Monday, September 9, 2013

The First Day of School and Goals for a New School Year

"Do I have school today?" The Boy asked as soon as his eyes opened. It's the same question he's asked every single day for the last 4 weeks. 

"Oh yes you do!" I may have said this with much more enthusiasm than necessary.  

The Boy didn't cry or protest. I prompted him through his morning routine. When I asked him to put on his socks and shoes he did so independently. Okay, he put on one sock and one shoe. But he did it on his own.

And when the bus came, he stepped right on without looking back and took the first free seat. 

It's the 5th of his short life being put on a bus to school. His 2nd year at this school. If The Boy were a 'typical' kid he'd be heading to 2nd grade. Instead, he'll go back to the same classroom with 5 of his peers, a teacher and 2 assistants. It's comforting to know he'll be with the same teacher and most of the same students (their ages ranging from 6-8 years old). 

And because of The Boy's 'severe cognitive disability', he cannot participate in the standardized assessment. Which means, no additional pressure. (I hated standardized tests and assessments as a kid.) Some of The Boy's goals for the year include:

  • verbal social interactions with peers
  • following a variety of 2 step commands containing basic and linguistic concepts
  • comprehension and responding to WH questions 
  • reading a passage and answering multiple choice and short answer questions
  • listening to the teacher read a story and answering 5 WH questions
  • attending to a task without distraction for 5 minutes 
  • decrease self-stimulatory behaviors
  • display appropriate coping skills to deal with changes or disappointment 
  • writing sentences using proper sentence structure and grammer
  • solving 2 digit addition and subtraction problems with regrouping and;
  • engaging in cooperative play skills.

It may not have been the place I imagined he'd be, but it's the right place for him. And I'm grateful that after two long years of searching, such a school exists. They understand him. They care about him. They know how to teach him. The Boy's learning and he's happy. That's the most important thing.

What goals are your kids working on this year? 

First days pics from years past

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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.