It has been a chilly wet day today and we have enjoyed playing inside. Days like this give me the opportunity to do some observing to see what changes we have made as individuals and as children. This late in the year many times we see children that were quiet and reserved and tended to play mostly alone join other children in pretend play or making fantastic puppet shows. Long periods of uninterrupted play give us time to build the relationships where so desperately need. Have you ever heard the poem ” Every thing i need to know I learned in Kindergarten ?”
“These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):
1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don’t hit people.
4. Put thngs back where you found them.
5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
7. Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Stryrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first workd you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.”
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
snt it all so true. Think about it. The rest of the knowledge we acquire is icing on the cake.
We talked about the nursery rhyme ” Hey Diddle Diddle ” today.
We looked at pictures of the moon and talked about what we see when we look at it . And we talked about when we see the moon. We talked about why some moons are white and some are yellow. And also, can a cow REALLY jump over the moon ?
We made a nice teacher directed craft ( remember the difference between art and a craft ).
All in all it was a good day. If I had to chose to be locked inside on a rainy day with 16 kiddos , these would be the cool kids I would hang out with. When all else fails Mr Randy pulls another ” Dooney , Bird and Onion ” story to calm the room. Dooney , Bird and Onion are Randy’s cousins and the kids never tire of hearing stories about the four of them from the old days. Fact and fiction have been blurred in my mind now to the point I dont know which ones are true and which ones are not.
Today is National Autism Awareness Day. I am sure you have seen the post all over facebook. Our Main Street is even celebrating it with specials . Pour Jons is allocating all their tips for the day to ” Ability Tree” which serves families with children with disabilities.
What is Autism ? According to the website Autism Speaks :
“Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.
ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art.
Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age.
Did you know …
Autism now affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys
Autism prevalence figures are growing
Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism
There is no medical detection or cure for autism
Wow ! What is causing all these numbers to rise so quickly ? There are studies out there that point in many different directions . We can continue to pray for answers and build strong educational foundations for our kids. Who knows maybe one day one of our preschoolers will find that puzzle piece that figures all this out and changes the lives of people all over the world.
Did you know Albert Einstien had Autism ? Darryl Hannah and Bill Gates also were diagnosed with Autism .
This year a little boy with big beautiful eyes entered our preschool classroom. His brother came to our preschool and he had been around us at family events so I knew there was something a little different about him. The first few days I was really worried. I questioned my ability as a teacher to handle the challenges laid before me. I cried. I cried a lot. I was worried that I could not be the teacher that this little boy needed me to be. I didnt have specialized training to help me. With all the other children I have a tool belt filled with redirections and proven methods to manage their time in my classroom. This little boy couldnt speak to me to tell me why he was crying. He said one word to me – No. I heard NO a lot. After many tears I had a couple friends come in that had specialized training and experience to give me pointers on what I needed to do. With tears in my eyes I asked ” Should he be here ? ” Marcy looked at me and quietly said ” yes, he does, I cant think of a better place for him to be.” ( Reliving that moment brings tears to my eyes now. ) Marcy believed in me. Mom and dad believed in me. So , from that day on, I decided he had a home in our preschool and I would do my best everyday to help him , though I wasnt sure what ” help him” looked like . Randy, Dallas , all the moms and dads that volunteer, the special teachers that come in to help and the mom and dad all work very hard to help. A few days later a package was delivered to me from a precious mentor friend that had a philosophy lotion set in it .The box said ” you are wonderful “. It also had many many books about Austism. I started reading. I started watching documentaries. I started asking lots of questions. I started praying a lot..,,, a whole lot.
See, it isnt just about me or the impact on my classroom it is about the little boy. I want him to succeed . I want what is best for him . I dont want to tolerate him in my classroom I want him to grow.
As I read and watched and asked I also fell in love. I fell in love with the big eyed little boy named Ty.
Now, dont get me wrong we still have days I want to cry but not once has the thought of giving up crossed my mind. I remember the first day he said ” bebbie” It was like my own child had spoken his first words.
Ty has many words now. Sometimes he chooses to use them and sometimes he doesnt. Ty is brilliant. One day Randy was playing with him on the computer and he saw the word STOP and said STOP. Hmm… Lets try another one. Car . Cat Dog Go Oh my LORD ! TY CAN READ !
Ty does hit sometimes. He isnt as verbal as others ( remember you read that is part of Autism ) so when the words dont come sometimes he uses his hands. He doesnt mean to hurt he just wants to badly to be included and for you to understand what is going on in his head that he cant get out his mouth.
Ty was diagnosed with Autism. Autism is just a word it isnt who Ty is.
Ty loves cars.
Ty loves Pete the Cat.
He loved to bang on the drum
Ty loves to play on the IPAD in the loft.
Ty mainly eats carbs.
Ty knows all of his alphabet and the sounds that they make.
Ty is a big brother and a little brother.
Ty LOVES nap time.
Ty understands everything that I say.
Ty thinks that Randy is funny .
Ty can write his name.
Ty is so much more than Autistic.
The day Marcy came she said ” at the end of the year you will be so glad you did this. It will change who you are.”
It has and I am forever grateful to Ty for opening my eyes to his world.
I asked permission from Ty’s mom, Rhonda to post this today. Thank you Rhonda for allowing me to share my heart on this special day and thank you for sharing Ty. I asked Rhonda to write a few words as well. Here are her thoughts.
“Everyday is a new day. There are easy days and there are days that i question everything from “what am I doing wrong” to “why my child?” It’s tough realizing that my child “isn’t like the other kids” but I am discovering that there is beauty in that. Ty is not like the other kids. He is unique. Ty is one in a billion and I am his mom. Our life is an adventure and we learn new things everyday.”