Friday, November 30, 2012

Parent Teacher Conference

Yesterday evening was the first official parent teacher conference of the new school year for Whitney.  Whitney's adjustment to a new teacher and classroom was something Melanie and I had been really worried about.  Whit's teacher runs a very structured classroom and expects a lot of our little girl.  And at first that was tough for her.  In fact early on, she had a major tantrum in the classroom.  Since then, they've been focusing on citizenship in the classroom and Whitney's been responding well.  And that has paved the way for a lot of things.

First off, she is using Proloquo2Go and an iPad for almost all communication in the classroom now.  She can run it well and say pretty much anything she needs to.  She still has an interpreter in class and that still helps Whitney to listen and understand what's going on around her.

As far as behavior, she has gone through a transformation.  Whit doesn't like to do fine motor exercises like writing and coloring.  But where she could get out of those tasks last year by throwing a fit, this year she knows she's expected to get her work done.  So with hand over hand help she'll write her name and color her pictures.  She no longer throws fits and she's even stopped hitting her head in frustration.  I wish we could be that successful at home!

Whitney can also count all the days in the month on a calendar and read the sentences in her school reading books.  And they're going to start working on addition and subtraction soon.  Whitney's favorite part of the day is morning yoga where laughingly invites her therapists and interpreters to join in the fun.

Whitney's teacher is serious about expecting the same thing from her special ed 3rd graders that typical 3rd graders can do.  That may seem harsh to some, because there are things that are certainly more challenging to Whitney.  But it's working!  And it's so exciting to see Whitney begin to meet these higher expectations and realize more about her potential.


Jenny said...

That is amazing. So happy to hear that she is doing so well.

mrkhmusic said...

It's great to find teachers that can both be firm and forceful with a special needs student, but also know just how far to push. Our son is in his first year of Jr High, and that has presented some difficult challenges. We'er finally starting to sort it out, mid-year.

I'm glad I discovered your blog. I'd sure love to swap some guestt posts!

Nate said...

Thanks, Mark. I'd love to read more about your son's experiences. I tried the address above but it didn't work. Where can I find your blog?