As I mentioned in my last post, Emery started school full time on October 14th. She absolutely loves going to school. Her autism class room consists of one autism teacher and two aides. Emery is one of six kids in the class. The maximum number of kids allowed is 7. So the teacher to student ratio is near 2 to 1 at all times. This is a perfect set up for Emery. The classroom is very sensory friendly. Emery receives occupational, speech and sensory therapy during the week. Her therapists provide necessary instructions to the teacher and aides so she is working on her therapy needs throughout her day.
We just had teacher conferences and the teacher and therapists were very excited at how well Emery has adjusted to her new routine. The first week she struggled a bit with following such a set schedule. By the second week, she was right up to speed with her classmates. They were having some trouble with her pushing other kids to engage them in play. I talked to Emery about not pushing kids. Each morning I remind her "no push" and push my hands forward. She began repeating and copying me the first day I did this with her. We also showed her a picture of someone pushing another with an "X" through the picture. Over the next 3 days, the pushing continued to decrease. So we think we have it fairly under control now.
Emery's school is dismissed at the exact same time I am picking up Blake, Conner and Avery from school. So for the first two weeks, Ashley walked to Emery's school to pick her up and walked her back home. With the Michigan Winter season fast approaching, we knew this method was not going to work for long. We decided to have Emery ride the school's special needs bus. Since we live so close to her school, Emery is the last one to be picked up in the morning and the first one to be dropped off in the afternoon. She is not on the bus very long at all, but she absolutely loves riding the bus. She patiently waits in our garage as the bus pulls up until it stops, and then she scoots out to get on, giggling all the way.
I am still taking Emery for her one hour of therapy at Horizons because we are paid up through December. With drive time, Emery has to miss a full afternoon of school to go to Horizons. As much as we love Horizons and Emery's therapist of two years, we will probably discontinue these therapy sessions. If our insurance covered more than one hour of private therapy per week, we would consider continuing. But one hour just doesn't seem worth it.
We did not notice any adjustment issues at home with Emery. She is happy each morning to go to school. Her teacher and therapists thought she would be coming home completely exhausted from having such a structured day. I told them that Emery is rarely exhausted. I promised them I would treat them all to a Starbucks coffee, if she came home tired during her first week. As I expected, I did not have to buy any coffees. Emery is like the energizer bunny!