Tag Archives: activities

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

1 Comment

Filed under Autism Coolness!

The Disney Wall

BoysDisney

Each week we pick a theme to center our activities around. This week, we chose Disney. Each day, we do some sort of coloring activity to go along with our theme. We did Mickey, Goofy, and Tarzan. This is the artwork that the boys, our student aides, and staff did.

The best part of this, to me, is the DISNEY at the top. The letters were done FREEHAND by “E”. He loves to draw letters and numbers. He has never really done any letters on demand. Today however, I thought I would try and get him to do the heading for our art wall. So, armed with skittles, a marker, and blank pieces of paper, I sat down with him at the table and asked him to draw me the letter D. He thought about it for a minute and then he began to draw. Once the D was on the paper I gave him a skittle. Then he gave me a big smile. I slid the D to the side and a new sheet of paper in front of him. I asked for an I…. his wheels were spinning and in the blink of an eye, the I appeared. More skittles. More smiles. We proceeded this ritual until the entire word was written. Once complete, I gave him tons of high fives and lots of praise. I could see how proud he was of his letters.

I carefully cut around them and hung them up. I had him come look at his work. I think he was pretty happy that we displayed his letters.

I foresee more headings for our projects in our future… and that makes ME smile!

1 Comment

Filed under Autism Coolness!

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

3 Comments

Filed under Autism Coolness!, Field Trips

A Beautiful Hike!

This morning started out fantastic! We got to go play mini-golf!!! The boys were great!

Even my really nervous kid had what seemed to be a great time. He figured out that not only could he hit the golf ball with his club, but he could use his feet too! It was hysterical! My favorite was when he couldn’t get the ball in the hole with his club or with his feet, he reached down… picked it up… and dropped it in the cup. I laughed and gave him a high five and got a gorgeous smile!! It was like he absolutely knew what he was doing.

I think it was the fasted game of mini-golf in history and all the boys were pretty excited at the whole adventure.

What came next was my favorite part of the day. Please pardon the resolution on these pictures (as an amateur photographer I am quite embarrassed…lol), but they were taken with my cell phone as I didn’t want to lug my camera with us today.

We went for a long and absolutely stunning hike. The photo’s don’t do it justice AT ALL, but we were way up above the city. For the trained eye, you can see a teeny tiny Mt. Garfield on the top left of the screen and at the top middle/left is the Grand Mesa. You can also see the smoke in the background as it is burning season.

I was in a small slice of heaven and the weather was absolutely perfect. We even tied our jackets around our waists!

Tomorrow we get to go to the movie and I hope we have as much fun as we did today. I am sure that we will… nothing like a bucket of popcorn, 4 amazing boys, and a great movie on the big screen!!

One more pic to leave you with…

Have a fantastic night!!

~Kari

4 Comments

Filed under Autism Coolness!, Field Trips

Parachute Smiles

Each day we pick a theme and try to do some activities in the afternoon that encompass that theme. Yesterday was Parachute day. Apparently a long time ago (in March) someone got the idea to jump out of a perfectly good airplane with just some cloth strapped to their back (why they would do that ON PURPOSE is beyond me).

I digress… ANYWAY…

For our theme yesterday, I chose parachutes based on the March holiday. First, we watched a YouTube video about skydiving. As the video played, we explained how the parachute is packed on someones back, an airplane takes them way up in the sky, and how they will jump out and pull open the parachute. Second, I had drawn, on our smartboard, a picture of a bear with a parachute opening and we discussed where the bear was (on the ground or in the sky). Third, we colored printed pages of parachutes (one with a cartoon boy, one with a cartoon penguin, and the last was of a man with a parachute). And lastly, we went outside to our play area with a giant parachute!

I have never seen all the boys smiling and laughing as much as they did yesterday during this activity. We were laughing and running and making the parachute do all kinds of fun things.

It is neat to see them full of joy when they are at school. As we all know, school can be tough even on the smartest and most typical children. When school is fun, it causes learning. Remember when you are working with your child with Autism to have fun! Those activities will remain the best forever!

~Kari

2 Comments

Filed under Autism Coolness!, Lessons