Saturday, February 11, 2012

Off the Charts

Rye's teacher has implemented a behavior charting system this year for the students to mark how their day went. It ranges from Bad to Off the Chart. It's an incentive and students get a clothespin on their status for the day. It's a great tool that the students really seem to respond to. Rye does anyway. But then again, he's accustomed to such charts, token economy systems, reward incentives and various other positive behavior supports.
They send home a sheet every day with their homework with their status for the day circled, which you have to sign. It's also just a great, simple way to communicate with parents about their kids' day. Rye is typically in the "Good" slot, with "Great" and "Off the Charts" above that. This week, three days (out of four because they didn't have school on Friday), his days were marked with "Off the Charts!" We were so amazed and proud and happy for him.
It's a big deal for a kid on the Spectrum to "hold it together" for nine hours in school, let alone achieve "Off the Charts" status. Heck, it's a big deal for any typically developing person to hold it together for nine hours anywhere! But imagine being at work and not being able to adequately form sentences to express to your boss why you did, or did not do something. Imagine their frustration that you can't explain what you did. A lot of people would give up that job. Quit. Some bosses would give up on you too. It's a challenge for everyone involved to get a kid on the Spectrum to focus, learn, progress… and behave well along the way! But they do it. WE do it. Every day Rye goes to school, gives it his best shot and his teachers, aids and friends, give it their best shot too. Pretty amazing the effort that goes into one kid's education and development. Then again, the kid himself… who came home with three "Off the Charts," is pretty amazing too.

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