• Attendance

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  • The “Class”

    Avery, Naim, Aaron

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May 13, 2013

Avery's Mother's Day contributions from his two schools. ECSE on the left, and Goddard on the right. I think it is funny that they are both handprints made into flowers.

Avery’s Mother’s Day contributions from his two schools. ECSE on the left, and Goddard on the right. I think it is funny that they are both handprints made into flowers.

Avery went to Goddard and was observed by Patty from ECSE. I am sure she will have more to tell me at our meeting on Friday, but she gave the teacher this. It is the most feedback I have ever gotten from anyone at ECSE.

Big Kids:

  • Naim and I read the “Sheep” book in DER. They did the workbook pages.
  • We played addition and subtraction bingo. I am so sick of working on addition and subtraction facts, but its gotta be done.
  • They did 2pp. of Sylvan
  • Naim did a story review for lesson 15 in HOP and read several stories to me.
  • Aaron did the game and review words for the end of Unit 3 in HOP.
  • Aaron did a page in HWT
  • Naim did the letter Jj stuff in ZB
  • We read the first 4 pages in the PopUp Book of Geography
  • They watched BrainPop abouuuuuut…….I CAN’T REMEMBER!
  • Naim went to Drama and Aaron went to Art. He was asked by the art teacher not to be so rude. It pissed me off. He is not going to go to art next week. I might ask to see if Naim can try out a class if he wants to.

November 26, 2012

So, trying to get back into the swing of things…

We had a quiet Thanksgiving Holiday. They did do some kiwi crate activities with kaleidoscopes and shadow puppets. We had Dwight over for Thanksgiving. I don’t think he has been here for forever. Kids went to We Village so Nik and I could have our monthly date. And most exciting, Naim saved up his $40 to get Nik’s old iPod Touch that we sold to him with a family discount. He still have $10 to go but that is on the layaway plan. It has taken him about six or eight months to save the money. He was very excited, and seems to so far be using it responsibly. Oh, Naim also went over to R’s house and they made sugar skulls and caramel apples for her “Autumn Party.”

Avery started potty training. So far, no success but not a lot of failures either. He holds it until he sleeps. He gets the whole potty thing mentally, I think. He just doesn’t know how to release his muscles voluntarily I don’t think. But the kid can hold his pee. (ETA: As I was writing this, we had our first successful #2 in the toilet!) Woo Hoo!

He returned to Goddard today, he did not have any accidents there, either. Here is his report. We are doing naked from waist down at home, and underpants (and extra packed for accidents) for Goddard. So far, naked or underpants doesn’t seem to make a difference.

I have Avery’s IEP meeting on Wednesday and I am going to check out the ECSE preschool. I got a little more logistical info from Jean today. I am kind of shocked at how little services he gets compared to the kids I had in ECSE in Nebraska and Kansas. Is it like this on a federal level now or does HPS/NWRESD just suck? I’ve been out of the loop. But I think I want him to go there and that is going to cause a big schedule shake up for all of us. Here is what I am tentatively thinking now:

  1. He stays at Goddard Mondays and Fridays. This will lower his tuition somewhat, and then whenever they think he is ready to move to preschool (has to be potty trained) it will lower it a bit more.
  2. He goes to ECSE preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He can go up to 4 days a week, but right now, it sounds like they are only going to give him 2 days. He will be bussed there.
  3. On Wednesday, we all go to Village Home. This means I am recking up the kids schedule big time. I will have to drop all of their Tuesday classes, and I will add a couple on Wednesday for one long day. Avery and I will either stick around or go home and come back (or in my dreams I can get them a ride one way or another…)
  4. For VH for Naim, I am looking at Discoverers, Film Making, Measure for Treasure, and maybe procession of the species, which is a parade prep class.
  5. For Aaron, it would be Discoverers, Science Olympiad, Messy Garage, and maybe mystery solvers club.
  6. I will be pulling Naim out of all drama that way. So, to replace it (because he needs to be kept busy) I will put him in a NWCT drama class, probably on Monday late afternoons. There is a concurrent art class in the same building that I may look into for Aaron. Not sure yet.
  7. I am also thinking about finding some kind of park and rec afternoon activity a couple of days a week (swimming, gymnastics, etc.) so that we have places to go and aren’t all stuck inside 4 days a week. Tues./Thurs. afternoons most likely.
  8. This whole plan (if it all works as planned) will meet a number of goals. I wanted to eliminate Goddard because of the expense, but at least I am reducing it. Avery will get the most services this way (if he stayed exclusively at Goddard, they would only come in like once a month.) The big kids will have more time without Avery around for their school projects. (It will go from 12 hours to 14. Not a huge increase, but enough to divide to 4 days, which has its advantages.) And I will not have to go to VH two days in a row, which was kind of killing me in a wimpy, annoying way last quarter.

It will all go down Wednesday. Let’s hope I can get all the parts to the puzzle together.

Big kids today:

  • Naim did DER 34 DVD and discussion questions and workbook.
  • They did the textbook part of Ch. 9 in Calvert Math, grouping factors into tens to assist in adding.
  • They did 2 pp. of Sylvan. Aaron did Vocab today. (He does reading, spelling, vocabulary in a rotation.)
  • Aaron worked on capitals in his HWT book.
  • Naim worked on some of the OT exersises from Zaner Bloser, and did a couple more mazes.
  • In the afternoon we did Ch. 2 in MGG geography books.
  • Aaron did Lesson 12 DVD and book. I realized today that he only has Lesson 12, 13 and then the review lesson in the 1st grade HOP left. I hustled and ordered second grade today.
  • Naim did Lesson 5 DVD and book in his HOP.

I have also assigned “projects” to them. I don’t know exactly how these are going to go yet, but we will figure it out as we go along. My hope is that in a few years when reading and writing are solidified, everything they do will be in project form. Naim’s is to research and make a presentation as to how we could be more environmentally sustainable at home. Aaron’s is to research a wind turbine and build a model of one, and then give a presentation about it. I am sure that these will have to be a trial and error thing and won’t amount to much this first time around, but it was a start and they are very excited about them.

September 17, 2012

Avery went to Goddard and saw Jean, the SLP from EI. Traci said that went well and I did see picture cards out on the table. I changed his schedule (again!) to M, Th, F. And this Friday he is going to go all day because the big kids and I are going to OMSI for their lab and fieldtrip day.

From Jean:

I visited Avery at school on Monday morning.  I was really pleased to see how many things he was doing.  He was following routine one step directions related to cleaning up toys and going to circle time.  He said “Hi” to me and smiled when I came in the room and seemed to recognize me.  He sat in circle and paid attention and imitated one of the other children’s names.  He imitated some signs and listened to the story being read.  He put puzzles together with a little modeling and encouragement from a teacher.  I saw him interact with several other children and Traci reported seeing this more often.  He is also saying a few words spontaneously like “car, blocks, book, purple”.  He is not consistent in the words he is saying.  Traci showed me the picture system that you made for him.  Her feedback was that she did not think he was relating the pictures to the actual objects or activities.  He would just randomly point to a picture.  I would like to have the staff there take pictures of Avery with the objects or in the activities, so that they are more concrete than the board maker pictures.  Does that sound ok to you?  I would also like to call Kathy Kohama and check base with her.

I really did feel that this was a good place for him and that he is having a lot of opportunities to observe, participate and learn.

Let me know what you think and then I can go back and help the teachers decide what words to concentrate on when taking the pictures.  I would also have them portable so wherever he is in the classroom or outside he would have access to them.

Thank you Lisa!

Damned VH and its rotating classes. Oh, well. At least I have been able to be flexible. And so has everyone else.

I had to go to the doctor this morning right after I dropped Avery off. There are a lot of Dr. Appts. going on in the next few weeks. So they missed about 2 hours of school time and we made up for it a bit in the afternoon.

Big Kids:

  • Naim did Lesson 20 of DER. We did a short a/o tic tac toe game that we obviously must have missed before. He is still doing pretty well on our second go around.
  • We finished the practice pages for 8.4 in Calvert Math. I think they did better than the other day, but we were not able to move on. Aaron was confused about 9×4=4×9=36, so why wouldn’t 9 tens and 4 ones = both 94 and 49. We got out the place value blocks to figure that one out, and I think he got it then. Interesting questions they come up with.
  • Both did 4 pp. in Sylvan.
  • Naim read Fat Cat on a Mat for reading. STILL waiting for his HOP replacement book to come.
  • Aaron did the worksheets in HOP for lesson 5.
  • Both did a page in HWT. We have a unit on numbers next, then the end of that book. I have Naim’s Zaner Bloser stuff for after that, in which I am sending him back to Kindergarten. Aaron wants to move in in HWT, so he will go on with the next book and work mostly on his own in it. It will be his third print book, so I think he will be fine. He wants to learn cursive. I told him if he did one more print book he could move on to cursive, and so we’ll see how fast he gets through the next book.

IFSP

Had Jean, her co-worker whose name I forget, and Danielle over for Avery’s IFSP meeting. Jean is getting more and more tolerable and even helpful. Danielle was fine as usual and Avery was happy to see her as we have not had head start for a month or so.

Avery was a little performer and signed “more” “book”, “water” and also requested a truck via a picture. He was engaging and fun. I was almost like, don’t be too good, Avery or you will get kicked off! But no fear, because even at Avery’s best, he is still quite at a developmental delay. So, services are in no danger of being cut, but there have been a lot of improvements.

The basic gist of that meeting is that he is going to get 5 visits from Jean at Goddard from Sept. to Dec. He will still continue to get 1x/wk. Speech Path through Kathy and Kathy will have to do a re-eval before his IFSP meeting in December (in which he will switch from IE to ECE and possibly the preschool component.) I need to reset the Kathy appointments. My schedule for all these kids is ridiculous. Head Start pretty much remains on a don’t ask/don’t tell dealio as I think now we have earned our way out of the financial criteria but don’t have to reapply until Avery’s next school year.

VH schedule came out for next year. Still in Schedule hell. Discoverers changed to Wed, which is a conflict with Goddard, and am thinking that they will only go one day this year, but it can be a longer day. So it will probably be Tuesday? Still working that out. Also (reminding myself) I have to actually inform the ESD that we are homeschooling before Sept. 1 via the homeschooling laws require that in the year they are seven on Sept. 1.

Here is what I need to Schedule for fall:

Naim:

At least three days of at-home school (3-4 hours)
Soccer two practices and one game a week!
VH time (one full day or two half days)
Fieldtrip Day/OMSI lab day
Dad time

Aaron:

Same minus soccer. And it isn’t going to happen by fall, but I wish I could find that kid a hobby. Art? Musical instrument? It isn’t going to be sports.

Avery:

Goddard School (4 hours three days a week)
Head Start (hour and a half, one day a week)
Speech Path at Goddard (will coincide)
Speech path with Kathy (one hour one day a week.)
Fieldtrip day (so the other kids can have field trip day, he needs to be clear to come with us.)

Not counting the usual stuff like cooking, shopping, cleaning, laundry and getting stuff done. If I could get Avery to let go of his afternoon naps, it would free up so much time. But on the downside, It would remove time from the other kids, too. Mixed bag.

June 8, 2012

20120610-205208.jpg

Naim was almost done building this house at Outdoors In and then…well, then Avery.

Karolyn’s 16th Birthday today. Wow! Nik talked to her on phone but he really has to talk to them from work or the time change doesn’t work out.

Avery went to Goddard and the notes said he liked “dancing with scarves.” I gave them 20 laminated picture word cards to use for communication, and a list of signs that he uses. We will see if anything comes of that. I have an appointment on July 19th to redo Avery’s IFSP for the next six months.

Avery’s receptive communication is really increasing a lot, to the point where I can have entire one-sided conversations with him and work him through transitions and get him to do things and modify his behavior. One thing I have noticed since Goddard is that he is yelling at the top of his lungs all the time, now. Everything that comes out of his mouth is on full volume. It gets kind of overwhelming. I am continuing to monitor hitting and biting to see if there is an increase since Goddard. I can’t blame Goddard because it was happening before (hitting, that is. biting is new.) So we will see if there is a marked increase. Also look daily for hit, bite, scratch marks on him. Have not seen much since that one day where he had fingernail claw marks on his neck.

Big kids and I didn’t get much school done because I had to deal with immigration stuff. Went to Dwight’s with a mobile notary to get affidavits signed, then had to go to post office to mail. Had a run in with the postmaster since he refused to help me fill out forms. It was very unpleasant. I asked a customer for help (meaning I had to give a total stranger my personal contact info.) I’m still working on finding a policy in writing about this. If so, I will return and shove it down their throats. Naim was all observing and into the whole confrontation. Aaron and Avery were oblivious. But I need to take Naim back with me so it can be resolved for him as well. He watches these things. Never too early to learn how to advocate and stand up for yourself.

After post office, which made me pissy, we all went across the street to Outdoors In to decompress.

VH: Winter Week 1, Thursday

Avery in Little Villagers, made cheerio bird feeders.

Avery went back to Little Villagers with Nik today. I worked at D’s the last couple of days. But to back up just a wee bit. Avery had his EI IFSP six month review. It was slightly tense between Jean and I. Not so much about going over his progress, but about the fact that EI is not providing enough services so I want her to write something that will get him into speech so OHP will pay for it. In the end, we blamed it on the federal government, which is true, but she really is quite useless.

Also had Head Start with Danielle. We are going to put him in the two day a week program next week for a trial run. It is more a travel/scheduling issue than anything else. I think he does better out of our house. He is too busy wandering around and doing his own thing at home. Danielle is fine, but sometimes the visits are painful and not productive. I could be doing something else with him. So next Tues will go to his regular socialization, and Thurs. will be trial run at the EHS program in Hillsboro. It is much closer, so no bus for an hour. But no bus period. We will have to get there ourselves. The trial is to see how bad that is. It is walking about a K to get to the max, then about a 10 minute max ride, then another K of walking on a street with no sidewalks. If this goes well, we will take him out of Little Villagers.

Head Start Notes

Aaron and Naim had Discoverers which seemed to go ok. Naim complains that it is always play-doh and paint, but when he is there he seems to like it and be ok. Aaron went to measure for treasure where it looked like they did clock stuff. He made a nice clock. Naim did a game in drama class that we all had to do at home. It was something like pretending you were stuck inside a ball, then stretching out the ball, then rolling in it, then bumping into other balls. The one who thought it was the funnest was Avery. He laughed and laughed. Oh, also, Naim is “in love” with a boy in drama class with curly blonde hair just like him. Oh, thank goodness. Maybe we won’t have to hear about him not finding any friends there.

Twas about it, I think.

Over the Holidays

School-wise has been pretty quiet over the Holidays. But a couple of things are worth documenting:

First, we did finally finish the Calvert Kindergarten math book, which was actually two books, two thick books. This was quite an accomplishment considering we had a false start last September with Math-U-See, which did not work for any of us. I think I would have done well with Math U See myself, but it moved at a pace that didn’t make sense for the kids. Besides, the guy is a raging Christian, so I don’t mind not supporting him and some of his stances. We do still use the MUS manipulative blocks at times, though. Kids thought it was boring and frustrating, and I think the change to Calvert has been a lot of fun, although we didn’t start it until about January. So I think it is worth the delay. But I already have Calvert First Grade, and we will start that in January.

Second, I took Avery for a SLP evaluation at Legacy Emmanuel. The SLP there agreed with my current thinking, which is no autism, or at least if so, very high end on the spectrum. Possibly Dysnomia of some sort. Not a cognitive problem in and off itself, but a significant delay. Avery got around 64 (out of a normed mean of 100) on his receptive measure and a 45 on his expressive. So two SD below on receptive and over 3 SD on expressive.

He thinks Avery just doesn’t get that his mouth is for talking. That’s why he plays with his tongue so much. He also commented on the amount of drool, which kids this age usually learn to keep in their mouth, but Avery doesn’t get it. He sees nothing wrong with the structure or muscle tone in his mouth. He gave me some tips to hold whatever object Avery is interested in up to my mouth and label it, or even at least the first sound of it. So we are trying that. It is the first new tip I’ve gotten since we started this thing.

He also told me that Avery qualifies for 24 visits a year for SPL under OHP. This directly contradicts what Tuality Health said (who were wishy washy at best and just told me to go to EI which I’d already done.) and what Jean said. Tuality Health, I get their motivation, they don’t want to pay for anything for Avery. But Jean? The whole thing just pissed me off. She is beyond useless. She has been acting like a gatekeeper that I had to persuade into providing documentation to build a case for him to get more therapy. When in actuality, I can circumvent her entirely and do it myself. What a bitch. I totally don’t understand her.

So this guy says he will take Avery for once a week appts. but there is a two month waiting list and it is CLEAR across town. So, we are going to try to see if I can get him into the Arts Center, which is a special ed clinic in Beaverton. Or, I could try Kathy K. again which would be the closest, but I think she is more of a articulation coach and not a language therapist, but I could be wrong about that. So I will check into the Arts Center first, then Kathy, then I will consider going back to Legacy.

Either way, I am building a file of documentation to take to “Zelandonii” so I should not have to start over when I get there. I am looking there at a preschool program called “Small Talk” which is for kids with JUST specifically language delays and not autism or cognitive. The teacher actually is a SPL there. If we are still here, Jean says that he automatically will roll over to ECSPED on his third birthday. (But he would stay in EHS until the following fall…) ECSPED gets more federal funding than EI, however, here their preschool program is just two days a week for 2 hours. In Kansas, I taught in one at Dole which was full day 5 days a week.

Big kids made a list of what they want to learn over the next few months:

Aaron:

  • Geometry
  • Building Houses
  • Yoga
  • Craft Projects
  • Individual Reading (Hooked on Phonics)
  • Pogo Sticks (!?!)
  • Trampoline (This was what came out of my attempt to get him to do SOMETHING exercise related)
  • Learn about Robots/Make a robot
  • History: Dinosaurs and prehistory, especially sea dinosaurs. Also ancient history like Egypt

Naim:

  • Learn to write numbers and letters better. Exercise fine motor skills.
  • Reading where we can act out the story.
  • Books like Junie B. Jones or Ramona
  • Math, Naim likes Math.
  • Yoga
  • Start Zig Zat (Discoveries in Early Reading) from the beginning again and do the games and other activities and not the workbook.
  • Running
  • Gymnastics
  • Tai Chi
  • Learn about the Human Body

I’m playing around with the idea of signing them up for Hillsboro Park and Recs Homeschool PE, because it takes place at GymNest, which is a gymnastics school and they do a lot with trampolines and gymnastics. So that should cover some of that, except POGO STICKS! HFAC has an adult Tai Chi class, may ask if they would let Naim try it out.