Anna Started Kindergarten! 

Anna started Kindergarten!  She has the most wonderful teacher and for this I feel truly blessed!  She felt so proud of herself being able to go to school finally with her brother and sister!  I made her a “visual schedule” for school days so that she knows what she needs to do in the morning to get ready.    For example, I write “wake up, make bed” and place a cartoon picture of a girl making her bed next to the words.  Her following steps include take medicine, brush teeth, brush hair, eat breakfast, sit on potty, get lunch and backpack.  It’s been a few weeks now, and she knows the routine, however, there are days like this morning where she doesn’t want to “get ready” for school.   So, I grabbed the schedule, showed her where she was on it and it actually motivated her to do it.  Also, if she gets distracted and loses track of where she was in the process, she will look at her schedule and get back on track. So, it has helped in a number of ways.  I think knowing that she is a visual learner really helps me to try to creatively present the information to her in a visual format. There were other things we did to prepare her.  In the classroom, because of her small size, her occupational therapist, her teacher, and I had to adjust the desk to make it so that she would be able to write more effectively.  I was so nervous the first day of school and I wanted to contact the teacher, but did not, thinking of how busy she must be the first day!  However, when I checked my email inbox, there was the sweetest email from her teacher letting me know that Anna’s first day went well!  I feel so blessed that the kindergarten teacher has gone above and beyond in helping to support Anna.  She is so patient, kind, and loving towards my daughter and for this, I am beyond grateful.  I’m so touched at the love that this sweet Christian school has offered my children.  All the other students, older, younger, love Anna.   I see them saying bye to her and hugging her.  They help her onto the swing and push it for her.  All the fears that I had prior to starting have now, with the help, support, and encouragement of the school staff and teacher have literally turned into a positive energy and hope to know that Anna can do this!  God led us here, she is fully included and she will grow so much this year!  Now, of course, it’s not all positive news.  The teacher has already had to talk to me about her behavior.  The main problem we are having is when the whistle blows, she is supposed to get off the playground equipment and line up to come back to class.  At least on 3 occasions, possibly more, Anna decided that she would not come off the equipment and has been slow to return to class.  On one occasion, she even hid from the teacher in the slide!  In order to address this problem, we have thought of several options.  One is, I did create a social story with her via the iPad, starring Anna, of course, where she is modeling the appropriate behavior.  Again, utilizing the visual learning style.  We have also talked about giving her a time out coming in from recess if she decides not to come and the teacher is having to go get her.  Will keep you posted whether these methods worked!  So far, we are off to a good start! Watch Anna talk about Kindergarten!
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