In September I met a new student named Amanda. Amanda had come for several transition visits in the previous April, May and June which seemed to go well. But mom was really nervous about the transition from elementary to secondary school. I am well used to that - most parents are more anxious than their kids. Especially when those kids have special needs.
Well, the first day of highschool arrived and we began to understand why mom was anxious. Amanda refused to eat, refused to engage, refused to NOT SCREAM BLOODY MURDER, refused to do just about anything. Hmmmmm We tried all of our usual strategies - no go. The educational assistant, new to my school tried every trick in the book and I mean everything. I could find NO fault with anything she was doing.
Bart is now a full-fledged member of our classroom. He goes everywhere with Amanda. There is no more screaming, she eats her snacks and her lunch with no issues and has pushed beyond all previous skill levels. Amanda doesn't speak except for a few sounds, signs and gestures but her eyes speak volumes and her laughter fills the room with joy. We are giggle buddies. She'll come over to my desk, lean in and whisper "ho ho" at which point I give my heartiest Santa laugh which sends her into fits of laughter. Yes, she has learned how to "prompt" the prompter!