• Kelli Francis

Kate’s Preschool Adventures 01.14.19 – 01.18.19

This week, Kate began participating in a new weekly break-out group offered by the school’s occupational therapist. I keep the school up-to-date on all goals being pursued inside of Kate’s early childhood intervention, and motor planning is at the top of our list so I am very excited about the motor work done in this week’s OT group. I am also grateful for the increases in engagement and desire for interaction that we’re seeing in Kate. Peers are a child’s highest-quality teachers ... but for a child like Kate who is on the Autism Spectrum, incidental learning alongside peers is not a given. It must be worked for, so I am thankful for Kate’s classmates and her facilitator, who are helping her make the kind of enriching connections that significantly increase Kate’s interest in the world around her.


Below are a few highlights of Kate’s week, January 14 – 18, 2019, taken from her facilitator’s daily note:


This morning Kate worked on puzzles with friends.


Later she played a game with Alexander, Keith, and Reese. She did a great job today with spinning (that is something we work on whenever we have the opportunity). Just encouraging her by saying, "spin" she was able to do so independently. Even her friends commented, at one point, "Good spin, Kate." Also, she passed materials to the next player with hearing the player's name. She stayed engaged the entire time, through two rounds of the game and also through an entire puzzle. This is awesome!


We resumed our scooter board fun today with Cameron. The girls played "tag" on the boards and Kate had a great time chasing Cameron. She is using her legs so much more. She signed "thank you" to Cameron for joining her on the adventure.


Kate held "prayer hands" the entire duration of us singing our blessing for snack. She did a great job waiting for everyone to be seated before prayer and signed "eat" before she began.


This morning Kate was exited to make mail for Reese for her morning provocation. She kept touching Reese's picture that was already glued onto the envelope. Each child has his/her picture on the mailbox, so Kate had to look closely at the mailboxes to find Reese's. She was matching the picture on the envelope to the picture on the mailbox.


We visited Ms. Luba in the library this morning and checked out books. Then, before small groups, Kate invited Campbell to come along with her to ride scooter boards. The lights temporarily went out in the tunnel and the girls were excited to use the light shining in from outdoors to help guide our paths. We are able to work on so many skills during this time, like "Ready, Set, Go", "yes" and "no", "all done", "thank you" and so much more.

Kate did great in the OT group today. They played a movement game also with movements similar to "head, shoulders, knees, and toes." She was able to practice writing. She and the other children made treasure maps using vibrating pencils and also practiced diagonal, horizontal, and vertical lines. They also used big and little sticks to form letters "E" and "F". Then, they completed an obstacle course with swings, trampolines, and tunnels.

Happy Friday! Ms. Patty brought us a gift today for our learning table. She brought us a hyacinth flower. We used that during our small groups today and Kate used water colors to paint the leaves and the flower buds.

George was Kate's scooter buddy today. They had such a good time. I can tell that Kate is so excited each day when we go on our "special adventure" to ride scooter boards. She starts skipping and smiling. She was a little bit restless during morning meeting today, so the sensory break was very helpful.


Kate and Reese arrived together this morning and Reese wanted to help Kate remove her coat and also hang her bag, but we encouraged Kate to do it herself. Reese loves to help Kate, and we are working on reminding all of our classroom friends to let Kate "practice" and try things on her own and to encourage her with words.

Kate was our song leader this week, which she thoroughly enjoyed. When we visited Ms. Libby for music class, Kate got to play a ukulele and a thumb piano. Ms. Libby is introducing the class to new instruments and Kate is enjoying it. There are also lots of songs that we sang with body movements and Kate, with a little guidance, is following along.

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