Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Visited the new school and went to a pool too!

    Summer break is flying by! Nixon has had an Occupational Therapy (OT), Speech Therapy (SP) and ABA therapy evaluations. The ABA meeting was nice, turned out Nixon already knew the therapist he'll be working with! (Last summer, Mac and I found a local OT who was offering sensory groups for kids. Nixon went to 5 groups and the therapist he'll be working with for his ABA time, also worked with him in that group. Nixon recognized him as soon as he entered our home!)

  * I've attempted to post this twice before. I wrote the entire blog post, only to have it not save and not publish, in spite of the auto save feature. Here's hoping third times a charm*

    Nixon's going to be attending a different school this fall. It'll be a satellite classroom of a Baltimore school called Kennedy Krieger. Currently, Nixon will have 5 classmates (whom he met the day we visited the Baltimore school). His classroom will also have a teacher, 2 aides and (I believe) 2 social workers. The class will never be larger than 10 children.
    Perhaps the thing I liked best is, unless a student is harming him/herself or other students they aren't removed from the class. They'll be placed in a safe area but they don't "escape" the work. Instead, the 4-5 adults in the room all focus on positive behaviors and ignoring the negatives (yelling/throwing/evading/running, etc.). Each child will have a reward chart with a reward they chose to work for each day. As soon as they reach the goal, they earn that reward no matter what task they are currently doing in the classroom!
     Each student may also join the general education first grade classroom, when/if they are ready, but it's not required. What a relief!
     In addition to that, the curriculum is catered to each child. Some are working just below grade level, some right at grade level and some are given work above grade level. It's a wonderful class and I'm excitedly apprehensive about Nixon's upcoming school year.


     Nixon is a child that has always hated water on his face and in his ears. It's made bath time comparable to a circle of Hell, at times. When he was around 2 years old, he'd scream bloody murder while I washed his hair. By then end of a bath, in those days, we'd both be wet and crying messes.
    It's gotten easier, but he still has issues with water above his neck. I have to hand him a dry wash cloth, folded in half (shaped like a triangle), which he uses to cover his ears and cover his face with it, Ala western bandit style. When his hair is buzzed short, I use a wash cloth with shampoo on it and then a cup to rinse with. Easy peasy. 

     We spent one day at a friend's apartment complex community pool. Nixon hasn't been in a pool in a couple years. Wear his brand new Puddle Jumper, he still took almost half an hour to actually venture off the steps into the pool. As he grew more confident, he jumped and splashed, he clung onto my back and kicked his legs behind us. He loved the water!
     Mac and I eventually switched off, Mac played in the pool with Nixon while I sat out on the patio. After almost 2 hours in the pool, it was a fight to get Nixon out of it to go home. Best part was, he didn't mind the water on his face at all! But his slightly fearless nature had me concerned at times. Swimming lessons may be in his future this fall. There's plenty of places locally that offer swimming lesson year round. 

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