Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"He just came to life..."

The above quote is from B's music teacher, who was really excited to tell me about B's great participation during class today. This year B has music twice weekly (hooray!) & they have started the year with an exercise that Mr. Joe, his teacher, calls "Theatre of the Absurd". He's doing various improv exercises with the kids with hilarious results. B had not been enjoying music class very much- transition issues?- & had not been participating, which surprised me because he has really enjoyed music since he came to Cobblestone School in first grade. I guess today was breakthrough day... Mr. Joe tapped B for some of the improv stuff & B had everyone in stitches. As B described it, first he was not supposed to talk, with another student cajoling him to (no physical contact allowed) & then he was supposed to talk non-stop with the student trying to get him to shut up. B loved it & got the giggles when describing the other student's efforts to get him to talk, & his non-stop babbling as well. I just couldn't imagine talking non-stop & asked B how he did it. He said he just talked... & then I remembered how he loves to give me the minute details of each & every lego he designs, with all the back-story of their "lives" before he made them, & I understood how he pulled the talking thing off :) B said that he then pretended to be a rabbit & another kid chased him around as he hopped all over. Giggles again. I was delighted. B has really enjoyed theatre & music at school, & also shown a great talent for both. He has no concept of stage fright, which I'm sure contributes to his enjoyment of being on stage. Mr. Joe was really excited that B "came to life" during class. So excited that he had B's consultant teacher, Cherie, dragged out of a meeting so she could watch him :) B's class will be doing a musical play based on "The Velveteen Rabbit" this fall & I suspect that these exercises are preparation for getting to work on the play. Considering that B has his very own "velveteen rabbit" in the form of Rufus (& it's a long-time favourite story of ours), I'm really looking forward to seeing B's involvement in the play.

B's speech therapist called me today, too, & I was so glad to discover that it's the same person he's had for the past 2 years. Mary has been a wonderful member of the team & really knows B well. She campaigned successfully at his CSE last spring to have his speech hours increased from 2x 30 minutes/week to 5x 30 minutes, to help him cope with the transition to fifth grade. She's really excited because she's convinced that now she'll have the time to really make a difference with B's pragmatic language. She's arranged to come in at a different time each day, so that she can help him with a variety of activities. I was glad that most days she's with him in the afternoon, since that's when he has the most trouble coping. Such a relief that he's not having to get used to a new therapist!

We officially started a charting system for B's homework, so that he can start earning stickers toward little treats for each day he completes his homework. Today's was math & it was kind of neat- he had to solve a partially written logic problem, then find a final condition to narrow down the answers to one. I love how his school is teaching him how to reason, not just how to calculate...

The only unhappy part of the day was discovering that B had run out of gum today (he did remember to tell me after school) & so he ripped-up his fingers with a push-pin to relieve the stress in the absence of gum... I bandaged 5 of his fingers with healing salve before bedtime. It made me so sad I got teary & I tried to impress upon him that he should tell Cherie if he's feeling like he needs to do that. B said he would... I hope he does. The truth is, there is so much coming at my kid during a school day it's a wonder he remembers anything. I will also make sure Cherie knows what happened & maybe we'll re-instate our system from the end of last year, where B got a pokemon card for every push-pin he turned in... keeping his fingers safe it worth any number of pokemon cards, in my opinion!


At 1:15 AM, Blogger Kristina Chew said...

A comedian in the making? Perhaps the play could have variations like "The Velveteen Rufus." Sounds like things are coming together on the school front----and I know what it feels like not to have a certain item....


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