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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Going slow to go fast

Did I mention that I LOVE Ellie's new school and every person in it? Ellie continues to thrive there. She had a breakthrough this week in that she, instead of freaking out/checking out, when confronted with a craft/paint situation she participated! She actually touched the paint. That made me so happy. She had become so averse to touching anything after being forced to touch things, hand over hand at her old school that her range of activities got very, very narrow. At New School, no one touched her hands at all but they played with her. The teacher had her own egg and Ellie had an egg. Kristin, New Teacher, made picture symbol cards and put Ellie in control. Her first try when Ellie showed signs of stress the activity was stopped in a gentle way. The pics here are of the second time two days' later. OK - so on the second day, Ellie broke through her aversion and actually touched the paint! MAJOR PROGRESS! Going slow to go fast really works!

The other pics are of Ellie swimming. Now that she is going to New School 5 mornings per week, every Monday she gets to go swimming in their big therapy pool. How cool is that?! Two of her classmates were in the pool and Ellie laughed when she saw them. Here you see her with Mike, her gym teacher. He is the most respectful guy and was being extremely careful and cautious with Ellie because he knew if she had a bad experience her first swim it would take months to come back from that. I am so amazed and in awe of all the staff there and how they respect each child totally. As you can see, Ellie really enjoyed her first swim.


Emma said...

Yay for Crafts and for Swimming! I adore swimming and I really hope that Ellie will grow to love it too.

Anonymous said...

glad to hear elle's doing so well and looking so good!! Will call tonight to catch up
Big hugs to me lil doll
Auntie Sue

Lisa said...

What a cutie! My son, Naim has sensory issues where he doesn't want to touch paint and other wet, icky stuff. He is now getting his 2 year molars in and puts his hand in his mouth a lot--and then comes running to me because he is horrified that his hand is wet! But, yes, I also beleive that sometimes you need to go slow to go fast. I have to stop my father from pushing too hard so that we don't have a trauma that sets him back 4 months. And, hand over hand sucks! Sometimes the kid is motivated and wants hand over hand help, and that's ok. But forced hand over hand is mostly worthless.

I'm just curious, can I ask what school she goes to? It sounds really great and I would like to read more about it. If you don't want to announce it online, maybe you would feel ok shooting me an email if you get time? I promise I won't stalk you all!

Angela said...

Oh wow! I love the approach the New School is taking! I am relieved because Jack's teacher seems to take the same approach. There's only one person that works with him that has yet to meet him where he is and their sessions suffer because Jack totally shuts down...and then this person acts as though it's Jack and not this person

Anyway, enough about us -- I love hearing about Ellie's school!!

Mel said...

That is so great for Ellie! I wish we had a school like that around here.

Billie said...

Hello Kathryn! I've been out of the blog loop for over a week, so had some catching up to do.

I just wanted to let you know that I LOVE reading your blog, and I think you are such a great writer. A number of your recent posts have given me food for thought. Sometimes you put just the right words to what I am feeling!

I am so glad that you have found a place for Ellie that you are happy and comfortable with. Holland and Eden will be three this summer, and the decision about school is weighing heavy on my mind. I wish there was a program like Ellie's near us. I fear there is nowhere around here that will care for Eden the way I would like them to. It really shouldn't be so hard to find a place for children where the people are kind, nuturing, eager to learn and teach, and treat each child like a special and unique individual. Sigh.

I hope the decisions I make will be good ones.

Thanks again for sharing your insight and experiences. We can all learn from each other!