Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Potty Trained!

Yay! Good job, you did it!! His baby blue eyes lit up and his smile reached both ears. No treats necessary, he's happy knowing he accomplished something I never thought possible. A year ago his parents tried, without success, to potty train him. He wasn't ready. They had a plan that frustrated him as well as the staff and eventually realized it wasn't going to happen.

Over the summer the parents tried again and apparently had success, so they said. When he came to school he seemed the same as he did last year, not ready.  None of us truly believed he was capable nor trained, until his mom brought her little autistic boy in for a demonstration.

There's a devise which has a little clip that attaches to the front of the underpants and plugs into a battery pack by a small cord. The battery pack is small enough to fit into his pocket. When he starts to tinkle it makes the battery pack vibrate, similar to a phone vibrating, at the same time triggers an alarm. This seems to stop him from urinating in his pants. When he is taken to the bathroom, he will potty in the toilet.

It's the most amazing devise I have ever seen. It's called a Malem toileting alarm.

He successfully demonstrated his new skill with pride. Can you blame him, he had his mom, and about three teachers crammed in a small bathroom for an audience. As everybody dropped their jaw in amazement he hopped off the toilet as if saying, "What's the big deal anyway?"

Our little guy doesn't talk and his signing is limited which makes this alarm thing all the more brilliant. It went off only once as he was exiting the bus. The rest of the day he independently showed us, on three different occasions, when he needed to use the toilet by, signing, pulling down his pants, and grabbing my hand while dragging me towards the door.

I tell ya, I was flabbergasted and amazed. This little five year old who is delayed developmentally as well as physically blew my socks off.

I guess we're never beyond learning even when the task seems impossible. Don't go thinking it's the preschooler I'm talking about, it's this seasoned teacher who THOUGHT she knew it all.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Starting new

After two weeks of setting up a new classroom, meeting new parents, getting to know new staff and new IEP's we will officially start kids tomorrow. Working with the children is where it's at for me. I love the shy ones and helping them feel loved and welcomed, I love the stubborn ones who challenge me and my tactics. I love finding ways to help the ones that struggle with their health, to be more comfortable. I love teaching the ones that can't talk find a way to communicate. I love the busy, chaotic,whirlwind days we have, but most of all, I love the kids.

Last year we said our goodbye's and tomorrow we'll be saying hello.  I'm ready and excited for a new year so, "Bring it on!"