Thursday, January 24, 2013

Presume Competence

Just a little comment / report in an early-morning meeting with Joy's teachers.

At issue was Joy's progress interacting with online books.  At the start of the year, she had just ONE online book that she wanted to go to over and over.

Then she broadened her range, then it exploded to a whole series of books that she was interested in doing.

Just lately, she seems to have lost interest again.

We've done plenty of agonizing in the past about the switches and sliders on Joy's mixer board, the gains and regressions, and how that interacts with the IEP process.  Shoot, that's what the name of this blog is all about!  Elvis Sightings, those moments and achievements that come and go.

So how do you process and deal with things that disappear?  Do you assume they're gone and that you have to teach them again?  Or even back up and go to something more fundamental for a while, in hopes that you'll eventually get there again?

Or do you do the wonderful thing that Joy's teachers did, and propose the following assumption and approach:

She's getting bored with this.  
We'll find something different and challenging to try next.

Just a little comment / report in an early morning meeting with Joy's teachers -- yet also the kind of moment where the heavens open and the angels sing "Alleluia!"

Monday, January 14, 2013

Second Time on Ice Skates

See that kid on the right?

That's Joy.

Second time on ice skates.  Ever.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Click and Pull

On the day of the Winter Solstice, when it became clear that the world was not in fact coming to an end as the Mayan calendar turned over, our little family was holed up at home, with school cancelled due to snow.

I wrote the following note to Joy's school-and-therapy team that day: 
Since we're at home with the snow-day -- and the world has not, in fact, come to an end -- I'll write with a joyous update. 
[Joy] has known how to click with the mouse for her computer games for quite a while.  I've been able to leave her in the playroom with the one computer while I'm on the other side of the wall with the (better!) computer, and she'd come get me when she wanted to show me where to point the mouse when just clicking wasn't enough. 
But today when I left her alone with her subscription, she was able to point-and-click navigate all on her own.  She's been gleefully choosing one game after another, without any help from me at all.
I know she's been doing mouse-work at school, but hadn't quite realized how gloriously independent she'd become!  This is the first time she's busted out those new point-and-click skills at home.  Can drag-and-drop be far behind?! 
Thank you all, happy snow day, and the merriest of holidays to you and yours!
There has been much merry pointing-and-clicking since then, lots of computer time at home during a long and relatively-laid-back holiday.

And here we are two weeks later, and guess what wasn't far behind?

Not only do we have drag and drop -- but on this activity of matching the lower and upper-case letters, she is doing most of them ON HER OWN.  Only in the cases where she asked for help did I provide hand-over-hand.

Oh, and that's not all.

Yesterday she used her iPad to post two blank comments to a Facebook thread on my wall -- in my name.

Today she sent a blank e-mail from her iPad to eight of my advocacy colleagues, and drafted another one to a friend from church.

I am ridiculously proud.

I am also in a whole lotta trouble unless I figure out how to lock that iPad down better!