Friday, September 15, 2006

Snippets from my classroom

What a week! I got 2 new students this week. They are both in my morning class. Typically, my new students will start on their 3rd birthday, which is when they become the school district's legal responsibility per IDEA. Both of these students are about 4 1/2 which makes me sad for a couple of reasons. One is that they've missed 4+ years of early intervention services, and they really could have benefited from having help sooner. The second is that their time with me will be limited! I'll still have them for the rest of this year and next, so hopefully will be able to see much progress. One is a girl (poor thing, she's the only girl). She has no effect at all. I've yet to see her smile or laugh, which really makes me sad for her. The other is a cute red headed blue eyed boy. I almost got teary when I met him--he is too cute and unfortunately his delays are human induced. I know it happens in our world, but seeing the results of child abuse up close is heartbreaking. He is a very engaging and sweet little boy.

I had a meeting with some parents today that left us all in stitches. They were asking who K is. They thought it was a student. K is one of my TAs. Turns out there son really likes K and talks about her all the time. Funny that her name has stuck so well because the first two weeks of school he called her Leo! Anyhow, one night he was talking about her and said "Ms. B (me) changes K's diapers. K has big titties!" I don't know which is more hysterical--that he said this or that the mom felt she had to share this bit! I was giving this child an assessment recently. I asked him to draw a person for me, like his mom or dad. He proceded to draw a bunch of lines and circles. When I asked him to identify the parts he drew, he pointed to one circle and said, "That's my daddy's ass!" I had to look away and take a deep breath. He doesn't know what a chin, thumb, elbow, or knee are but he knows his daddy's ass!

I'm happy to report that Harley came home on Wednesday and so far is doing OK. He's still on meds, and has a checkup next week. I hope once he's off the meds that the same issues don't arise again because my checkbook can't handle much more! Still, Peanut and I are so glad that he's home and getting back to his normal self!


Robyn1007 said...

I love the new look of your page! I'm glad to hear that Harley is home and always enjoy your stories about your students!

Jennifer said...

Thanks Robyn!
My students are a hoot...seems like we're always laughing at something they say or do. Makes for many good days!

Harley is enjoying being back home and his strength is getting better every day. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we're done with these health issues.

Jeff in MD said...

Those are great stories! Haha.

And great news about Harley coming home - yay! Spike, Max and Miss Kitty send their best wishes :) said...

Don't you just love the things your students say (when they have language)? The story about the circles resembling an ass is hilarious! Well..I would find the humor in that.
As for your screaming child, you know when you are doing extinction of a behavior is it going to get worse before it gets better right? You are doing all the right things by trying to work on the attention span. It know it's tough and the biggest problem I can detect is that this kid has no boundaries at home so he thinks that applies at school. (I get that one a lot too-aka my Adrian the Death Scene Boy this year) Yelling sucks I have to admit and that would make me crazy. Since your child likes to be active have you thought about (or if you can) taking him out for a walk when he needs it (starts to scream-a short walk) and then bringing him back for work? Sounds crazy I know. However, the use of physical education and exercise works like a charm on behaviors. (This is going to be my Ph.d research so that's why I'm always pushing it) It's worked for me on a number of tough kids over the past six years. I don't know how much help you have so it might not be something you could do. If you have two aides then one can take the child walking. I suggest ear plugs or can he be reinforced every couple of minutes with something he eats like a little cracker or something when he doesn't yell? A) It will buy you a few precious moments of peace. B) Eventually you can lengthen the time between reinforcement and eventually not have to do it. Let me know how it goes. Tonya (aka The Short Bus Queen)