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November 1989


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



We dressed Kat in something that is easy to get out of. Please let us know if she strips out of her clothes.

D. (Mother)

Kat seemed to do fine with her clothes today. She did not have any problems with her trying to get out of her clothes. I’m sending you some information from Mrs. K. (another parent).

L.G. (Teacher)

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As you can see Kat has been pulling out her hair. We have cut her hair short to try to break this habit or at least temporarily solve the problem. Any suggestions you would have would be greatly appreciated. We spoke to Kats private therapists about the I.E.P. The O.T. seemed happy with the objectives set and the speech therapist had some minor concerns. She will be in contact with you folks to discuss the areas.

T. (Father)

Please do have the speech therapist contact us - we do want to make sure to talk about concerns that she may have regarding the speech objectives!
We had discussed a possible way to help reduce the hair pulling.  Would she allow you to brush her hair?  We are thinking if we give her something more appropriate to do with her hair, such as brushing, that this may reduce the hair pulling.  If you think this may help, I’d like to also do this at school if we should see her hair pulling. We’ll continue to think of other suggestions and we'll let you know what else we come up with.

L.G. (Teacher)

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Over last weekend, we saw great strides in Kats ability to communicate and interact with others. She is acting out different activities that she sees on the television. She was playing with her sister for the first time and enjoying it. (they were wrestling)  Kat is able to repeat many words if prompted and showed great improvement in answering by herself what objects were.

D. (Mother)

I'm glad to hear about Kat's improvements at home. She is making slow but steady progress here as well. We are seeing increased imitation skills during circle time. She is improving the length of time that she makes eye contact and is responding better to “look”. She also is pointing to ear, nose, eyes, and mouth on herself and beginning to point to facial features on another person’s face. She is also beginning to play with other toys with help from staff.
Have you given any thought to using a hair brush to try to reduce hair pulling?  How has she been at home as far as the hair pulling?
L.G. (Teacher)

This week & next week we will be focusing on Thanksgiving. Concepts such as: pilgrims, indians, Thanksgiving feasts, & things we are thankful for.  This may be good to reinforce at home as well.

If possible, could you send the book with the list of words that you are working on at home with Kat? I’d like to photocopy it for school.
Thank you-
L.G. (Teacher)

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Kat is generally doing better with eating. She put on her coat with little assistance after it is placed correctly in front of her. Managing objects such as doors and caps (requiring forearm rotation) has progressed well. Kat prefers playing with a drum, looking at herself in mirror, and singing to herself.  She tolerates directed play with fine motor activities only briefly.

Thanks, J.E. (Occupational Therapist)

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Kat did not go to school the last few days because ofa choking incident on Wednesday night. She started choking on a piece of sausage and it took several minutes to dislodge it. She was checked by Doctors and everything is O.K. Kat will sometimes put alot of food in her mouth at one time.

Enclosed is word list of Kat's. This Will be given to her private therapistsalso.  Any additional words you are working on or words you feel may be unimportant on this list, let us know so we can continually update this list. 

For this list: 0 = poor
1 = satisfactory
2 = good
3 = excellent

D. (Mother)

Thank you for the list of words Kat can repeat and understand.  We will be going through the list and giving you feedback.  Kat has been making nice progress.  She imitates many more gestures & actions during circle time and in structured language activities. She has been saying more when prompted for an activity to continue or to get more food or drink.  She is responding to her name more consistently and following your line of visual regard.  She is following simple commands more often w/out a gesture i.e. go sit at table, come to circle, put toy away.

L. P. (Speech Therapist)

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Kat has been getting confused with some words lately. When she gets upset, she has started saying the word “Pee Pee”.  We caught her pulling her hair again. We’ve been trying to get her to brush it and she will tolerate this but still if we don’t watch her she will go back to pulling it. We have packed a video tape in her back pack. Thought Kat and the other kids might like for play time. The hair pulling and biting things have been 2 habits which have been difficult for Kat to break.

D. (Mother) 

Thanks for sending the tape in - unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to watch it. Would you be able to send it in on Friday? Glad to hear Kat is at least tolerating the hair brushing. Hopefully, if we consistently use the brush, some of the hair pulling will decrease. We’ll purchase a brush for here at school as well.

L.G. (Teacher)

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