Saturday, January 19, 2008

More school

I got to go see Joey at school again today- this time with his morning teacher, Mrs. H. She's a very different kind of teacher from Mrs. S, and is doing different things- and that's good. Between the two of them, we have a compliment of skills and styles that is really doing great things for my Joey.

We've noticed lately that Joey is tossing out a lot of word salad. His sentences and speech include words that are relevant to the topic, strung randomly together. This may seem like a complaint, but it isn't. We notice it more because he is talking more- and talking more is good. Relevant words are good. And the salad is because he is not echoing those words, but trying to construct his own speech. He has an easier time with it when he's calm and focused- more salad when he's excited or frustrated or tired- but the words are out there.

Joey greets his classmates by name. He even tries to greet his Sunday School classmates by name- before they greet him. Initiation is good (shame it isn't often positively reinforced by other kids).

Joey is answering questions. Not always correctly, or even willingly, but the answers come out. He was especially frustrated today because he was working on sequencing a set of story cards, and then narrating the story. He got the cards sequenced (YAY!) but then got frustrated with the narrative. It was like, "I got the things in the right order, what more do you want?" he was done and wanted to move on to something else, instead of finishing up the details. He knew what the story was and what it was about, and didn't want to expend energy telling us what he knew we already could plainly see. But he got through it. He did it.

He's reading on a first-grade level. We know from the software the school uses for special ed and ESL language teaching that his receptive auditory processing seems to be quite good- he can differentiate sounds and match them and that sort of thing. His receptive language is really coming along. Now, we just need that expressive language... apraxia, hie thyself to the hills!

Katie McCarron would have been in school today. She probably would have been able to circle the "pl"s in the poem Mrs. H read. Perhaps, like my Joey, she would have gotten frustrated with the card sequencing- perhaps the sequencing itself would have been a problem? Or the narrating? Then, like my Joey, she may have turned to a computer software game or a favorite activity for her break. Had she lived here, she would have lunched early, because the Russian ballet was coming for an afternoon assembly- I bet she would have liked to try to dance, in a pink dress and a flower in her hair, just like the pretty ballerinas did at school. After all, Katie would be a kindergardener this year.

Thinking of you, Katie.


r.b. said...

Looking back,as Ben is now 14, I have SO much respect for the regular classroom teachers who found a way to include him in all things. He went to the Resource room on an "as needed " basis. He now has an Aspergers class where a teacher who is familiar with his differences helps out--a bridge to appropriate education, which is definitely the regular classroom!

Reading your posts just reminds me of the old days. I hope you and Joey are as blessed as we have been!

Ben struggled so much with language. But he is a bright, if wired differently, boy. We can only wonder what kind of girl Katie would have been...

Niksmom said...

Woo, this one kicked me right in the gut! I was reading along and going "Way to go, Joey!: and WHAM! I think this is the first post I've seen where someone muses about what Katie would be doing if she were alive today. Very.Powerful. God bless Katie and God bless all our kids!

Club 166 said...

Yea, this one kind of snuck up on me, too. And for whatever reason, I hadn't really thought of the fact that Katie was the same age as my daughter.