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March 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







I will try & stop in for art. She should follow the model stepby step.



Kat hada fantastic morningin school . In class , she followed mutiple instructions in order to complete a sheet ( with cut- outs) for aSt . Patrick's bulletin board. This is something the entire class had to do.

In gym , she ran for 15 minutes ! Mrs. B. put on music today in order to prepare them fora "running test" next week. Kat loved it! Hands were in the proper position,too. I've asked for the name of the CD as it would begreat for Kat to listen to at home - great beat! Volleyball ( this is thelast week) went well also - She hit it once during the game and caught it once - throwing it back immediately . Also 2 successful serves . (Threw it over the net) When we arrived back in the classroom, Kat sat down immediately and began working on a paragraph describing her day . It is the best I've seen her do - and very little prompting.

Although she has been coughing quite a bit ,she has been quiet as amouse and happy as a clam ! And sheis really listening ! She heard thelibrarianask aquestion of another class while there this morning - and she raised her hand ! Great day !


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Donna is on a trip this week. Kat had a good weekend but is still fighting a cold. Last night when we were at church Kat did something neat. We were outside and I wastalking to someone she doesn't know and she attempted to join/interrupt the conversation by asking a question. First time I've seen her outside of drills trying to initiate/join a conversation. Hope its a good day ! ! !


Good morning ! Wow! That is really fantastic news ! I bet you were thrilled to hear her try to join your conversation . She did greatin gym - jogged for 12 mins . w/out stopping & then played volleyball . She's having a hard time writing in her journal . Needs many prompts - just sits & stares & is very loud w/ her answers. Doesn't want to write at all . Considerable amt of silly talk between sentences. Doesn't want to focus - only sit & look. Only thing accomplished this AM.

** Note- she keeps lifting her shirt all the way up - must have done this 10x this AM ! Maybe you could put a "sports or jog "bra" on under her clothes / shirts ,so if she does lift up , all you can see will be her "sports bra". You can pick them up even @ Wal-Mart. Have a great day.


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Thanks for suggestion. Usually her Mom has her wear bra , but Dad messed up on this one. Thanks ! She is taking some medicine and seems to be more chatty than usual . Have a good day ! ! !


Good morning ! Not only is she chatty - but she's singing up a storm ! ! It's OK- I'll take care of it & keep reminding her to "be quiet ". Again , she is very distracted while she's doing her journal . It's like pulling teeth ! I'm enclosing the songs from the play ,that the children will be singing & practicing w/in the next month . She's working very quietly now on her math worksheets . Also working very nicely on S.P. worksheets. I had her do a coloring & following direction W/S & she did it beautifully w/ my help. I'll try another after her walk. She did it w/almost no help for me. 98% by herself.

Great ! !

Have a good day.


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Hi ! In music she's sitting & listening quietly . Very good ! Back in the class she wrote in her journal . Ihad her read it to the class . She did very well! Havea great day ! A 2 page journal today ! !


3/6 Mrs. L.,

My mom and dad are both snowed in on different trips. My grandparents are here.



Dear Bridget -

Everything OK at home ? I'll hold down the "fort" here at school . I'll continue to write everyday just to keep you informed of her day, OK ? You can write back if you want. She's writing in herjournal today w/out any problems . I'm sending home 2letters from "Andrew Mail" for Kat. Maybe you could help her write back. She sits next to J., & across from E.S., Da., An1. & L.P. They are so happy w/ this seating arrangement! She did 2 "following directions" papers w/ coloring -all by herself ! Off to library ! Have a good day !


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Hi, E.,

I got back 4 A.M. Thursday Morning. Kat's grandparent's were here so Bridget took over notes . Tom was outof town too. We are going to meet with M. tonight. Are there any issues you'd like us to raise ?


Hi ! Welcomeback to NJ ! Kat has been doing really well in school . At this time I can't think of any concern - During gym today , Kat "jogged" for 20 mins w/out stopping!,alternating between jogging , walking skipping & running . Just like the other kids ! Then she played basketball. A great morning.

**Melissa - the CD that they used in gym is :

"Dance Mix USA" I'm going to make a copy so if you'd like a copy of my copy let me know & send in a blank cassette . (Mrs. B. bought it from the TV.)

*Interesting note - I asked her to draw a picture of Kat throwing the ball & she leafed back in her journal looking for something. While going through the earlier pages - she corrected 2 spelling mistakes ! I asked her " ask me what you're looking for" & she replied - " I am reading ". Have a good day.


Hi, We are meeting with Matt today. We are meeting with Jo.R. Thursday? Gym sounds great I'll have to stop in and observe.


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3/12 - Going to the computer room 1st thing this AM . I'll try to get her to write her journal on the computer. She "cried" & made sad faces but I persisted & she did it ! Itwas very slow & tedious ; she copied from her journal - every few words she would stop & "cry" , wave her hands & fingers or "sob". I reminded her ofperiods&spaces& tried to help her w/ the capital's . I also pointed out where some of letters were & colon symbol . She started making capitals on her own ! &used2 hands ! ! I'm sendinghome the finished product w/ picture's included! What a super super job ! ! I'm thrilled ! At 10:00 she announced - It's 10:00.

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Hi, E.,

I would like to meet the new teacher , what would be the best time to come in ? (Thurs orFri) The journal sounds great on the computer. I asked Jo. if we could increase Kat's time in school, sothat Thursdays she would also stay with Mel 10:30 to 1 PM, Let me know what you think. I thought that way she could attend Art with Mrs A. aswell.


Good morning ! It's going to be hardto meet M.B. as Friday is her last day ! K.R. starts on Monday so you can come in next week. The meeting w/ Jo. was changed from 3/14 to 3/25@8:30. I received a message from him yesterday afternoon . I think Thursdays would be OK - remember she'll bein the class all morning from 9:00 - 10:00(walk), 10:15 she will go to the library , and art is @ 10:50 - 11:30 then lunch @ 12:10 - 12:50. I say try it !!I'm sure she'll do fine ! Now will this mean she'll stay home Mon & Tues to make up the work she'll be missing w/ Melissa ? She had a great, quiet morning ! Another good day !


Hi E.,

I'm sending invitations . Melissa will not be here Friday sheis out of town next week. She may be back next Friday. K. will take her to lunch next week.


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Good Morning ! So far a great morning (9:25) A little fussy in journal writing - very slow this AM & very chatty . Will Kat stay till 1:00 tomorrow if Melissa's not here? Or will K. be in w/ her? If she's not going to stay , don't forget to notify the bus company to pick her up . Just let me know .

I started her working on math & she hada problem w/ one page of greater than - less than . I marked it for you , along w/ some other math papers . She had some confusion/difficulty on the counting x 2's page . I helped her& she was fine . Took20mins to finally choosea book ! A great day!


Hi, E.

Iwill pick Kat up at10:30. I will try& bringher to lunch too. I think Kat kidnapped calendar pg or Imisplaced it.

See youat 10:30.

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Good morning ! I won't write because I'll see you @ 10:30.


*Art- 3D hot air balloons are next- see me. I'll explain.

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Hi E.

Kat had a goodweekend. She was able to sit (without a peep ) through 1 1/2 hours of Bridget's piano recital at Rowan College. That was the first time we didn't have to leave the auditorium. She previously sat through plays and ballets but the recitals are long and donot have much action inthem. She was great. I will be gone Tue & Wed , Kat willnot go to lunch Mon or Tue. K. will go with her Wed &Thurs & Melissa will be back Friday.


Good Morning ! Wow ! That is so terrific that she was able to sit that long ! The concert is Wed . April 17th. The band comes on 1st@ 7:30 & the singing should begin @ 8:00 . The children will be waiting in the hallway until its' time to go on so perhaps you should bring her around 5 of 8 or 8:00 . I'll speak to the teachers involved as to what to do. You don't think there'll be a problem w/ her behavior on stage do you? Do we use the smiley faces on stage too? Has she been on stage before w/ a large group of children ? This is a concert for the 4th&5th grades combined.

The rehearsals willbe as follows, starting next week - 3/25:

M - T - W - F 9:10-9:55.

THUR - 10:15-11:00.

Stop for vacation on 4/3 - continue backon 4/15 - 4/17 w/ the concert that night. Her part of the concert should be at least 30 -40 mins . She hada great day !



Enclosed are An1. Mail and invitations for this weekend. Danuta will be gone today & tomorrow. Have agreatday !


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Good morning ! A little chatty &"sing songy" this AM . Couldn't settle down , had to erase a happy face. Haven't done that ina longtime ! Well , there she goes again ! Just now put her finger in her ear & started singing very loud making no sense at all. I'm giving out the invitations today & also writing down a list of children who told me they haven't come over yet & who not to pair together ! : J.P., B.C., A., E1., P. , L., and T. ( ok to put together ) and E.D., T.I., & R.S. - definitely don't put together ! Boy, is she talkative today ! Alot of silly talk , so I'm erasing smiley faces. She's not happy w/ me ! Overall- the day turned out fine !


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Kat has been very chatty at home also. There are some new Language (L) and Skills practice (SP) worksheets in her note book today. She's done them at home but never in school . Hope it turns out O.K. .


Hi . Much quieter today -so far ! ! Very good in music. During our walk @ 10:00 , she had a nice conversation w/ one of the teachers ; he asked her questions &introduced himself & she responded & asked &answered questions herself (w/ a little help from me) . I noticed she wouldn't stand still - had to be reminded either verbally or w/ my handon her shoulder. Also, passing the 1st grade wing, one class wrote "Spring" poems &I had her read3 of them Shedid very well & enjoyed it.

Backin the class she's finishing her journal & we'll try to workon some worksheets if theres time . On SP 43 she asked forhelp - I gave it & she did fine . On SP 41 she got stuck on mug & log. # 40&39 no problem, #38 she called out bus ? ride ? I helped her read the 3 words , she read the sent: " I can . . . & she said " bus?" I said "does that make sense ?" She said "no"- then said "ride ? " &I said "yes"& she completed the rest w/out help . On part C she said "NO" - handed it to me - I gave it back & told her to draw something happy &draw a bus . She did . A great morning !


Hi , I am back . She told me last night she saw amovie . What movie did she see ? I took out the worksheets andIwill make some changes. When she says "NO" or asks for help does she whisper to you or is she loud. If she's too loud I can try and see if the therapists at home when they work on the worksheets ask her to whisper.

When does the balloon art project start ? I thought maybe you can try and prompt her to do things by showing her what other kids are doing and saying "Do this!" She is getting pretty good at being "copy Kat!


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Good Morning ! In music the 4th graders are watching " West Side Story ." They love the singing, dancing, & talking & learning about their differences & confrontations. She seems to pay attention ,especially when they sing &dance ! When she says " NO" it sometimes is a normal speaking voice ,but never a whisper ! I don't feel its' too loud or disturbing.

The balloon art project will start after the concert . I will try & have her copy either my work , Ms D.'s or the children's . Sometimes being a " copy cat" is good !

Did you get the flyer for the yearbook ? Send in a check for $6.00 or cash. Also - a skating partyis this Sunday.

Kat read her journal to the class today & did a fine job . We also did 3 drills - dad's name , birthday , & mom's name .

Any new ones ? She's working beautifully today . She's made some mistakes on SP pages. I think she rushed through them as I think she does know the correct answer.

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March 22, 1996

Hi ! Couldn't find our notebook- very chatty this A.M. Great job in art. Followed my directions- she drew, colored and cut. A super morning !


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During rehearsal, she only wanted to dance and move around while they were singing. I moved her to the end of the row where I could control her. She did much better. I had the smiling face paper with her on the floor. Tomorrow, I'll hold the smiling faces and see how she does. After rehearsal, they went outside to play. Back in class I gave her a pack of raisins as her reward and she started her journal. We need another six pack of them. Also during rehearsal, When I prompted her to sing she sang really loud ! I didn't bother her after that ! She's working very well and being quiet.

Remember rehearsal on Thursday at 10:15. I'll only be there till 10:30; Unfortunately I won't be able to stay later, as my other class starts reading at that time on Thursday.

We just had a fire drill and she jumped right up and got in line like everybody else. I just had to remind her to push in her chair. She was quiet as a mouse ! A great morning.


PS- Do you have her surprise bag ? It's not here at school

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Hi . We found the notebook . I will have to pick Kat up at 10:00 A.M. today she has to go to Bancroft . I probably will stop a bit earlier & observe practice- a little if it's ok .

On Friday Melissa is going to go 9-12 she has to leave early for a trip.


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Melissa will come on Thursdays 10:30 - 1:00 and Fridays 10:00 - 1:00.

This Friday she will come 9-12 andI will come 12 - 1 with Kat.

I enclosed invitations and yearbook form and couple of books.

Thanks Danuta

Good Morning ! OK today in rehearsal - not singing but happy to be there . She seems to enjoy just listening to the songs & when I prompt her to sing she's not sure of all the words & sings loudly . Her behavior is fine - she's quiet & is listening to directions .

I'm sending back 2 invitations remember ? : An. & R. & E.D. cannot be together at all ! You can have A. & R. & someone else , (not E.D.) & you can have A. & T. & someone else (not R. or E.D.) They must not be together as a twosome or especially a threesome ! I'll hold Al.'s invitation until tomorrow . Al1. sent Kat a wonderful letter . I started to cry ! ! You can share it w/ Melissa . Also - here is a form from CE R . However ,I'm not sure it's for camp. It just might be for daycare. You might have to call over there . See you tomorrow ! I'll also have a new book for you.


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Hi, Melissa will come in at 10:00 to observe I will go in next week when Melissa is out of town. I'm including 2invitations for A. &An. third one I am sending blank because Idon't know howtospell his name he is in Mrs . W.s class N.A. ? I fyou could get his name & putiton the card & give it to him.

Thank you


PS. We forgot Kat's library book . all of a sudden she went to the door &got her backpack brought it back & put her library book in!

Hi ! Gave N. his invitation & the rest of the class wanted to know what is was all about. I explained & they wanted to know if they cancome also ! So I said " Of course" & they passed around a sheetof paper & whoever was interested signed their names. Kat goes to music , gym & art w/ Mrs. W's class & they all know her . I think it's fabulous! I also included L.D.'s name , as she plays w/ Kat on the playground . I also find it interesting that on this new list of 14 , 1/2 are boys ! ! It's so great ! ! Enclosed new menu for April . Note - P.E. keeps reminding me that she hasn't come over Kat's yet ! This is the 2nd time this week she told me ! Mrs. A's class are doing a math bulletin board & I included Kat in it . Stop by the room & you'll see ! !

Kat participated in a science experiment with the class. ( It involved batteries and connecting circuits) Mrs. R. allowed Kat to connect several circuits on a large display- - it was really wonderful as I was trying to get her to listen to the teacher - a natural reinforcer ! After we spent quite a bit of time on math and mathconcepts. Two worksheets on greater / less than were 100 % !

Rehearsal went very well and her behavior is better each time according to E.


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Hi, I invited P. before but her mom said that she was very busy especially weekends Could you ask P. if there is a night during the week when she isn't doing anything. I enclosed lot's of worksheets we are trying to determine howmany pages she'll use each week if some of them are too easy for her let us know & we'll pull them out ( for example she may be stimming more).


PS. Kids have been great !


Ive noticed from checking her math papers that ordering is very easy for her. Any worksheet involving ordering, counting or sequencing can probably be pulled. Place value is also a " piece of cake ". Maybe we should consider that as well . I have noticed more stimming when it is too easy for her, also . I've put a star in the corner if I felt it was easy. While we are doing these sheets, the class is doing a math exercise on the board . Kat went up and did an exercise, too and everyone clapped . She felt so proud ! As a reward , she is now working on her new phonics book. She appreciates variety . ( stickers, etc. )

Her writing today was partly from her school schedule and partly from her experiences after play rehearsal today. She wrote most of that part spontaneously. ( they were allowed a recess after rehearsal) I think it's important to have her working from an outline as well as being required to write something from her experiences.

One of the money worksheets She made some mistakes. I put an X, on it . All others O.K. Also put a star on a few of the reading skills practice pages which are "easystreet" for Kat now.

We just came back from the gym (just Kat & I) after having a private PE. class. Although we had some crying during jogging time , she went through all the individual exercise stations following the directions and model. We also worked on basketball skills . When she got the correct stance ,she sunk it every time ! Mrs. B. loved it. Unfortunately , The play rehearsals are replacing their"specials " time so we will try to do some make up time.

Kat located her art work in the hallways and we usedit for some Quest Discovery/Book Quest . type drills. Time for lunch so must close! Have a good week . See you soon.