Successful 1st Year of Preschool

Successful 1st Year of Preschool

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This is the first of several posts that are LONG overdue!  There is so much I have to talk about that I hardly know where to begin.  Plans for next year are looking really good, but before I start talking about her new IEP, let me just summarize this past year…

Lyra had a very successful first year of preschool.  She is progressing very well with learning both print and braille.  She has not shown a bit of resistance to the braille learning and has not developed any bad braille reading habits.  She is progressing VERY quickly with her print skills.  She can identify all uppercase letters and most lowercase letters.  She can write most of her uppercase letters and frequently asks how to spell words so she can write them down.  Usually those words she’s wanting to write are words she is using to title/describe a picture that she has drawn.

Lyra LOVES DRAWING PICTURES!  Sometimes it’s rather annoying because there are tons of nearly blank sheets of white paper, her “mess-ups”, scattered all over the floors of our house.  At the same time, I’m amazed by her love of drawing.  She is so creative and descriptive with her pictures.  Her attention to detail just blows me away.  She includes eyebrows on faces and toes on feet.  I know I’m stereotyping when I say this, but I never would have guessed, with her being visually impaired, that drawing would be one of her most favorite activities.  I would think drawing would be less interesting.  Shows what I know.  😛  Here is one of Lyra’s latest masterpieces.

My opinions of Lyra’s progress are for the most part, based on what I’ve seen with her at home.  Below are a couple of Lyra’s progress reports from this past school year.  The first paragraph was from her regular classroom teacher and the second one is from her braille instructor.

4th Quarter Update from Classroom Teacher:

Lyra has been a great addition to our classroom this year. She continues to amaze us with her intelligence, and her ability to remember things. Lyra is very outgoing in class, and interacts well with her peers. We are still working on sharing and taking turns, but I feel feel that this is an emergent skill for most young children. We have seen improvement in following directions, and I think a big reason for her struggle with this is because she is so curious about her environment, she wants to experience everything! She loves all kinds of activities, especially books and reading. She has been a joy to have in preschool 3, and we have really loved watching her learn and grow.

3rd Quarter Update from Braille Instructor:

Lyra uses a braillewriter adapted with unifix cubes on the keys. She inserts paper with help and rolls paper in independently. She produces entire lines of full cells and 2 letters (a, I) with strong pressure. She allows assistance to position her fingers to produce her first name. She has asked about upper case letters and has used the capital sign in front of her name with assistance. She: tracks across lines of braille with assistance and consistently tactually locates a 2-space break or a dissimilar braille letter in the line. She has occasionally located 1 dissimilar braille letter in a line of 4 letters with max. assistance to track. She tactually identifies 2 braille letters(a, I). She has replicated configurations of 24 letters in a manipulative braille cell and accurately states dot locations 1-6. She visually identifies several letters that have been formed in a manipulative cell.