Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Handful of Happy

Today we did one of my favorite things. We attempted the zoo. And it happened. Eight, 1st - 3rd graders with Autism visited creatures they've never seen in their entire little lives. Or for some, are regular monthly attenders.Today was the best day for it. Even with the cloudy skies.

All the animal friends were out puttin on a boomin show or waiting for a scrumptious breakfast. One of us probably looked mighty tasty to eat.

My co-worker and I decided to call the day at the Zoo our Speech Day. Along the way we attempted to initiate conversation and describe various animals we came across. Lets just say... it went better for some than others. A majority of our students don't initiate conversations on their own or make requests and comment on the world around them. So, much prompting and modeling is given. On occasion it's a little awkward and feels like I'm talking to the trees, and that's okay too.

Amanda and I have a theory that it is our attempt to teach these kids how to learn in any environment we place them in. The zoo was perfect, comforting, and exciting for all. There were plenty of sounds to identify, animals to describe, and smells to distinguish.

Today was an opportunity for parents to join in on the zoo fun. I never quite know how it will play out. Today was flat out awesome. It was touching to see how involved these parents are and motivated to do what's best for their Little's. While in the restroom I overheard a mom talking to her son... even though he understands, it's difficult for him to verbally express. His mom asked him, "How do you feel?" his reply "Haaaaaaapppppy, Haaaaaaapppppy!" It made me light up. He was enjoying his day at the zoo and to top it off mom was there to share that joy with him.

Even with the cloudy skies and light sprinkles we still had a handful of happy today.


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