Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Thursday, September 06, 2012

School: The first week

We have successfully survived the first week of school. Otherwise called, "I have managed to get each kid to his or her bus on time every day this week."

Asher: Asher has an interesting schedule this year. He is in a full-day regular ed. kindergarten classroom, except that he's doing two 1/2 days each day. "How does this work?" You ask. Well, in the morning he goes to the morning session of 1/2 day kindergarten where he has a 1:1 aid and gets the whole morning uninterrupted by any services. Then he eats lunch and has recess with 1st grade (many of the kids he knows from his 8 weeks in school last spring.) After recess he goes back to the kindergarten classroom for the afternoon session. This is when he receives all his therapy services such as speech and occupational therapy as well as adaptive PE. Two days a week I pull him out of school when the morning session is done so we can access private services. This was a set up his school has never tried before but was suggested by me. It worked well for Angela when she was in Kindy and I didn't see any reason why it wouldn't work for Asher. We'll see how it goes!

Behaviorally Asher did well this week. I went along with him the first day so his aid could see what he IS capable of so her expectations aren't set too low. When you are working with a child who is non-verbal it's easy to assume they don't understand or are not able to do some things. I wanted to avoid that kind of situation which would set him up for some naughtiness! LOL I was going to go for his first day of lunch but wasn't feeling well. His teacher said he did great and seemed excited to be eating with all the other kids. Because Asher doesn't chew yet I'm sending all his food so it's a consistency I know he's safe with and can eat independently. I do have to wonder if this type of situation reminds him of the orphanage at all. I bet he's eating really fast like he used to when we first brought him home. I'll be going to lunch with him tomorrow so we'll see.

Axel: Axel is in the same deaf/hard of hearing program he was in last year, however his day looks MUCH different than before. Now that he understands what is expected for behavior at school, he is spending a lot more time in the mainstream classroom. Although he is in 5th grade according to his age, he is physically and developmentally very much 7 so he is going to several classes (art, music, phy ed, science and recess) with 2nd grade. He has an ASL interpreter with him for these classes. Then his academics are being taught in a 2:1 setting in the d/hoh classroom. I'll be very interested to see how this works for Axel this year. He really needs to be around the typical kids more since has no idea how typical kids act or talk. I expect we'll see a lot of growth this year both academically and socially. Two days a week I pick him up early so he and Asher can go to private therapy services.

Angela: Oh Angela....she was just a TINY bit excited for school to start! The first morning when I woke her up she sat straight upright (like she'd been awake for awhile) gave a fake yawn and stretch and announced, "Well, I guess I'm a 10th grader today!" She cracks me up. LOL

Angela has a very busy schedule every day. Since all I hear about her broadcasting class the most, I'm going to venture to guess it's her favorite. In this class they produce commercials, the school announcements, conduct interviews around the school and I don't know what else! This is right up Angela's ally and I'm so glad she was able to get into it! If you don't know Angela, she is all about the camera! LOL She spent several years in theater and is very comfortable being the center of attention.

Angela is in several regular ed. classes: Broadcasting, metals, choir and phy ed. That's just this semester. In addition to those classes she also has English, math, reading, current events, and some other rotating classes in the special ed program, as well as "Work experience" which is a job training program.

Yesterday after school Angela talked at least 200 mph for 2 hours straight. I emailed her teacher to see if her activity level has been that high all week at school. She said yes, but if they reminded her to "calm down and breath" she was able to settle herself down a bit. She also said Angela has been VERY excited to see all her old friends, meet new teachers, and just generally glad to be back at school. Sometime I'll see if I can catch her activity level on camera, because it will take your breath away!

Next week she starts adaptive soccer, which is part of the high school league sports and they practice after school four days a week. It's highly competitive. This is the first year she's played soccer so it should be interesting. I'm sure she'll be on the JV team since she knows nothing about the sport.

The after school schedule is crazy! Monday-Thurs Angel has soccer practice, Tuesdays and Thursdays the boys have private therapy after school. Tuesday evenings Angela has swim club. Saturdays the boys swim. Sunday Axel and Angela have Special Olympics bowling. You should see the miles I'm racking up on my van!!!!

So that's our week. How is your year starting off? Are there things you want to drop or tweak in the schedule?

1 comment:

The Sumulong 3 said...

Can I just say I am now tired having read all of that??!! :) I am glad to hear that all 3 are doing well and enjoying school. Thank for you posting about Asher's arrangement for Kindy--I really like it and may have to "steal" it in a couple of years for Owen!