Thursday, November 11, 2010

More Amazed Every Day

Rachel continues to leave me speechless. I had a parent/teacher conference with her classroom teacher this afternoon and when I left, I just couldn't believe this was the same child whom I was so resistant to enter an ABA therapy program with CSAAC 16 months ago. What was I thinking? I trusted those who were making the recommendation, yet I just couldn't bring myself to get behind it. But since we've started ABA, we went from having a lump of a child (an adorable lump, but still a morose child who rarely smiled or engaged anyone and excelled at throwing tantrums) to a happy energetic little girl who can't seem to get enough of the world around her.

I definitely get the feeling that her teacher is nearly as proud of her as I am. Her IEP meeting was about 3 weeks ago and they are starting to incorporate some of the changes that we planned, specifically working on placing her with a neurotypical Pre-K class to give her social opportunities with her peers and to teach her how to play with toys (an area that she is grossly deficient). They started bringing her to the Pre-K class this week and she actually spent some time there on Monday and Tuesday. Unfortunately, there are no opportunities for her to go back until next week (she was sick on Wednesday and Thursday/Friday there's no Pre-K due to half-day school days to allow for parent/teacher conferences), so they may have to take a step or two back when she returns. But the plan is to incorporate her into this class for 15 minutes/day for a while and slowly increase this to 1 hour/day.

The representative from the Autism Office wants to see her introduced with the Kindergarten classes as well, not only for the social interactions but for academic growth. They are working on this during the Kindergarten's specials (Gym is already done and they are considering music for Rachel [because she really enjoys the music classes]). Her teacher however (and I agree with her) feels that it's far more important to mainstream her with the Pre-K and hold off on Kindergarten. There are other ways to give Rachel the academic stimulation that she likely wants/needs without pressuring her being in a classroom that is more than she's ready for. The inclusion of some of the CAPP kids with the Kindergarten during the gym class is working well for Rachel. But if they are going to put her with the Kindergarten kids now, she's going to be doing "Kindergarten" for nearly 3 years. If that won't cause her to be bored by school, I'm not sure what will.

But she is just doing so well. And we are definitely on a path to make my dream of having her ready to enter a fully mainstreamed classroom for Kindergarten a reality and not just a pipe dream.

It's so nice to see things working so well for her.....

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