At then end of Johnny’s Senior Kindergarten year we were preparing for the transition to Grade 1. One of the things we wanted to do was to have him meet his Grade 1 teacher. Unfortunately the Principal hadn’t finalized that decision yet so we would have to wait for late August when the school re-opens to hopefully make those introductions. But we did find out from the Educational Assistant that the school board had hired a teacher for the new ISP Autism Room and that the teacher was working at the Johnny’s school already but in another classroom. I asked the EA to take Johnny to meet the ISP Room teacher and let them get to know each other and for him to check out the new classrooms since they are in a different part of the school then the kindergarten rooms. I also decided to write a little letter for Johnny to give to the teacher that would hopefully fill in the gaps of who he was when and if the words failed him.
Johnny is a happy, friendly, creative curious boy who is also very determined and passionate about what he does. He loves to create, draw, paint, build and construct. He is now trying to create objects by drawing them and cutting them out and then using them in pretend play or in his construction projects. He loves to build and construct re-creations of construction projects he will see in the neighbourhood. He has Lego but right now he is into re-purposing other toys and objects into building materials. ie wooden track is lumber, duplo blocks make skyscrapers, clear windows of food packaging boxes are windows. He is also creating renovation additions using these materials for his sister’s dollhouse much to her chagrin.
Johnny loves to paint to create as well as enjoy the sensory side. Recently a selection of his paintings and art done on the iPad was shown at an art show for Autistic children in Iowa which made him so proud.
Johnny is very interested in how things work and if he can do it too. He is fascinated with drains, taps and water but its also because he likes to look at the pipes under sinks and then visit the plumbing aisle in Home Depot and play with the pieces. The same can be said for electrical, wires, outlets and computers. When we hung our Christmas lights outside he drew drawings of how we placed the lights. He looks at our laptop or computer and sees how we connect it up or all the accessories and sits and draws all of his own tech devices, cuts it out and puts it by ours.
Johnny is a visual learner who sees everything but also hears everything. His sensory processing challenge is that if he sees too much then he has trouble listening or if its very loud ie recess, gym or an excited classroom then it’s hard for him to process. We also find that when he learns something new he can look away and appear that he is not paying attention but he is thinking. When he gets very interested about a task he begins to stim by flapping a lot and having trouble sitting still. He is very motivated at this point and we have found the weighted vest helpful because he is a deep pressure seeker but we let him flap because it seems to help him self regulate faster. He is beginning to learn about the “zones of regulation” and we will hear him correctly identify when he is in his red zone or green zone.
We look forward to meeting you and working with you as Johnny begins his post kindergarten journey in school
I think every year I am going to write a personal I introduction regarding Johnny for each new teacher. It couldn’t hurt right?
Art Work Graphic Credit ~ http://freedesignfile.com