On Monday, 10/31/11, I had a great IEP meeting at May Howard for Aidan. His IEP team and his teachers have been WONDERFUL thus far. (Remember the amazing package that we got from Mrs. Fruits and her class during our last week in Atlanta?? AWESOME!)
A LOT of thought and planning went in to Aidan's placement for first grade. It was evident that Aidan having a successful and fun year in first grade was a goal that we all shared. The IEP team was very interested in learning exactly what Aidan had been doing at Brain Balance for the last five months, and very excited to see all the progress that he has made! Aidan's sensory breaks will continue throughout his school day, especially prior to times of instruction. These breaks will pair short bursts of aerobic exercises with either Brain Balance music or specific smells to stimulate his right brain. (The aerobic exercise increases oxygen to the brain, the music and smells provide stimulation, and the combination decreases fatigue and calms behaviors.) I thought the meeting was very positive and productive, and I look forward to a GREAT year for Aidan!
Since it was Halloween, that evening Mom, Andy and I took the boys trick-or-treating. The boys were too cute in their costumes, and everyone had fun!
Aidan - the Zombie
Aeson - the Indian
Ashwin - the Cowboy!
And they're OFF!
We didn't stay out too late trick-or-treating because Aidan had a VERY important day the next day!! His first day of school! How did it go, you ask?? Just like this...
In case you can't read the note, it says, "Aidan had an awesome day! He worked hard, listened and followed directions, and participated in class. He was a good friend by sharing his red crayon and picking up someone's pencil for them. I am SO proud of you!" ~ Mrs. Fruits
P.S. Aidan also wanted to tell you that he colored in 13 boxes today! WOW!
(Each child has a chart on their desk for their Friday treat. Throughout each day, Mrs. Fruits will have the children color in a box or two at a time for doing something good. Sometimes the whole class gets to color in a box, but most times, the box-coloring is done on an individual basis. If you color in enough boxes to get into zone A by Friday afternoon, you get a Friday treat! FYI - 13 boxes is well over half way to a Friday treat - and a LOT for one day!)
Day #2 - "Aidan had another good day. He tested a few boundaries but responded well when redirected. He moved his clip to "Think About It" a few times, but was quick to correct his behavior and was able to move his clip back up both times." ~ Mrs. Fruits
Mrs. Fruits has this super cool behavior chart in her room, and each child has a clip with their name on it. Everyone starts in the middle on green, "Ready to Learn." Students move up or down throughout the day, depending on their behavior. Mrs. Fruits makes it clear to her students that there is always opportunities to turn a bad day around and move back up the behavior chart. Even if you do something really bad that lands you on "Parent Contact," she tells them that she will not write the note to send home until the very end of the day. YOU control what the note says - if you turn your day around, the note will reflect your effort. Mrs. Fruits brought this chart to our IEP meeting and explained it to me, and I was VERY impressed!
Day #3 - Aidan had a great day in class today! He raised his hand to participate and didn't call out much. He pushed a few kids on the playground today, but when we made some rules for the game, he followed the rules and played nicely." ~ Mrs. Fruits
Wow, just WOW! Way to go Aidan! We are so very proud of you!
Now, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, to really show you how amazing this first week of school was for Aidan, we would first have to rewind to just over a year ago, to the end of Aidan's first week of Kindergarten. Every day that week, I had received notes from Aidan's kindergarten teacher, complete with sad faces and her hopes that he would soon "settle into the routine." On Friday of that first week, I had a parent/teacher conference with both the general education and the special education teachers, and the principal in attendance. After recounting in GREAT detail all of the issues and problems that they were having with Aidan in the classroom and especially on the playground, the general consensus was "We don't know WHAT to do with Aidan, but if something doesn't change very soon, he is going to hurt someone." That week forced us to find another way to help Aidan, and what we found was the Brain Balance Program. Just over a year later, look how far my boy has come, thanks to the Brain Balance Program! And his own hard work and effort! This program is truly amazing!
And if this wasn't enough excitement for you, we also had THREE very special birthdays to celebrate recently! My baby boy, Ashwin, turned TWO! I can't believe how fast my baby is growing up!
In keeping with tradition here in the Pence household, immediately following the second birthday comes...the first haircut! Check out my very handsome, and very grown up big boy!
Ms. Reta, my grandmother, celebrated her 88th birthday and we had a fabulous family dinner in her honor!
And finally, my Mema turned 85 on 11/11/11, and we surprised her with a luncheon to celebrate!
Lots of excitement for the Pence clan!
I recently discovered that my blog is now featured on the Brain Balance Centers website. I would like to thank Brain Balance Centers for sharing Aidan's story, and I hope that our family's journey with Brain Balance can help other parents learn about this life-changing program. Please feel free to share this blog with anyone that you think it may help.