Friday, October 24, 2008

Sweet Feet

I took the kids to get their picture taken. . . well, pictures of their feet, anyway. The picture turned out soooooo cute! I wish I could have been able to afford the wall-size portrait. Instead, I settled for a smaller framed version.

Teagan is doing awesome. She is still sleeping great, especially at night. She has been going 5-7 hours at night, meaning TJ hasn't had to get up with her for a few days. :) I, on the other hand, am still absolutely exhausted. I haven't been getting to bed until between 11:30 and midnight, and then Teagan wakes between 3:30 and 4:30am to feed. Thursday she woke at 4:30 and didn't go back down until 5:15am. My alarm goes off at 5:30. Needless to say, I didn't go back to bed and am still suffering from the lack of sleep.

I am slowly beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as school work goes. I am teaching a lot and learning so much. I also had a sort of epiphany moment regarding a solution for my own kids. I can't wait to find time to implement my new behavior plan. A lot of what makes up special education is understanding behaviors, their function, and taking data to support the hypothesis- all behavior is communicative (we communicate our wants, needs, likes, dislikes through our behavior. Think about it- when you're in a good mood, your behavior reflects that and you communicate that through smiling, hugging, etc. The same is true for when you are in a bad mood- your behavior is much harsher, rougher). Anyway, I have noticed that one of my children has a difficult time processing information, especially when it is given all at one time. To make it easier on him, TJ and I have started using one-word commands rather than whole sentences (i.e. "Teeth, hair, bed" instead of saying, "Go brush your teeth. Then, when you're finished, comb your hair and make your bed.") See how much easier it is to process? But, although he's doing better, he still has trouble remembering what he needs to do and when. He is able to do the first task, and sometimes the second and third depending on if the tasks are related (teeth and hair are similar since they both occur in the bathroom and involve brushing). However, if the tasks are non-related (i.e. put the cup on the counter, get your shoes on, lock the back door), then he has difficulty getting past the second task. I have decided to implement a visual schedule for our various routines. I am going to make one for the morning, one for the afternoon, and one for the evening. I am going to put them on Velcro strips so that he can monitor his own progress. I simply Velcro the tasks I want him to complete and he brings me the picture symbols once he has completed the task. I am also hoping this will eliminate the need for me to continue repeating myself 500 times a day. I'm sick of hearing myself talk and I know my kids are, too. This is the same type of intervention that is used for children with autism, but I know it will work for my kids, too. Think about it- I write a To-Do list on a daily basis and check off tasks as I complete them. This is essentially what I am doing except using picture symbols instead of words (although there will be words on it, too). I am simply giving my son a tool to use to promote his independence and decrease his off-task behaviors (he is easily sidetracked, especially if he can't remember what he's supposed to be doing). Of course, I wouldn't be a true special ed teacher if I didn't take data to record his progress, so once I get all the picture symbols made and implement them, I will begin to take data. I'll let you know how it goes. I hope to get the pictures made soon (as in the next week or so) but I'll have to see. I have some more major assignments I have to complete these next 2 weeks so they are sort of my priority.

Well, it's time for me to get the laundry in the dryer and then I'm headed to bed early tonight. Have a great weekend!

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