Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Mardi Gras Mini-March

We're almost ready for the big event...

     We put on our Mardi Gras glasses             — and our Mardi Gras beads

      Even Mister Pat is ready.

Nothing left to do but put on our Mardi Gras hat...
...and go marchin'!

So let's go!
It's the Mardi Gras Mini-March!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Love: Give it away

The Givers
The Given
There are many more friends in the threes' class and in the fives' class. There are many more givers as well: the teachers, the staff, the parents, the list goes on...I just can't name one without naming them all.

The gifts
My friends decorated gift bags themselves, their parents supplied many of the gifts, staff and teachers did the rest. But I will mention one more giver—Ms Paula—because Ms Paula always brings her friend "music". And music has become a friend to us as well as a giver. Music bonds us together. Music is reliable and dependable. Music cheers us up when we are sad. Music communicates our feelings. It is beyond words, beyond signs...sometimes just beyond.

For example, what is love? Maybe music can tell us...

And, by the way, just what on earth is a Sensory Brush?
Today, I noticed one of our teachers gently brushing the arms, and then the legs of one of my more hyperactive friends. It was more than just brushing; it was like giving him a deep massage using a surgical brush—and it made him much calmer. I was told later that the soft-bristled brush is called a "sensory brush". It was introduced to our teachers by our occupational therapist Vicki DeMaster. A certain protocol is also involved: after the brush strokes are completed, a series of joint compressions are applied to the child. As to whom this entire procedure will help, it depends on the child and the type of disorder he or she has (i.e., autism, etc.).

So, you see? I learn something every day at the Frankie Lemmon School!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Language Group Valentine

On The Day it Rained Hearts, the question persisted: Who Will Be My Valentine This Year?  Barney the Dinosaur had the answer: Happy Valentine's Day!

And who better to share that answer with us than Sharon Hanvey, our speech therapist. Sharon has a Master’s degree in Speech / Language Pathology, 18 years experience as speech therapist, and 6 years experience at Frankie Lemmon School.

Why speech therapy? Some of my friends may have fluency, articulation or voice disorders. Others may have language disorders such as Aphasia or delayed language. They need therapy for a variety of reasons, including: hearing impairments, problems with cognitive-communication (intellectual, thinking), birth defects, autism—the list goes on.

Sharon assesses all these speech / language disorders and comes up with the best ways to treat them. In addition to involving the parents (crucial!) and working with my friends one-on-one or in small groups, she holds a language group therapy session in each classroom every Wednesday. Her hope is that my friends will better understand or process language and be able to better put words together, increase their vocabulary, and learn to use language in a socially appropriate way.

Today was the day—language group day! Follow Barney the Dinosaur as he wishes all of his friends a happy Valentine's Day!

It's all about communicating...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Experience

Hooray! Our new barn is finally here and it's ready to move in. Just wait 'til I tell my cow Susie and my horse Johnnie.

And look! We have a new school and a new school bus as well. C'mon Mister man, let's go for a ride!

Wait! This is the best thing of all. Now I can learn my colors and count all the way to ten!

Speaking of counting, our teachers say there are only three days left before our big show. We heard there'll be hundreds of people in town to raise money for our school—something called Triangle Wine Experience. A bunch of them will be coming to class Friday. We're going to sing and dance for them after breakfast and it's time to rehearse—Let's do it!

Chuga Chuga
Hey, Ben, you're a really cool cat
You've got a lot of this, you've got a lot of that
So don't be afraid of the boogieman
Just stand up and CHUGA as fast as you can
Chuga up! Chuga chuga chuga chuga
Chuga down! Chuga chuga chuga chuga
Chuga left! Chuga chuga chuga chuga
Chuga right! Chuga chuga chuga chuga

The Hokey Pokey
You put your right hand in,
You put your right hand out,
You put your right hand in,
And you shake it all about,
You do the hokey pokey
and you turn yourself around
That what it's all about.

Lot's to do—sort of like reaching for the moon. Lot's to think about while Miss Forbis turns the lights down and uses her "moonbeam" flashlight to tell us a story. It's about a little girl who asks: "Papa, please get the moon for me."

Then we gather outside with the other three classes for a group shot. We're gonna WOW them!

Friday morning...

About 75 people from all over the country came to visit. Our wonderful parents fixed them a great big "thank you" breakfast upstairs and then our visitors came to class. I think they were impressed! Afterwards, we all gathered upstairs for the big show. Miss Sellers announced that in addition to the 25 of us, the Frankie Lemmon Foundation has raised enough money for an itinerant teacher to teach about 15 more friends offsite. Teacher Laurie Denning tutors them in their homes or in places such as daycare centers. Also in the works are more iPads and something called " TAP∙it® " boards, which are smaller (and less expensive) than the room-size Promethean interactive whiteboards. "All of this," said Miss Sellers, "is geared to give the children a voice until they develop a verbal speech system of their own." Experience the "Experience" for yourself...