Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Preschool and Some Accomplishments

The time has finally come for Dylan to start preschool.  I still can't quite believe it.  I am still not sure that he is ready but I guess I'll never know unless we give it a try.  I will say this though, I am feeling very happy about the school that he will be attending.  The staff there were so welcoming and friendly and fell in love with our little man the first time they saw him.  We knew it was going to be the perfect school for him.  He most likely won't be starting until the end of August but I thought that I would post some info about the school because I have had a lot of people asking about it. 

The CHIME Preschool and Kindergarten Inclusion Program an alternative to public school programs for children ages three through six years. It provides an educational and therapeutic program in which special education, speech and language therapy, and other needed services are provided in an integrated fashion in the context of the general classroom.

The goal of this program is to facilitate children's development by (1) providing access to the regular early education program, including its curriculum, environment, and inclusion with typically developing peers; and (2) providing transdisciplinary early intervention in a developmentally appropriate context.

The CHIME curriculum facilitates children's development in all domains, including language/ communication, social, adaptive, problem solving, social, and fine and gross motor.

The program has an emphasis on child-initiated activity and learning through exploration and play. Children who have disabilities may need extra support to succeed in this type of learning environment. CHIME staff help children to learn to select and complete activities with increasing independence, to initiate and sustain play with peers, and to use appropriate language and social skills to solve problems and conflicts as they arise.

Individual activity plans are developed and implemented on a daily basis to address each child's IEP (Individualized Education Program) objectives. These plans are carried out in both regular classroom activities and in small group or individual sessions with a paraprofessional or special education teacher. Progress is monitored on a regular basis through daily and weekly written notes, as well as regular reviews at staffing meetings.

Speech and Language therapy is provided in the context of the regular classroom and outdoor curriculum activities and routines to facilitate language and communication in a social context. Each child’s program is individualized and targeted support is provided throughout the school day. By bringing the expertise of the professional to the classroom recommended strategies are modeled and taught to the rest of the staff.

Inclusion is a team effort combining the expertise of general early childhood educators, special educators, designated instructional services (i.e., speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, adapted physical education teachers, etc.), and parents. This requires ongoing, intensive collaboration with time and resources for joint planning, staff development, and reflection on the success of the program.

The inclusion team consists of the general and special education teachers, paraprofessionals, designated instructional services personnel and other consultants; and the parents and other family members.

The CHIME inclusion specialist (special education teacher), a professional with expertise in early childhood-special education, develops and models classroom modifications, lesson plans, and intervention strategies. The special education teacher partners with the general education teacher to provide planning, teaching and assessment. In addition, together, the teachers supervise the inclusion assistants (paraprofessionals), who are usually assigned on a ratio of one assistant to two or three children with disabilities.

I have been a blogging slacker lately, but let me assure you this has not been by choice - I just haven't had any free time.  I have been wanting to share some of Dylan's recent accomplishments, they may seem small to some but to us they are AMAZING! 

He can say "mama" and he says it all the time!  It has been difficult to get on video because the moment I get my camera he gets camera shy.  Sometimes he likes to whisper "mama" and then say "MOM" really loud.  He is also babbling more and more, saying "gaga, wawa, mama," etc... the speech therapist is very happy as are we.  This is not the best video but he does say it. :)

He can also do 'high five,' and he will do it to anyone who asks him, not just me.  I made some new flash cards this week and was amazed to see how fast he learned them and was able to pick the correct card - he is so smart.
This video is from PT the other day - I am so impressed with his balance and mostly him holding on!
He can sit with his legs crossed!  He used to only be able to sit when his legs were out straight like a "V" 

He can stand with just his shoulder blades touching something for balance for up to 10 minutes at a time, whereas before he would have to have his whole body against the wall.  Once again this is HUGE!

Today I was out in the backyard hosing off the highchair and Luke and Hailey were playing with the hose and splashing in the puddle that they were making and Dylan was inside.  Dylan rolled over to the sliding glass door and made his usual noises that mean 'pick me up' and wanted me to put him down right next to brother and sister in the water.  The moment I sat him down he was all smiles and interacting with them, it is so wonderful to see the cognitive changes happening.  

He can stand like this too!

My cutie pies. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cowboys and a Cowgirl

This awesome old barn is around the corner from our house.  I have always thought that it would make a cool photo shoot area and last week during my run I came across a bridal party taking some pics next to the old fence and I said "I gotta get my littles up there and play around with my camera."  So, yesterday evening off we went down the street with the kids and tow and me with my fingers crossed that I might get one cute shot.  Oh, and we were probably trespassing but we didn't get caught. :)

Here are a few of my faves.  Please bare with me, I am still a photo amature, but I sure do love taking pictures.