So I had a new kiddo start this week and I definitely can tell I got spoiled by the fact that my current students are familiar with our daily routines. Let me give you a background on my students. I have 6 students, well now 7 students.
A.P. is my only female student. She is 8 years old. She loves scripting scenes, which in turn has been her only form of communication. She has been at the school since she was 5. Loves social interaction, sometimes to the point where it impedes her attention focus during groups.
A.B. is a 7 year old male and is my only student that is not autistic. He has Fragile X, which has similar developmental delays. He has been at the school since he was 5 as well. He uses an AAC device as his means of communication. He is very shy around other students and staff and will often cover his face with his arm when asked to do something he is not comfortable with.
N.V. is a 9 year old male and is such a lover. He likes to whistle to you, smell you hair, and touch your face. He also uses an AAC device as his means of communicating and he is probably my most independent student.
B.M. is my second most recent student. He started on the exact same day I did- Feb 6, 2012! He is 6 years and is a verbal communicator but is limited on his vocabulary. He is very high academically, but his spatial awareness and sensory input/output needs are in dyer need of work. He often squeezes you to get sensory input and seems as if he is always in “lala-land”.
D.D. is a 7 year old male who is OBSESSED with spinning everything in sight. He is a verbal communicator and very high functioning academically, well in comparison to my other students. I can sight read, but is limited on what books will motivate him to read. Likes to give high-fives. He has also been at the school for a couple of years.
T.B. is my most complex student. He requires a 1:1 staff. He is non-verbal and currently has no form of a functional communication system. This is his 3rd year at the school and the first two years, from what I was told, was spent dealing with aggressive and self-injurious behaviors. He is on a super strict diet and is now much more open to learning and using his communication system. He loves bubbles and bouncing balls, but can also be very stubborn when he doesn’t want to do something he doesn’t like.
And finally, my newest- literally started yesterday!- is M.L. who is a 6 year old male and very similar to B.M in that he is high academically, but seems to still be learning how to deal with the world around him. He is verbal, but from what I can tell so far, needs lots of prompting to enhance his vocabulary and sentence composition. He loves anything art related and has enjoyed our circle time. I am still getting to know him and it has been tiring starting from the beginning of it all
With all of that said- I should probably note that of my now 7 students, only 2 of them are independent in the bathroom. Four of them require 1:1 assistance in the bathroom and 3 of them are in pull-ups. Needless to say, bathroom times are pretty chaotic.
With 7 students and 4 staff, you would think the ratio is easy to manage, but it’s not when each student requires a significant amount of individualized support to be successful in most tasks, including simple tasks such as checking your schedule, writing your name, or transitioning to another activity. I do have to admit, that going into teaching I did not see myself teaching this young age group, but I love it. It is just a learning opportunity with every step. (But that’s a future blog to come!)
Thank you for taking the time to meet my E1 students. 🙂