Zavier's in preschool Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12:15-3:15pm. It's a church preschool about 20 mins away from our house. It's a structured, loving, and fun environment for him. There were originally 15 kids in his class; Zavier and 1 other child in class have special needs. The other kids are "normal" or "typical," and they are all really great kids. Zavier is in there without an aide, which had been a (seemingly far-fetched) dream of mine since he regressed into severe, non-responsive, non-verbal autism at age 2.5.
His teacher met with every parent individually yesterday for progress updates. Here is what she wrote on Zavier's report:
-Separates easily and seems to be happy in class
-Has learned routine and follows it pretty well
-He's developing appropriately for physical development/large motor skills
-He loves books
-Is attentive at circle time for books and stories
-His favorite playground activities are bikes, sand, books in quiet area. He likes to run, jump on the trampoline, and he goes on the obstacle course
-His fav classroom activities are puzzles, books, and the cd player.
-He cuts with help in guiding paper
-He's beginning to write
-He can manipulate small pieces
-He will do art activities, but with a short attention span
-He knows his colors, shapes, etc
-He uses numbers and counting
-He works puzzles [24-60pc]
She said at the beginning of the school year, he wanted to play with her cd player. Eventually, after saying, "no Zavier, that's MY cd player, don't touch it," for about a month, he finally understood that while he has his own cd player at home, he's not welcome to touch her cd player. So that's resolved.
She also said that he cried on the first day of school, and on the second day of school he saw me through the window and cried. But that was it, and that made me feel better. She said he's really happy and cooperative in school. He doesn't have transition issues. Sometimes they'll go up to him to give him instructions if they feel he hasn't heard them from across the room. He doesn't have a direct 1:1 aide.
Let's see, what else...she said that some kids, both typical and with special needs, give her a tough time, but Zavier isn't like that. She said he's so well behaved that he's one of her easier kids.
She said he does talk and answer questions in class, but that his voice is soft/quiet, and she wanted ideas for encouraging him to talk louder.
Our main goal now is to help Zavier talk/play with his peers. His peers are sweet and they come up to him and say, "hi Zavier, want to play with me?" But they don't end up playing because Zavier doesn't know how to respond or what to do (this is a very common problem in autism). I asked her if it'd be ok if one of Zavier's ABA therapists came into the classroom once/month to facilitate play with his peers. She said yes! I was so relieved. Now I just have to get it approved through some other people.