Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday, Day 7 of School

So....where was I?

Kaylen had a VERY successful day yesterday and stayed 70 minutes without tears (once we got there. TONS of tears beforehand though) and without me being in the room the entire time. She was happy and very proud of herself and set the goal for two hours for today. Everyone at school was happy for the success and thrilled that she was willing to double the time so quickly.

Dakota and I later met with the principal, teacher and counselor yesterday and came up with some plans to put into action. Mostly, they let us take the lead but did asked questions about her SI, her early days dealing with it, the new anxiety piece that we've discovered (but can trace back to her infancy as well). It was nice to be listened to, respected and asked how we thought it should be handled and together, we all came up with a plan.

Basically, we have built in an "escape hatch" for her. The "escape hatch" works like this: She picked out a stuffed buddy to take to school. It sits on a shelf behind the teachers desk. When she feels the need for a break from the noise and confusion, she goes to get her bear. The teacher will then send her down to her "safe person" which Kaylen choose to be one of the secretaries. Sandy has a special place for her to sit and gives Kaylen a piece of gum that I supplied. (Chewing helps reset the nervous system) She can sit there for as long as she needs. When she is feeling better, she spits out her gum and returns to class.

I ran her through it all this morning and Sandy showed her a special place to sit and showed her exactly where she is keeping Kaylen's gum. We then went to class where she did great! I stayed for about 15 minutes and then I told her I had PTO things to do and she gave me permission to leave. I was gone for well over an hour. When I started back to her room, Sandy told me that she had been done once and stayed for 5 minutes. She sat down, chewed a piece of gun and seemed much more calm than when she arrived. She then headed back to class.

I went down to the room where she was working on reading. She had such a huge smile when she saw me. I pulled her aside for a quick minute, gave her a hug and told her how proud I was that she squished her brain bug and took control to make herself feel safe. She then went back to work and I went back out to the office.

At the two hour mark I went back into the room and they were getting ready to go to "walking club" which basically takes them on a nice walk before lunch. She looked at me and said "Mom? I'm ready to go now." SHE MADE HER TWO HOUR GOAL!!!!!

I am so proud of her and she is proud of herself.

Tomorrow will be interesting. She and I are planning to make it to the early release time of 12:50 which would make it a little more than double what she was there for today. That does take into account walking club, lunch and recess so I hoping like heck she can make it.

This is quite the unexpected journey she and I are on but so far, we are seeing success which is a very good thing.

And now - just for fun; here are two pictures I took last night. As you can see, Kaylen climbed a tree in the yard. She climbed higher than I could reach. This is not a fearful child by nature - and we all know that she can do anything she sets her mind to. Thankfully she loves school and wants to be there so hopefully this rocky part will be short lived. She's an amazing child. Simply amazing.


Shannon said...

Wow! She's doing so well! You must be really proud of her.

Tribe Mama said...

This is excellent news Casey! I am happy that what you guys are trying is working and the all of you are seeing success. What a strong little girl you have there, anxiety can cause such limitations, it is awesome the way you are all working to empower her and how she is working to overcome that nasty brain bug! WTG!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a really solid plan for class time Casey. Many schools would not be so flexible about things like leaving class or gum, you really lucked out. Lunch in the cafeteria is often too much for kids with SI issues, so much noise, etc. and not eating makes it hard for them to cope later in the day. It might be a good idea to keep tabs on that part of the day as well. Some schools have an option to eat in the library, with a counselor, etc.

Hope tomorrow goes really smoothly!

Casey said...

Jennifer, There are a couple people watching out for her at lunch and we will come up with a plan if she needs one. The school has been amazing about all this though I am sure, to some extent, it helps that I am a very involved parent being president of the PTO and all. I would hope it would go as well for someone who is not well known in the school as it has for us because everyone should have understanding educators to work with.

Let me say again though - the gum is ONLY allowed in her space behind the front desk. She cannot chew it anywhere else.

Stacey said...

Glad your plan is working!!!

Tanya said...

You are really lucky that you are able to handle it the way you are. Being able to go with her to class and to have modified days that seem to be working for her and most importantly the school is being very flexible and helpful. I've been warned by the ped that while the schools are required to provide service I'd be lucky to get them with all the budget issues. I'd be afraid that if I stayed with J at all or let him to short days to start, that he would never want to deviate from that.

Casey said...

There are laws in place for a reason. If a child carries a DX then they are REQUIRED to provide services in the form of an IEP (Individualized Education Plan)or a 504.

Every child is entitled to an education which is why the laws are in place - budget issues be damned.

It might be a good idea in January to talk with the school J will be attending to get things rolling for him. Find out what you need to do to have things ready to go, etc.

I can help somewhat......most of the laws are federal so they are the same for every state.