At 42 Degrees

At 42 Degrees

Friday, July 31, 2015

Transition Tour

Transition for the transition into Kindergarten? 
You bet!
Anything and everything to help our little guy transition smoothly into BIG KID school.
So when Isaac's new principal graciously invited us
 on a pre-Kindergarten tour of the elementary school
we were only too happy to show up for our appointment. 

Doors were locked, we buzzed the buzzer. 

And waited nicely until security buzzed us in,....

Isaac liked the loud 'CLICK' the front door made when it was unlocked 
and he like the waiting area in the school office,...

Greeted by the principal (a wonderful, warm, highly professional educator, by the way)
and our pre-Kindergarten tour began,....

Luck was with us and Isaac got to fist-bump and say "Hi" to his new teacher,
a lovely, lovely person, (you know it's true, Mrs. B).
We are a huge fans of this selfless lady, she volunteers with special needs children at our church,
and has been along this journey with Isaac with us for quite a few years,
along with her husband, Mr. B (he's totally cool, too)

It is sooooo reassuring
that Isaac will be in Kindergarten with his beloved Mrs. B,
she got a fist-bump, 
and a grin,
and Isaac got some reassurance that he's going to know a familiar face or two at his new school.

Isaac's classroom is in pre-class prep and the pix is a little blurry,
but trust me,...the classroom is totally fantastic,
it is circular,
and huge,
what a fun environment for learning!!!!

Check out that puppet tree, Isaac, only Mrs. B. would have something that cool in her class!!!

First School Friend of the 2015-2016 School Year

Mr. Turtle,...Isaac really, really, really likes you!!!

More circular architecture for well rounded education!!!!

Music, Isaac?
Or do you just really like those steps?

The gym was very big, very echo-ey, and rather dim,
Isaac wasn't so sure about it until he spotted a basketball,
then he was ready to play!!!

Only we had to keep on task for our tour, here is the lunch room, Isaac.
What are the odds that popcorn is going to be in Isaac's lunchbox the first day????

The principal was sooooo gracious to give us her time this afternoon, 
to walk us around the entire campus,
pointing out potential security concerns, which she is already addressing!!!!

Isaac was very intrigued by our visit to the school building
I am not sure how much he understands that this will be his new school,
but what else can we do but introduce, reinforce and reassure.

I know this Mama was reassured,
it's really hard to be assured of new situations,
which you have very little control,
that affect your limited-verbal child,
but Isaac new principal made great strides in assuring me
Isaac will be guarded like the precious, little treasure, he is,
and not just because he is special needs, either,
that's what's so totally impressive,
ALL the children in this elementary school,
are viewed,
as they should be
 like the precious charges they are
 to be care for in their educational environment.

A totally cool environment,
I have to add,
circular classroom,
that's a huge WOW factor!!!!

Only Isaac wasn't as interested in the cool classrooms 
as he was interested in THIS playground!!!!

It is safe to say Isaac is totally ready for Kindergarten,
if he gets to play in this playground every day!!!!

Mrs. B already knows, and the principal was warned that Isaac only has two speeds:
Fast, and FASTER!!!!

Isaac only slowed down long enough to check out all the equipment,...

That sunshine smile says it ALL!!!!

Need I add it was very, very, very hot afternoon,
but Isaac wasn't going to let a little thing like heat indexes slow him down,...

Not even for a dangled, "Let's go get an ice cold, Diet Coke,...Isaac?"

Nope, Isaac thought there was too much fun to be had at his new school.

Kindergarten Camp is coming up and Isaac is ready for this new adventure to begin,...

Again, we're so grateful for the opportunity for Isaac to take 
a Transition Tour of his new school,
Mama has pictures for social stories,
and Isaac has happy memories,
and that's a GREAT place to began the school year!!!

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Few French Fries Never Hurt,...

 Pssst,...Isaac's letting the fishes in on a secret,....

Or it looks that way,...maybe he's commiserating with them
 for having to follow the rules of their environment:
1. Stay in the tank
2. Keep your fins to yourself
3. When you have a tough day,...a few French Fries never hurt

Growing up at times is not an easy process for typical children
 much less children who have added challenges.
So many rules,
So much to remember,
So confusing when communication makes things murky
Apraxia is not a joke,
neither is Autism,
the challenges are real,
and really challenging.
Navigating through society's socialization requirements
is like trying to play chess,
when you don't know the rules,
or the specific requirements of each piece.

If you tell Isaac the object of chess is to capture the opposite color pieces,
for him it's easy:
Reach over and scoop up all the white pieces.
Game done, he's won.

But that's not how the game is played,
and if he could express his frustration at the limitations,
I imagine Isaac's
train of thought would be something like:

Why does the Bishop dude, only travel on the diagonal?
What's up with the Knight only moving in a L configuration,
will he fall off the horse, if he doesn't?
If the King is the KING why can he only move one space,
and NOT go into battle?
Come on, it's not fair, that the Queen gets to go anywhere, any time in the game,
and that the Pawns have the most pieces, but get the least respect!
And the Castle's called a Rook, weird.

Apply the same analysis to social mumbo-gumbo,...we so take for granted,
some rules, we instinctually understand,
other are taught,
but for us the rules aren't murky,
and we understand if the Knight does any move other than an L,
he's outta there - game over for the dude,
but with Autism,...our applied logic is not always so logical,
and on those days, gets tough,...


That's where French Fries come in,
they are not complicated,
just delicious,...

It's a big sea out there,
even in a fish tank,
lots to navigate,
social stuff,
totally un-logical at times,

One step at a time for our little guy,
he's not alone,
there are lots of dedicated people out there,
helping him to navigate through life,
thank you,
we are grateful for the guidance and support. 

School starting soon!!!!
More rules
oh dear,
but never fear,
French Fries are already on our dinner menu for Isaac's first day of Kindergarten,
just encase,....we need them.

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Big Fish, Little Fish, And A Rock,...

Vacation, anyone?

With such a busy summer this summer, we weren't exactly sure how we were going to fit in a vacation, so when the chance opened for a quick trip this week,...we jumped at it,...and headed to Atlanta!!!

But not just to play magnetic darts,...

How about a visit to the world's largest aquarium,...Isaac?

"YES FISH!!!" --- says Isaac,...

The visit was priceless!!!

Hello, Mr. Fish,...

It was hard not to tear up during our visit,
as we remembered our first visit here with a stoic Isaac,
but check out the SHARED INTEREST,...

"FISH!!!" says Isaac,..

To say out little guy was totally entranced would be a safe call,...

So much to see,....and the soothingly soaring music was utterly captivating,
The big tank is like watching a ballet performance,...

Isaac's favorite,
"BIG Fish," says Isaac,...

Big tank,...little boy,...

The ticket prices were OUCH,...but worth every penny,...

Thankfully Isaac is NOT shy,...and is VERY polite,
"Excuse me,...Excuse me," got him this prime location,..

Brave boy,...exploring all there was to explore,
while Daddy watched one end of the tunnel,
and Mama the other,
but Isaac was GREAT about staying with us,
holding hands,
and being very polite in the jostling crowds,
"Tank you, and excuse me," were used almost as, "LOOK, FISH!!!"

Or Jelly,...Isaac loved the jellyfish exhibit almost as much as the big tank.

So easy to be brave while clutching Daddy,....

Per Isaac's instructions,...I took a photo of these fishes.

The squid hats were soooo cute,...had to try one on Isaac,
that face says it all,
"Do I gotta be a squid?"

Rare,...very rare does Isaac EVER request anything in a store,
even that uber-cool gift shop didn't inspire him to say,
"Isaac, home, YES!"
To Isaac shopping was a waste of time,
when there were soooo many fish to see,....

Moon jelly,....
"Cheese," Isaac instructed the jellyfish, as I snapped the picture,..

By his eighth lap around the entire aquarium,...Isaac turned into a tour guide,
for one and all,
"FISH," Isaac informs the visitors,...

Probably some of the most memorable memories,
were made when we spent a very quiet and peaceful fifteen minutes,
with Isaac sitting next to the big tank,
quietly drinking in all the majestic beauty of these creatures,...

This is the rock from the title of this post,
"ROCK," says Isaac, and then "MAMA, rock,...CHEESE!"
Meaning, "Mama take a pix of the rock."
So I did,
and Isaac was VERY pleased,
when I showed it to him,
he said, "Rock." 

Here is another Big Fish,...

And some Little Fishes,...

There was a life sized replica of a whale shark outside the big tank exhibit,
Isaac made a point of informing a security guard:
"Big Fish,"
The lady laughed, "Yes, that is a very big fish."
"Big," agreed Isaac with an huge smile,
while my husband and I were wanting to laugh and cry at the same time,
so much progress our little guy has made in the past three years,...

When the yawns started after a couple hours of super sonic touring,
it was time to head home,... 

We asked Isaac,
"Did you have fun?"

"Fun, yes," says Isaac,...

And we have the pictures to prove it,...

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!