Tuesday, June 2, 2009

This morning instead of watching Cooper's class I went to visit Quinn's class. Of course I pick the morning that Cooper does something big! Well, big for Cooper anyway. During circle time Cooper is very shy and reserved, he only participates when he has to. Today he really wanted his turn with the parashute so when the teacher said "If you want a turn do this" and she patted her knees; Cooper did it! This was the first time he ever did anything like that in a group setting and with no prompting. It took five months for him to finally do it, but at least he did it :)

I went to see Quinn's class for two reasons. Of course to check on Quinn, but also to see how good a fit it would be for Cooper next year. The environment in that classroom is just so positive and supportive compared to the other classes I saw. Everyone there is happy, the teacher, the aides, and the students. They play outside everyday unless there is bad weather, which is important for Cooper. I have made my decision and that is the class I want Cooper in next year. I am going to try and get the IEP to state he should also spend 5 hours a week in the inclusive classroom that will have mainly typical 3 year olds in it. Even if we can't get it in the IEP yet, the teacher promised she will work with me on it. So he will be about 8 hours special ed and 5 hours regular ed and I think that might be really good for him.

Quinn wasn't too excited to see me when I got there, but his teacher was! Quinn's aide was out sick today so they really needed the extra help. I am not sure I did so well, I didn't pay close enough attention and he ate some sand and also colored his mouth green with a marker. Oh well. He seemed to have a fun day, they played outside in the water table and he really liked that. The teacher makes all the kids take their shirts off and put on their "painting shirts" for water play. That meant there were all these little kids running around in adult sized t-shirts, it was so cute! At least Quinn is tall enough that he wasn't tripping over his, he is almost a full head taller than all the other kids. That makes sense since he is 5 and most of them are 3, but Cooper is going to be just as tall if not taller next year. It is clear that Quinn needs more than he can get at his current school, being there today also made me feel better about our decision to switch schools next year.

After that I went and picked Cooper up (Quinn had to take the bus home). That is where I found out they fired one of the aides in his class. It is probably for the best because it was obvious she wasn't living up to their very strict standards. They have the most amazing teachers at KKI and now I understand why, they don't mess around! It was a beautiful day so we went to the playground between schools. Cooper was so excited to be there because it had been a while. He went right to his swing and I started pushing him. I push him from the front so I can work with him on stuff and also so I can see his great smile. I was pushing him and this teenage girl came up behind him and started pushing him from behind! I was really surprised at first but then I realized that she was "special". There was actually a whole group of teens with developmental disabilities there today! I guess she was drawn to me and Cooper because we are special too :) I actually really appreciated the help because it isn't as easy to push from the front. Cooper thought is was great! She got bored and went off to gossip with her friends and another boy came over and asked if he could push Cooper. I said yes, of course, but his teacher came over and told him he wasn't allowed to :( At least he asked!

Anyway, as I was pushing Cooper I was thinking how he had imitated in class so I told him to pat his knees. He did it! So I told him to clap and he did that too (kinda, he just puts his hands together). So I told him to put his arms up and he did that also! He was an imitating rockstar today! I was really proud of him.