Friday, May 8, 2009

How hard is it?

To turn a TV off?




I just don't know.

I just don't know.

The first responses have been so negative. Still says it'll happen, but already there are problems with doing what needs doing.

I just don't know. I mean, why ask for help, that she knows what I'm going to say, just to say that it's too much, too messy, too many technical difficulties with her schedule, too much interference from other people.

Well, she says she's still going to do it, and I'm proud of her for that. BG needs the messy stuff, and she needs to do the cross patterning, the light vestibular stuff that she'll be doing. Those pathways are not connected in her brain, and this is one way of doing it that is most likely to work.

It's a good thing that she's more kinesthetic and haptic than olefactory! That could be very tricky!

Cutting out is going well though. This quilt top might not take long at all.


I have just spent the last hour devising an initial programme of study for BG.

It is the simplest of simple things, and based on what we do in school with the Special Needs children. All it needs is time invested in her. I can't do that, and my word I wish I could. She needs no harsh words, or harsh faces, even unintentionally, right now.

This is what I sent. Maybe it will help someone else this summer as well!


What she needs to be doing initially is just practising what she does know. Reading books with cvc words in them (consonant, vowel, consonant), that kind of thing. She has very little confidence in her own ability, and knows it is a source of stress and irritation for you. I know it's hard, but she needs you to hide that as much as possible. If she doesn't think you believe in her, then she won't believe in her.

She needs consistency as well as variety. That isn't a contradiction in terms lol! She needs to sit down, at the same time every day, read to you, and do her homework, and look at her spelling words, or whatever words she is learning.

An example program of study would be something like :

Monday - 2 pages reading, 10 minutes on the homework sheet for the day, 5 minutes matching her spelling words. You'd need to write the spelling set out again so she had them twice, muddle them on the table, and she needs to match them up. You could advance this into a pelmanism type game for her and you to play together. 1 sentence in her diary about the day - written by you, dictated by her, sounded out by you as you write it.

Tuesday - 2 pages reading, 10 minutes on the homework sheet for the day, 5 minutes where she chooses a spelling word and then finds the letters that make it. Can she do it before you count to 10? 1 sentence in her diary about the day, written by you, dictated by her, sounded out by you as you write it.

Wednesday - 2 pages reading, 10 minutes on the homework sheet for the day, 5 minutes where she writes the words in something - sand, flour, paint, foam in the bath, but what ever it is, she traces her finger through the substance. Photograph each one digitally. 1 sentence about the day, written by you on paper, for her to copy into her diary.

Thursday - 2 pages reading, 10 minutes on the homework sheet for the day, 5 minutes of turning over a spelling word, and giving you a context sentence that it would go in. Write the word on a sheet of paper. Choose one of the words and draw a picture of the sentence that it would go in. 1 sentence in her diary, written by you on paper, for her to copy into her diary.

Friday - 2 pages reading, 10 minutes on the homework sheet for the day, 5 minutes of writing the spelling words onto lined paper, copying them carefully, then underlining each sound in a different colour. i.e. kind mouse. If you always underline the vowel sounds in one of two colours - one colour for long sounds, one colour for short sounds, then that will start to help her as well. 1 sentence in her diary, written by you into the diary, with a word missed out that she thinks she can write, and then she writes it in.

Saturday - 2 pages reading, 10 minutes on the reading response sheets, 5 minutes of each choosing a word and testing each other on how it is spelt. 1 point/treat/whatever for each one either of you get right. Match the words to the digital photographs that you took earlier in the week. 1 sentence in her diary, written by you, with a word missed out that she thinks she can write, then she writes it in.

Sunday - 2 pages reading, 10 minutes on reading response sheets, 5 minutes of you say the word, she writes it down, then you check each word together, after each word. You write the word under her word, and she tells you which bits she has right, and which bits she needs to change. 3 sentences in the diary written by you, with a last sentence written by her.

This programme supposes that she has a spelling test on a Monday, which I don't think she does, but you could alter the spelling activities to later in the week as long as they start with each set of words. Each days diary work needs to start with her finding the name of the day and copying it into her diary, then you write the rest of the date.

She will need a reward chart, with 4 boxes for each day initially, 1 sticker or whatever for each of the 4 activities. Completed charts get prizes! Yay! lol. Obviously if she doesn't need 10 minutes on the homework sheet, then it's done earlier and that's great!

On top of all this the things you always do will need to continue, like reading her a story each night and talking about it, looking for words the same and so on. It's basically about exposing her to as many words at her level as possible, playing games with it all, and making it fun.

Over the summer I will happily supply you with words for her to work on for a week at a time, and with Promethean charts which may help her (you can download a free reader for it, I'll give you the address later) We will start with her list of catch up words and go on from there. I can model any activities you aren't sure of, (I'm sure AC will join in!) so do ask. I have done a video of listening to AC read to me which might help you, although he irritatingly enough decided not to make many mistakes that day, but made loads the next when I wasn't taping it for you! I'll have another go over the weekend sometime.

And I think that's me done for now. Any questions lol? I know it looks like a lot of work. But the thinking is all done, it's just the doing that needs doing. This programme would follow like this for probably a month, with you letting us know each week what she has done, and scanning in or photographing or videoing as much as possible so I can tailor things where necessary. The more information you can give me, the better her chances are.


It was long, and I hope it doesn't put her mother off, but there's so much I can suggest, and so little I can do. If they were living here it would be so much easier - except she would never have got to this point in the first place. And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride, I know.

How weird.

I have the shakes,.

I've come to sit down because it's annoying me to try and do anything like this.

How weird.

This needs to go. It takes too long to type anything if I have to go back and take the typos out!

Going to try a hot shower. Any other ideas?

I was right!

It was SO one of THOSE days.

So much so, that I am home, at 1715 on a Friday, instead of pottering around town.

Highlights of today.

1) Projector bulb in another classroom exploding. Literally.
2) Child in the playground breaking it's arm at lunchtime.
3) One of my non-verbal beloved's smacking his head into a door, and not being able to tell us where it hurt, or how it hurt, or anything useful. (He's fine now!)
4) An email from the She-Ex.
5) Busting a button off of the pocket on the back of my trousers. Noisily. In assembly. With 300 children there.
6) Finding out that one of my not-so-specials (although they are all special in their own way!) who could do HTU last week, now has no idea what 100 is. Or what it looks like. Or how we write it. Or indeed, why on earth we WOULD write it.
7) Being caught in the middle of class restructuring at school.
8) Getting the application pack for the new place and thinking "I could do this."
9) Looking at where the new place is, and realising it's only about 1.5miles, and thinking, "I could really do this."
10) Thinking about the implications for the AC and thinking if I *should* do this. It's ok to be told that everything will work out, but there are massive implications for him.

I think the potential new job deserves a post of it's own, with the pro's and con's.

I think I need to sew.

Or have a cup of tea.

Or both.

It's already...

..... one of *those* days!