On Tuesday, Morgan's AIM teacher as well as her OT (Occupational Therapist) came to our home for her parent-teacher conference. There has been no school this week to allow the teachers to do these visits. At the beginning of the school year Morgan's teacher from the integrated class came to our house to introduce herself. I believe they do these home visits to also assist parents in issues at home. If they share about how they conduct the class this can be adapted in many ways to the home. Also, I think it also helps the teachers get to know the individual child better, so they can enhance their learning experience.
Well, overall Morgan is doing really well in school. They said she is happy and flexible in her routine and her peers really like her....huh?! What?! Is this the same kid we have screaming at us at bedtime that she doesn't want to give her sister hugs and kisses goodnight and then when we close the door of her room she screams to give Piper hugs and kisses? The same kid that MUST watch Tinker Bell RIGHT NOW and has a fit if we say no? Hmmm. Well, we know enough about kids her age that this is not uncommon. Even for typical kids, at home they push the boundaries and up the demands. Really, it was great to hear that her behavior is so good at school. We can deal with the home issues, we know she has it in her to behave well and we do see it at home...but we know developmentally there's a place for the challenges as well.
Morgan's teachers showed us where she is at with her IEP goals. These are up for review/revising next week, so it was nice to have this meeting to give input on next year's goals. She has surpassed some goals and gotten close on others. We are really happy with her progress, especially these first few months of the AIM program. Whatever they are doing, and we are doing, it is really helping her progress.
They shared that she does well academically. Morgan does not have any "cognitive" goals on her IEP. This means that she is keeping par with typical kids on her overall understanding many processes and knowing facts. She can sequence pictures, match like objects, of course her counting, number recognition and such things have always been good. This gives me a lot of peace of mind as I hear the better "outcomes" for kids with Autism tend to be for the ones with average and above average intelligence. We have been reassured many times in the last few weeks that Morgan falls in this area of at least average intelligence.
Her fine motor skills are improving. She struggles the most with her "grasp" of writing instruments. She automatically wants to put her fist around it instead of holding it with the tips of her fingers. This is something we can work on at home as well. She is getting better with scissors on cutting straight lines, but will soon graduate to working on cutting shapes. The OT gave us a list of activities we can work on at home. I always have a hard time coming up with these things at home, to having this tool with really help.
I loved it most when they said her peers like her and like to be around her. I'm pretty sure this is mostly the kids in her intervention class. I didn't think to ask about kids in her integrated class. I'll have to ask in her IEP meeting. I shared one area I wanted to see added to her goal and that is working on pretend/imaginative play. She just does not do this much at all, individually and with peers. There is so much socially that is learned from pretend play...making up games, problem solving, role playing. Really, it is real life stuff. If they can help her to develop this area, it will help her so much.
I'm sure there is more that was said, but memory is failing me now. We are just so glad that Morgan has this wonderful program and such support around her at school. I know families struggle so much with school districts and the services available. We may encounter issues in the future, but we are grateful for what we have right now.