Friday, January 6, 2012

My Child's Autism Journal...Part 2

Yesterday, I shared some of the benefits we experienced in keeping a journal during the school day. Another great result…all the stories, sentences and drawings that show our child’s development as he advanced through school year after year.

Unlike the structured "art projects" he sometimes does at school (you know the ones with cutout shapes glued on a seasonal background), these writings and drawings are authentically his own.  I feel these child inspired creations are one great way to measure Ethan’s development...having seen his drawings evolve from simple stick drawings, to more realistic story type drawings. His works have become more detailed and often include his current interests…as well as measure his progress/ability to portray simple ideas via his sentences to more complex ideas in paragraphs and art.

Here is an example of a story that Ethan wrote:

"My Special Hero
My Special hero is my famliy because my famliy is a gift that is never old or too old to be loved because my mom started my life and my dad is a travle agenet and my sister is a cpr expert. Im a action fan and a eletronics person and my brother he plays his breathing treatments."

These are his words, his spelling, and his thoughts. I immediately recognize the period of time.  I can remember how old he was based on the activities listed for each of us…his sister, Lindsey, took a CPR class the summer of 2009.  Around the same time Jonah had to have breathing treatments every day due to his asthma.  To a child, the nebulizer does kind of look like a machine you could play.  My hubby is not a travel agent, but he does travel frequently.  It's hard for a child to understand why daddy goes to the airport every week so I can understand why Ethan would think that’s where Daddy works.

 Jonah has also brought home drawings and writing examples from his class. Even with a "typical" kiddo, these papers are great things to keep for scrapbooks. Of course, we can't keep everything, so I usually take pictures of the ones I can't keep and keep the ones that are the most reflective of where that child is for that grade or age.

Here are some sentences that Jonah wrote this year (2nd grade):

"A girl had a stepfather. He had constructed a kite. The man is her sidekick. The man's name is Cal. The girl's name is Samantha. Cal and Samantha have a unique personality.
Fin! the End?" (I love how he included "Fin". He said he learned it from Bugs Bunny!)

"The airline pilots are about to take some passengers to California. One went to Nevada.  Twenty-four years ago the plane was constructed.  It was constructed in 1955. There were two pilots.  They were sidekicks. The pilots were unique. The plane is a contraption.  There was a foolproof plan."

"Tim had to do his homework.  It was to do an experiment.  He said "I will construct an experiment." His sidekick was making the serums.  The serums were very very very unique contraption. Their plan was really foolproof.  Then he went to go brush his teeth and went to his bedroom.  In the morning he did turn in the experiment. So he went to McDonald's for an award."

By reading these sentences, I can tell what spelling words he has been working on based to the repetition of words such as sidekick, unique, contraption, foolproof, and experiment. These are not papers that I would necessarily keep, but they seemed so creative that I made note of them on my computer to add with papers he will bring home throughout the year.

"I'm hungry! Ahhhh"

Jonah's version of Needs vs. Wants

I would love to know what items from school you keep
from your kids...or if you have any other ideas!

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