Monday, November 24, 2008

Parent Teacher Conference

I met with Carver's teachers on Friday and loved it. We didn't address goals/skills, just chatted about how he's doing, what works and what challenges there are.

She said that he began the year very bus-oriented. He'd listen for cars and trucks and start shouting "bus" if he heard something rumble by. But she's noticed him become more school-oriented, which is good! He comes in super excited and likes to help everyone with their coats and backpacks, which all get hung up. Sometimes that involves yelling, "bus, bus!" and causing a little trouble with those who don't like loud noises. He's also a bit of the town crier at snack time, when he likes to announce, "clean up!" when it's time to clear dishes and wash hands. That brought a smile to my face. He loves that role at home now, too. It's pretty cute.... and loud.

They have circle time after everyone is in and settled and this part is tricky for him because it's hard to sit flat on the ground. He has been doing well with a rubber cushion:

with a wedge shaped foam on top:

His teacher thinks it's hard for him because it stretches his hamstrings and he's a little stiff. I believe it! She feels like he's making progress and now only uses the rubber cushion. I'd like to get one for home use, too, but we'll see how that fits into the budget right now. (I found in my searching and it's an AWESOME website. I'm really excited about it!)

We talked awhile about Carver's desire for any attention, negative in particular. He has been known to sweep things off the table at school (just like at home!) and his teacher had a stroke of brilliance one day completely ignoring him. She pointed to the mess and didn't look at him. It took him a minute of waiting for something to happen, but then he hopped down to get the toys. If only I could always be so patient! It's good motivation for me, that's for sure! And it also impresses me to hear how they handle his antics. That same day he struggled to finish his "job" of beading (something he excelled at just two days before), he took 20 minutes to finish it before joining the rest of the class. He heard them moving on and doing fun things and finally finished. He was putting together an "if... then" behavior pattern, which we are working on at home, as well. Hurray!

He loves adult praise and attention so he LOVES his time with the specialists, his speech therapist and physical therapists. That time has been really productive, which is great to hear. He definitely likes one-on-one time with grown-ups. He invites me for that kind of play ALL day! :) I'm glad that it's working to his advantage in therapy.

The class is growing to 14 students in January and his teacher is pushing the district to open another class. It's really too many special need 3 year olds, even for 3 teachers! They don't even have peer models in their class. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, for everyone's sakes. I'm sure it's not easy for the district to balance all the needs in the schools, but this seems like a pretty important one to me.

We talked and laughed together about how Carver's diapers are a little snug and wondered about pull-ups. They had a good point about the stretchy sides being more comfortable. I think I'm still too cheap. And they aren't easier to get on. Besides, they aren't as absorbent since they really aren't intended as diapers. Maybe I'll try another brand. And hopefully Carver potty-trains before his diapers don't reach around him anymore! :)

Overall, I'm impressed and pleased with what I've seen at school. The projects he brings home are well-thought out and represent hours of classroom work, literally. These kids get very specific directions on the smallest details. What patient teachers! They are making all the difference for our little guy!

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