over . Kat had a great year so far . Sorry about the calendar but Iam not sure if I can get the print much bigger. Imay be able to print a weekly one for you.

Danuta

Hi, Iagree w/ you on the 1st 2 sentences ! She's made so much progress; it's fantastic ! I took the calendar xerox machine, spent about 15 mintues, and came up with some enlargements. Let me know if you think they're OK.

We saw an assembly this AM - High School students singing & handbells. During the singing, it was 10:00 & I got nervous ! I was sitting on the floor next to her and she leaned over to me and whispered- "It's 10:00 !" She whispered it ! I was so excited ! I gave her a smiling face and told her how proud I was of her and when the music is over we'll go for our walk. It started @ 9:30 & ended @ 10:30. She sat quietly for the entire time ! She clapped and responded at the approriate times and thoroughly enjoyed herself ! Right before it ended, she turned and saw Mel across the room at the doorway and said "Hi, Melissa" in a normal speaking voice I corrected her and explained no talking during the concert. When it ended and we walked out into the hall I said "Now you can say Hi to Melissa." And she did. A wonderful morning !

Before I forget- we need more raisins for school. The small boxes are great as I can hide them in my pocket and take them anywhere. Watch Kat at the concert from the doorway. She was perfect ! What an achievement sitting quietly and listening in school for more than 45 minutes !

Art went extremely well. She will be doing the weaving independently in another session or so -really seems to enjoy it.

When we returned, I had her write quite a bit in her journal. Although I prompted her, She got done quite alot of detail. One thing we need to mass trial is "Whisper." Kat is not consistent with this and it is so important at school !

Unfortunately, we couldn't do the group activity in class today since it was social studies test. We did quite a few worksheets and the journal writing instead !

Melissa

Hi, I am gone today but her grandparents are at home. Kat decided today, that color is fun and she's been going at it. She selects the appropriate colors too !

Danuta

Good Morning. Quite a bit of silly talk this A.M. in art I wiped off a smiling face and she got quiet. Squirming alot also while Ms. D. was speaking ( about three minutes ) She is weaving straws and doing quite well so far. Although she gets confused with the up and down isn't quite sure where the yarn should go. I'm a little confused myself ! She seems to enjoy it- no complains from her- only an occassional hum or two !

Math- changed some of the signs on a subtraction worksheet so that she would have a mix- missed 4 out of 38- not bad ! She needs to continue practice of math facts already learned so I'll up the frequency and at the same time mix the signs so she pays attention to it.

Gym- a tough day. The class had a sub. and it was chaotic and noisy. Kat did not want to do the exercises of jog but we managed to get through it. She did however, participate readily in volleyball.

Class Activity- spelling test once again ! This week, Kat even did some of the same words as the class- and got them correct ! Wonderful listening !

Also, E. and I noticed Kat coloring for fun when I first arrived this morning. She is using both markers and crayons- This is very encouraging.

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1996-05-13

5/13

Hi E., Kat had a great weekend on Saturday she went to a family birthday and everyone could not believe the progress she's making . One guy was doing a trick with a paperbag where kids would throw an invisible ball in the air and and when he"made believe catchit" the bag would make noise , Kat was laughing outloud and asked to participate . She threw the nonexistent ball in theair too , and laughed when the bag made noise.

Sunday Bridget had a recital at Westminster College and Kat sat through 1hr of kids playing classical music without a peep!

Danuta

Oh my god - that's fabulous ! I am so thrilled & happy when I hear these great things she's done over the weekend or even overnight !

She's writing in her journal this morn w/out any prompts ! We're in gym now . They are doing strength & flexibility exercises - she's not very happy ! She can do them all! There were also relay races & hurdles & she was an active participant ! She laughed, ran , jumped & really had fun ! That part of gym she loved . She sneezed & I said "God Bless You" & she replied"Thank you ." Very nice ! ! Also , she was looking fora crayon & couldn 't find it & said, "Mrs L. , where is the brown crayon ? " Good asking ! She's coloring w/ the markers & crayons now & she needs more control , especially w/ the markers . I spoke to Melissa about this fine motor control . She's smiling when she's coloring , even though I'm making her go over it again . Some humming when coloring . This was the only w/s we got to do .

A great morning !

E.

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1996-05-14

5/14

Good Morning ! A little-sing-songy this AM . I'm going through her w/s & came across the "conjugating verbs" w/s . I remember Melissa mentioning them to me . That's fantastic! She's working on #4 right now &singing away ! Smiley face wiped off - singing stopped . 30 sec . later smiley face back on ! Wow ! The power of a happy face ! ! I found 2 surprise bags . Iwill give her the gummy bears & send the book home for tomorrow.

Kat handed me the word search w/s saying NO , NO , I cannot do this & "fake crying . " I asked her why & she said " I cannot do this because I don't have a paper. " I would have pressed her but they were taking a social studies test, so I let it pass . Do you have any others ? Maybe ones that aren't so confusing ? I'm noticing that she's restingher hand on the paper more & more when she's coloring ! Yes ! ! Melissa & I spoke about that & each time she colors I remind her about it & then reinforce it heavily when she does it . She's really "babbling" quite a bit today - I've had to erase & then give back 2 smiling faces. Each time they were erased she "cried " . At one point during the morning - she was working quietly & turned to me & " cried" fora few seconds & then resumed working . She was doing S/P w/s , nothing hard . On one w/s - I marked it w/ a star - she called out like , likes & took / grabbed my hand . At 10:00 she leaned over tome & whispered It's 10:00 ! ! Of course she whispered it to me 5 times after that , but at least she whispered ! ! Right? I'll give her gummy bears right now. A good day!

E.

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1996-05-15

5/15

Hi , Kats home schedule has changed and we are all trying to adjust to it , Kat is doing best of all of us . She has one new therapist and she seems to like him . Melissa will be here until end of May . Last two weeks R. will be with her . In June Kat will go in two days only

Good Morning . Yes , schedule changes are sometimes difficult to get used to. I guessed about the schedule changes here at school when I made the size adjustments to her daily calendar. Will R. be coming in before June to meet w/ me and go over her schedule ? Let me know, ok ?

Kat is in music & is sitting quietly while they are taking a short test . Soon we will be doing dancing & activites. Well, we just did the " Conga " ! She did great & laughed & giggled the whole time ! Ask her to show you how to do it . Had a fire drill & she was fine . Showed Melissa 2 of the computer games for Kat. Will show the rest maybe tomorrow or Friday. A good morning.

E.

* Didn't get a chance to do any worksheets today.

An amazing morning ! Observed Kat in music participating in a dance with the entire class- very appropriate and happy with little or no " talk ". Also, was fortunatetosee her reaction to a fire drill - followed the class and was very quiet. Next , observed Kat doing new computer programs with E. These are both very appropriate for her, IBM , and I copied the names down as you asked. (It is tucked into the side pocket of the black notebook . )

When in health with Mrs. P. , had to do lots of listening . I used primary reinforcers on a variable schedule which kept her nearly silent . Also reinforced EC. with the teacher and no hand movements. She was wonderful for 30 minutes- even did some copying of information ( words on the board ) and did everything the rest of the class did.

Went to computer straight from health and decided to have her listen again with the rest of the class as Mrs . G. sent E - mail to Israel instead of work on the computer . Thirty minutes ! Used same reinforcers as in health and it worked wonders. I don't remember when she listened for such a long period of time !

Melissa

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1996-05-16