Monthly Archives: February 2013

Beautiful Beginnings

The classroom is still a work in progress and the kids will arrive on the 11th of March. To say I am excited is an understatement. Once again I am fortunate to have state of the art equipment and curriculum to be able to give these kids the best chance at learning all they can.

Yesterday I watched a documentary on Netflix called Loving Lampposts. Although I don’t agree with some of the things presented, there are definitely some things in there worth watching. One quote really struck me. “You haven’t got a big enough imagination of what your child could become.” ~Johnny.  This is what keeps me going. I know I can make a difference. I feel it in my bones. I just want to be able to help these kids unlock their dreams.

To give you a glimpse into the classroom, I took a few pictures.

This is looking toward the front of the classroom. We have a Smart Board and a regular white board.

Also notice the cool rocking chairs! Love those!!

20130227_083207

This is a view of the front from farther back, showing my awesome set of

windows and the student desks as well as the work/lunch table.

20130227_083253

This is a view of the kitchen and storage area.

We have a stove and a refrigerator. This way we can learn to cook and clean.

20130227_083237

The entrance to the room as well as our kitchen sink.

20130227_083226

This is the creation station. Manipulatives, markers, construction paper, etc.

20130227_083218

The Calming Room. A place to take a break.

Not pictured is the wonderful swing that we will have for another calming break option.

20130227_083134

I look forward to the many decorations that my kids will help me put on the walls. The room needs their touch to make it complete.

In just over a week, my classroom will be filled with the sounds of learning, ABA style! I can’t wait!

Thanks for popping in!

~Kari

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Autism Coolness!

The Power of Choice.

I could have stayed under the warm blankets and thought more about this blog, or I could have turned my thoughts elsewhere, or I could get out of the bed and come and dump my thoughts. You guessed it. I chose to get up. Choices are a part of our every day routine. We may not always feel like we have a choice, but when it comes right down to it we do… in every situation.

People with developmental disabilities … namely autism, should no, they deserve choices. Some would think that these kids don’t know what they want half the time. But who are we not to try and give them a choice? “Would you like water or juice?” “Would you like to swing or ride the bike or just sit out in the fresh air?” Even a simple yes or no to a question gives us insight in to what the child might want or need.

One thing that I have learned is that these kids are far from stupid and have wants and needs just like the rest of us. Oh I know… it isn’t easy to figure out what those wants and needs are, but with some time and effort on the part of the therapist/teacher/parent/caregiver/ and the kid themselves, it can be done.

The puzzle (to me) is the best part. Trying to find what works for these kids and piecing it together is a challenge that I am up for. Giving these kids choices only helps to unlock their world. Letting them in on what is going on with them and having them help guide us will only make it a bit easier on everyone.

Start simple. Find two items that you know are preferred. You know that the child likes them both equally. Put them in front of him/her and ask. Let them choose. Or even show them Yes/No icons and ask if they want this item. Teaching them that they have power in choice also teaches them that they have power in communication. It goes hand in hand.

When working with these kids, I have learned that the choices offered are sometimes not what the child wants. However, they still have a choice. Watch to see what they do. They may surprise you. They may throw a holy terror temper tantrum. But we all know that sometimes the choices we are faced with are not always rainbows and butterflies… and we have to learn from that as well. So do these kids.

Yeah, this is what kept me from falling asleep. I am glad I made the choice to get up and write. I always feel a little bit better and a little more excited about what I am doing when I get to share it with others. If you have any questions, or if some of my sleepy time writing confused you, please feel free to comment below. I am always happy to help.

~Kari

1 Comment

Filed under Lessons