So, today was the second day of the ESY program. How did it go? I'll give you a play-by-play rundown.
(Today I was prepared with a keyring of Pec Pics rules, and an old cellphone... He loves phones, and I've been told in a letter from his classroom teacher that a phone is one of the few things that motivates him in school.)
8:15 am - Meet Billy's bus. Unbuckle Billy's harness and extract him from the bus, even though he is already pleading, "No school today!"
8:20 am - Billy spots the cellphone right away. I tell him he can hold it if he goes and sits in Circle time with the other kids. Billy goes and sits down happily.
8:21 am... One of the other aides tells me that the phone should only be used as a reward for Billy. I tell her that I gave it to him this morning to try to ease him into the school day and get him to sit in Circle time.
8:23... Even though the phone has no service, when Billy presses a bunch of numbers followed by "Talk," he gets a recorded message. This amuses Billy. BUT, as he's messing with the phone, he is also listening to what the teacher is saying. He puts his name up on the board during attendance, answers questions, and I hear him repeating some of the words of the story the teacher reads.
8:30... The speech teacher comes to work with the kids. One of the aides tells Billy he must put the phone away until after speech. Billy screams, and knocks over a book shelf. I restrain him in my lap. He somehow manages to kick down one of those hanging pocket charts, causing it to land on a little girl's head. The girl screams. Billy asks, "Again?"
8:40... Still restraining Billy, who is spitting on the floor and on my leg.
8:55... Speech is over. Billy gets a break. I give him the phone and he sits at the back table and plays with it. He even eats his snack!
9:15... The recreation therapist comes in and announces that they will be tie-dying T-shirts. She passes out plastic aprons and gloves for the students to put on. When I try to put Billy's on him, he cries, "Jacket off!"
9:30... We go outside to do the tie-dye. Billy screams when he realizes we're not getting on the busses to go home.
9:35... I actually manage to get the apron on Billy, and show him how to squirt his shirt with a spray bottle full of dye. We do it hand-over-hand. Then Billy turns the squirt bottle around and squirts himself in the face! Of course!
9:45... After I've cleaned Billy up, he gets a break with the phone while the other children finish tie-dying.
10:15... Time for Reading. the teacher explains to the students that she's set up three stations, and they will rotate through the stations. The first one Billy is assigned to involves copying down words that an aide writes on a white board. I tell the aide that Billy doesn't write, that his IEP goals don't involve physically writing (he's supposed to be working on typing, except we don't have a computer or keyboard of any sort) and that his regular school has sent over work station tasks for him. The aide tells me I need to do hand-over-hand with Billy. I try it. Billy screams and throws the pencil. I take him to another area of the room, give him one of his work station activities, and let him play with the phone after he finishes it.
10:30... The next reading center involves decorating a paper T-shirt with stickers and Do-A-Dot markers. Billy takes the Do-A-Dot markers and starts enthusiastically decorating his T-shirt. I am glad that he's actually participating... until he calls the Pink marker "Drink" and puts it to his mouth!
10:45... The final center involves sitting at a table and looking at a miniature book about the Olympics. Billy turns over his book and screams. I restrain him on my lap and try to make him pretend to read the Olympics book. The teacher makes us read it twice.
11:00... The kids have some free time. Billy is given a small white board and dry erase marker. He draws on it, and then starts drawing on the large classroom white board instead. The teacher tells Billy not to do that. He screams and tries to run out of the room.
11:15... Time to get ready to go home! I get Billy's harness and backpack on. Billy amuses himself by putting the cell phone in random places and then asking me to get it for him.
11:20... The principal or someone comes over the intercom and says that, because there's a thunderstorm outside, we are on lockdown in our classrooms until further notice. The busses are idling outside but we cannot put children on them. The children are going crazy. One boy cries because the mysterious voice coming from the ceiling has freaked him out. The teacher games with the other children on the carpet, but Billy does not understand, and continues to walk around with the cellphone, repeating, "Time to go home? See Mommy? Go home? Bye bye school?" He has seen on the schedule that its time to go home, and he's not sure what the big hold up is.
11:40... Still on lockdown. I am physically blocking Billy from running out the door.
11:50... The mysterious voice tells us we can leave. I tell Billy its time to go. He cries, "No go home! No go home!" Ugh!
12:00... I buckle Billy into his bus, and tell him I'll see him on Monday.
OK, dudes, any advice? Help! Monday is only 3 days away!