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.