I finally got to volunteer in Jack's inclusion class last Friday. What a HOOT! His TEACCH teacher made sure he came to the inclusion class while I was there, and I got to play some games with Jack and another child working on initial blends (matching initial sounds of pictures on cards to the proper blends on a chart and such). Jack did so much better than I thought he would (much better than he would have done last year). It helped that his partner was his best friend, a very kind and smart boy whom Jack befriended last year in kindergarten.
I also worked with several kids from my literacy tutoring last year...kids who are now doing really well. If you've ever considered volunteering at an elementary school to help with reading, I highly recommend it. It's so rewarding and fun!
Jack's TEACCH teacher can't have volunteers in her class. Some of her students become too agitated by strangers being there to work (breaking routine...such a no-no for so many kids on the spectrum!). Last week, some of them were a mess because all the aides were subs for three days. I totally understand this and don't resent it, but it is frustrating not to see for myself what is going on. I'm just curious, not at all concerned, mainly because his teacher is such a good communicator, asks lots of questions, and really listens to what I say.
Interestingly, she has invited me to stick my head in the class whenever I'm in the building to say hi to Jack. I appreciate the invitation and will definitely take the opportunity in the future, while being careful not to abuse it. I know how little work his speech therapist, OT, and PT got out of Jack early on when I sat in. I had to stop going back with him because he focused on me (asked for hugs every 30 seconds, wanted to sit in my lap, etc.).
Today's question is this: How welcome are you at your child's school? If you're a teacher, how welcome do you make your students' parents feel? If you're a therapist, do you prefer to work with children alone or with a parent present? If you homeschool, did parental accessability to the classroom have anything to do with your decision to pull your child from school?