Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Parent/Teacher Conference

Today was Nikko's Parent Teacher Conference at Westbrook. I brought along an IEP they sent me with his first semester progress. He had eight goals and I've edited them here to show the progress:

1. Will sort a variety of preacademic functional objects (colors, shapes, animals) into a field of 2, in 3/5 trials. Benchmark Met.
2. Will participate appropriately in routine structured small group activities with no more than 2 verbal/picture cues, for 2 minutes, in 4/5 trials. Not Met. Nikko is inconsistent with his participation.
3. Will follow 3 different 1-step directions in 4/5 trials. Not met - understands stand up, turn around, sit down, walk, run but is not consistent. Often needs physical prompts as well.
4. Will independently use signs, gestures, pictures and/or words to express wants/needs in 2/10 trials. At snack time he requests 8/10 with pictures or signs. In other areas not met yet.
5. When given an individual picture schedule, Nikko will independently transition between activities 25% of the time. Benchmark Met.
6. Given verbal and visual sues, Nikko will demonstrate the following 2/2 of the following skills 1) respond to his name (turn, look) 2) respond appropriately to greetings from peers or adult independently in 2/5 trials. Met with verbal and visual cues.
7. With adult support and visual cues, Nikko will take off his backpack and place it in the designated location on 4 out of 5 opportunities. Benchmark Met.
8. In a one to one setting with visual and verbal cues, will perform one of the following skills in 4 of 5 trials 1) complete a 6 to 8 insert puzzle 2) string 5 beads 3) color with approximation a simple picture with 60% coverage. Benchmark Met. Nikko is able to string beads independently.

The teachers also included something they called "Three stars and a wish":
*Nikko has adjusted quickly to the school routine. He shows an awareness of his surroundings. He seems to be happy at school.
*Nikko plays in a variety of play areas. He plays alongside his peers, using similar/same play materials.
*Nikko is using sign language and pictures to communicate.
WISH: We would like to see Nikko continue to improve his usage of sign language and/or pictures to communicate and transition in the classroom.

Finally, Mrs. I showed us video of Nikko doing his morning sensory diet when he comes to school. They take him to a room to do the wheelbarrow, jump on the trampoline, sit on the floor facing to do row-row-row-your-boat, and then some fine motor table skills. She also gave me a printout of what we can do for him at home for his home sensory diet. After looking at the sensory diet, as well as all the PECS stuff and picture schedule materials they gave me, I realize that I am really going to have to restructure our days so that Nikko gets more out of them than just watching TV and some tickle games. I think having Ronin and Audrey around tend to keep me from doing complex things, but Ronin's at an age where he can learn the same stuff and maybe excel. Audrey might be harder to control, but I'll have to come up with activities for her, too. This doesn't mean it has to be school around here all the time. It can't be! But I will have to strategize how to incorporate the large sensory breaks into the afternoon, and do some mini sensory breaks as well. Sure we'll have days when we have to go to the store, or to mom's house, but I'll think up a generalized schedule, something that can be tweaked. Kathy gave me the picture schedule materials that will be useful to keep Nikko on task, for getting ready for school, to use in the bathroom, eating, and getting ready for bed. I have a LOT of materials to go through!

My mom was kind enough to come out and watch the kids while we were gone. She told me there was crying in the beginning from Nikko, which woke up Ronin, but then he calmed down and went to watch Nemo. When she was getting ready to leave and was getting kisses and hugs from the kids, Nikko independently leaned in and gave her a kiss, then ran off. That put a smile on Mom's face. :) After dinner, we were trying to prompt Nikko to say Chip for some Sun Chips, and he made a "chuh" sound. We took it as an attempt and rewarded him, but when we tried it again later, he was making the sound without looking at us so we pulled back. I had asked his teachers if we should continue to try verbally prompting Nikko and they all agreed that hitting Nikko with visual (pictures and signs) and verbal cues was the best thing we could do with him. Nikko didn't take a nap again today so he was ready for la la land. I have read on some autism boards that some moms give their kids melatonin to sleep better, but these kids have severe sleep issues. Some kids get only two or three hours a day! Nikko gets nine and doesn't seem to have any middle of the night wakings at this point, so I guess that should be satisfactory to me. I really hope he doesn't start having FEWER hours of sleep or it will also affect Ronin, who is in the same room. If that even happens, we would probably have to put Nikko back in the middle room, alone, and Ronin and Audrey would share a room for a while. I figure that there are probably other problems to just giving melatonin straight up to Nikko, like an overdose of melatonin. I don't like to mess with the medical stuff when it comes to Nikko. Maybe having a home sensory diet will help push him toward a daily nap...maybe...

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