Wifey’s Letter to the King’s New Teacher on 1st Day of School
September 13, 2016
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Now Reading: Wifey’s Letter to the King’s New Teacher on 1st Day of School
September 13, 2016
Wifey always writes a great letter/email to the teacher on the first day of school introducing her to the king. I thought I would post this year’s letter because it’s almost a little time capsule of where he was at when he started his 2016-2017 school year. I guess it’s the equivalent of 8th grade for him, but he goes to an all special needs school and is in an all autism classroom with an 8:1:2 ratio (plus several additional 1:1 aides)
Ok, so without further ado, here’s this years letter which she sent in his backpack on the first day of school last Tuesday, September 6th.
As always, the names have been changed to protect the innocent. 🙂
Hello & Happy 1st day of school!!! We are AD & Wifey, K’s parents. I wanted to introduce you to K…
K is generally a very happy guy. He is very affectionate and loving. He loves greeting people, being around activity (not necessarily participating in it) swimming, swinging, snacking, books, music videos & his iPad. K understands everything although he may not present as such. He appreciates being spoken to respectfully and age appropriately and he will show the people that respect him his love in the form of hugs and kisses.
Although he is non-verbal you will soon see that he will get his point across. He will take your hand & lead you to what he wants, he will take your hand and fling it towards an item, he can sign “more”, he’ll touch what ever food he wants, he waves hello & goodbye, fist bumps & high fives when prompted.
Sadly, K has regressed over the past 3 months with his toileting skills. (He urinates in his pants & also needs to “point it down” when sitting on the toilet or else there is a mess). We need to create a behavior plan for his toileting ASAP please. This has to include peeing standing up, since he tends to want to sit. His time sitting on the toilet needs to be watched or he will take too much time. I have tried training at home the same way I taught him in the past but it’s not working. We all need to be consistent. So for now, he needs to be taken to the bathroom every 15 minutes. I can send in pull-ups but I really hate to do that. (I’ll have him wear one for the first couple of days of school until things get started). Also, if you put the toilet paper in his had and tell him to wipe, he will wipe. He probably won’t get himself clean but it’s a start.
Sleep / seizures:
K sleeps a great deal. We are not sure why. He may sleep because of puberty, boredom, medications, seizures or a combination of them all. K often naps at school. We don’t like it but we don’t know if it can be stopped. Naps should not be encouraged. When K sleeps he needs to be watched very closely because that’s when he has his seizures. K’s seizures are generally petite – grand mal, the violent part lasting about 30 seconds the “aftermath” where he is less rigid, has unusual breathing, is slightly responsive & slowly coming out of the seizure can last another 30-45 seconds. (The school nurse is very familiar).
K has a VNS device (like a “pacemaker for the brain”) on the left side of his chest, under the muscle, near his arm pit. When he has a seizure the divice will hopefully make the seizure less intense or prevent it all together. Furthermore, we have specific magnets that can be waved over the device for 5 seconds while the seizure is in progress to hopefully stop it in its tracks. It doesn’t always work, but it’s worth a shot. K’s 1:1 aide needs to be shown how this is done. Actually, every adult in the classroom should know how to wave the magnet over the device. It’s very simple & cannot hurt him. The school nurse knows all about this. I will send a magnet in a ziplock for the 1:1 to have on him at all times.
Often bouncing on a yoga ball, swinging and chewy tubes help K regulate. His OT from last year, knows him well.
Behaviors come & go. He has been pretty easy going with me this summer. At times he hits – often out of excitement & impulse. It’s always with a smile on his face & usually with someone he likes a great deal. K’s hitting is never malicious.
K only drinks water out of a water bottle or fountain. He can eat with a fork but that’s not my priority. K presents as “lazy” and needs to be pushed to be independent. Even little things like opening a door, opening a ziplock bag, a container and of course we have been working on dressing and bathroom routine for years.
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call me or K’s Dad. We are always available. Our contact info is below
I have also included a communication notebook in K’s backpack as well as snacks for school.
Also included in K’s backpack is an iPad (blue/black case that is used only for communication).
In addition to K’s backpack he has a “bus bag” where his personal Ipad needs to go back and forth with him on the bus. He needs his iPad for the hour long ride. (K travels an hour on the bus from home). If possible, unless totally necessary, I prefer that he spends his downtime at school without his home iPad. (Since he is on it so much at home).
I think that pretty much covers it, for the first day anyway 😉
Thank you very much for your kind attention to this note. I hope it helps!
AD & Wifey
Written byFrank Campagna
I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).