Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Update on Prisha's learning front

Prisha proudly showing off her book of stories.
      Have not updated my blog on Prisha's learning last 2 months.We have been working hard and we have her cooperation to make sure she learns more each day.With such low amplification in India, she came so far and now we are trying our best to get her amplified to optimal and keep her informed and make her learn this whole new field where we have moved to.It is not easy but we work constantly to try and make up what we have lost.
     The winter vacation she decided to write her own stories and make a story book for herself as the school had that as the concept for the month.And so 17 days and we targeted 15 stories ,1 each day, and we worked on her.Each morning we asked her what she wanted to write about, could be something from her dream,a book she read, a TV show that she saw , an experience she had or anything she wanted to write.We would talk about it and we would write the title, the characters in the story and the plot of the story.Then started a long session where we questioned her,asked her what she thought, what the consequences could be of an event and how she would feel or react and by the afternoon or evening we would be done with it.It was a long day for her and me too.My kitchen table was our work area where while I cooked or worked, we did this story building.Then she would make an illustration which could include drawing, cutting and pasting,using waste material found around the house and I must say she came up with some good work.And in 17 days we finally had 14 stories and a bound book which we plan to publish for her sake!It was commendable work.
    Our hunt for the speech therapist was on to.Meanwhile the school had the parent conference and portfolio where her teacher said Prisha's graph has been very steep as far as learning goes and it was due to our input, 30 mins special help at school and her hardwork and want to learn.We did have hidden tears as we were dying to hear this.They were now ready to take our help as they saw we put in positive input in their work.she did say that there were some gaps which needed to filled like she could not do abstract thinking and she found difficulty in making connections and for her concrete thinking worked.So for that they had agreed to have 50 mins of IEP (individual education programme) each day which would be done by her speech therapist.She would require our support and for that some work would be sent home and she would require additional speech therapy outside of school and home to increase her area of learning as now there is a new field of learning as we moved here.To which we agreed upon and the goals of the school met ours, we both knew what her needs are.So we are happy and hope to have Prisha learn much more now.We would meet periodically to see how far our goal has been achieved.I can see her teacher giving her more input as compared to earlier and she is talking her language and using her accent, which is good for us, she is picking up more.She did have issues with making friends and we talked about it and realized some kids found it difficult to understand her and some did not have the patience and which Prisha is trying hard to get over.She still runs around with kids and trying to understand what they are talking.Kids talk fast and with various accents and sometimes under the breath which she finds difficult.Her music teacher said,he was happy with Prisha trying to involve herself and had a good sense of rhythm and so was given a xylophone to play in the musical showcase for parents.I told him she had difficulty understanding the words and so he sent me printouts to help her.Her Physical education teacher had issues with her not trying to get involved but the matter was solved as there was hardly any PE in India the way they do it here and so she could not get interested, now she is loving it.The German teacher said he was happy with Prisha's confidence on finding ways on the computer but had to work on waiting for her turn.She did get upset if she didn't get a turn.But then that too was a culture she comes from, in India if you didn't push yourself, nobody would notice you thanks to the number.But now she is getting better.We had a talk too with her and she is very understanding and ready to work on it.
        The school marks her as under "modified expectations" but we hope to soon get her to do better and better.The school is happy and we too are.
        On the speech therapist front after a lot of running around and meeting many, we finally zeroed upon Mrs.Essar, who is a German but her English is good too.She is training to be a teacher too.We did update her and she is now doing her job which we are happy with.We have to go downtown twice a week, mork for the little girl, but hardwork is what we need now.She has given a workbook to take home and she has bought books for her after looking at her needs.We would give her 60 classes and would see how to get her more non stop as the insurance requires us to a 3 month gap in between.But we plan to get around it when it comes as any gap for Prisha is not good.So now we are all set and we would see how things work out in 3 months time.For all who wished us luck for the speech therapist, a warm Thank you!For now we just "keep walking".

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