Updates and the Special Olympics!

Howdy folks. Been a while since I have been able to post. My Masters program has been pretty busy… just finished my first class on Friday! I am so stoked. Once you have the first one under your belt you feel so much better! I also lost a very dear friend to cancer and that has kind of kicked my butt.

So… with all that being said, I have quite a few updates. Grab some coffee and enjoy!

I have decided to use initials when I am talking about the boys so that way I can refer to them individually, but not name them specifically. Just easier that way… for me. LOL

So, my non-verbal guy, “J”, has been quite amazing over the last few weeks. To make a long story very short… HE SPOKE!!!
“J” has always made noises… happy noises, funny noises, jumbled words, angry noises, and a few interspersed words that were never in context. But for some reason, one day a couple of weeks ago, he had led one of the people in the classroom over to the freezer where there were Otter Pops (Popsicles) hidden inside. His iPad wasn’t around, so she said OTTER POP… and “J” repeated her!!! Now, along with the iPad, our guy can verbally let us know what he wants. This is with prompting and a lot of reward. You should see this kid. He is super happy and not as pinchy. I guess I would be in a better mood too if I was finally able to communicate!!

“N”, our quiet and happy go lucky guy has been doing fantastic! He is one that is in to routine and if that routine is broken, he will tantrum, but lately, we have been working on switching things up (within reason), and he has dealt with it superbly! He also doesn’t like to go places that are unfamiliar… but with a lot of work, he is taking our outings with stride and has come a long way. He seems to be happy when we are out and I think it is because he feels secure. His academics are soaring. Hell… even today he shocked the crap out of me. Normally when he washes his hands, he doesn’t get all the soap off, so we help him hold his hands under the water and count to 10. He counts so good! Well, today, he didn’t get rinsed, so I took him to the sink and helped hold his hands under the water and told him to count to 10… the little booger says “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1”! I didn’t even know he could count backwards!

“E” is our little artist. He can read and write and does pretty well academically. He can watch a video and then draw the graphics from that video. This is usually the end credits because he likes letters and numbers. They are all done in bubble letters. His memory of the details is fantastic! He is a great kid with a lot of potential. Love working with this kid!

“D”, our talker, and by talker I mean ALL DAY… lol… he loves to know “why”. He has made huge strides in his communication of how he his feeling. He is big on personal space and we have come a long way of being able to get closer to him to be able to work with him. He is getting really good at using his words to get us to back up if we are too close or if he needs a break.

Since September 2011 when I started there, these boys have come so far and they seem to enjoy being at school and working with us. They have all made such great strides! I am so blessed to be able to see such a change. It is pretty fantastic.

Tomorrow (May 1st) is our Special Olympics. I am so excited… it feels like Christmas! I am a big ol’ emotional baby when it comes to stuff like this. I will have my camera and will be taking loads of pictures of all the Olympians. I am hoping to post some pics (generalized un-labeled pictures) for you all to see.

We got the boys all ready and prepped today for what is going to happen. They seem pretty excited. We will see how it goes. I just can’t wait to see them feel good about their accomplishments.

I am kind of sad and happy all at the same time that the school year is coming to an end. I don’t know quite what to do with myself while I am off work… I am sure there will be plenty of honey-do’s!! I will still be blogging… just more generalized educational stuff.

Did I mention I have a 4 day weekend coming up… woot!!

Thanks for popping in!

Kari

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3 Comments

Filed under Autism Coolness!, Field Trips

3 responses to “Updates and the Special Olympics!

  1. Kari~
    Where do I start! I am so proud of you that you have no idea how much you make me smile and cry happy tears when I read your blog!
    I can see a special angel watching over your class and whispering in J’s ear; ”
    OTTER POP” ! Telling N to count backwards from 10! Just to see you smile!
    It’s exciting that E & D are also opening up more and more this school year.
    Tomorrow sounds like a super fun day with the Special Olympics for everyone.
    I can’t wait to see all the great pictures~
    I also look forward to reading all your summer blogs about everything you do~
    And on a side note a friend of mine here has a son who also has Autism. This
    past weekend was one of triumph and plenty of tears. Her son is a sophmore in high school and was ask by a senior girl to be her date. Jake was so excited that for the last few weeks he practiced tying his tie, putting his tux on perfectly. What Jake forgot to mention to his mom was his date was the Prom Queen! To say that Mom was an emotional basket case is to say the least. This child who she was told would never make it past an elementary education and should be placed in an institution where he would be with people like him!
    Not this child! He is already being asked to all of the dances next year!
    Thanks to teachers just like you Jake is going to graduate with his class in 2 more years.Thanks to teachers like you there will be even more Jakes in this world! I have the same hopes for your students!

    Love ya GF
    Jeannie

    • Holy wow!!! Jake sounds like an amazing kid!! I am so proud of him!! Thank you so much for your kind words as always. It is the support from my friends and family like you that have helped me through school and life so that I can fulfill my dreams!!

  2. Wonderful people such as yourself make this a better world! “You” are fulfilling many dreams…..:)

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