When Olivia started junior high, all I wanted was for her to have a teacher, and hopefully a set of peers, who saw her for her and not just for her disability. I wanted her teacher to truly know her, to understand her and, most importantly, to love and enjoy her.
I got my wish.
Olivia’s teacher this year is, again, amazing. We have been so blessed in our school system to work with truly outstanding individuals. This year is no exception. Mrs. M has done wonderful work with Olivia. Most importantly, every day Olivia comes home and tells me school was “fantastic”…what more could I ask for?
Mrs. M has very high expectations for Olivia which is exactly what she needs. She also tailors the lessons to interest Olivia. For example, for reading she will find stories about Frozen or A Bug’s Life or whatever Olivia is into that week. She’s always looking for new ways to excite Olivia about learning. I love that.
Mrs. M is also on board with me when looking for new ways for Olivia to interact with her typical peers. She has arranged for an aide to stay with Olivia after school so she can participate in Spirit Club. She also started a Circle of Friends club where typical peers stay after with the kids with special needs to play games and hang out. We’re looking into Olivia participating in the band (!) next year, foreign language, choir and trying baton twirling. Olivia’s fascinated by baton twirlers. Who knew? Needless to say, I feel really good about Olivia’s school days! She is loved and accepted and that’s all I’ve ever wanted.
For all of my CdC friends (and anyone else who’s interested) look at these lofty and impressive goals Mrs. M has set for Miss Olivia. I know I would be interested in seeing others goals when I first started on this journey. I hope it’s helpful to someone out there in the void!
For reading, she is working on increasing her fluency and comprehension. She is very good at comprehension and is reading more and more words every day. We are SO proud of her progress in reading. She and I (and Matthew) are reading Harry Potter #1 right now. She loves to read books. So far she’s enjoying and understanding it. We have to read Frozen first, of course. 😉 She is working on reading words in isolation, blending sounds and syllables and referring to text to locate an answer to a question by pointing or highlighting to the answer.
For math, she is working on counting coins, rounding to nearest dollar and giving the correct amount of money to an adult, compare two values and count with one-to-one correspondence. The one-to-one thing is SO hard for Olivia. I don’t know why…but it is! She is also working on continuing to tell time on a digital clock and understanding the time in reference to her activities. For example, 7:00 a.m. is when she eats breakfast, etc. Really great independent living skills, don’t you think?
For social interaction, Olivia will participate in conversations with a “script” and then with fading prompting so she can have a conversation on her own. She will work on responses to questions in conversations and closings instead of just walking away. She’s come a long way in this area!! (Just ask all of the strangers she talks to in bathrooms!)
Pretty impressive, right? I was so thrilled to see these high expectations for my girl. I have no doubt she can do it!! I could not be happier about her education. Thank you, Mrs. M and everyone that works with my special girl!