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make your day dance

Lest anyone think it’s a straight path…

April 4th, 2011 · 2 Comments · Tags: ··

I’ve had some pretty consistent successes, in my 2nd year of dance for students with Autism. But there are days…

Friday last week, the class fell apart. There were a lot of absences, from colds & such, so only 5 students out of the usual 8 were even available for class. Of the 5, only one and a half of them were there in mind & spirit: Samir was back & in good form after a 4-day absence, generally joining in, and Joey was with me about half the time. Adriel spent his time studying wall posters, worrying the edges of them to loosen the staples holding them up. Marty went after various props & tools on my shelves. Kelsey melted down in the hallway outside, collapsed in a sobbing heap. She never arrived.

The instructional assistants were also off. My most wonderful support wasn’t there at all. Another assistant wound up escorting a student from my other autistic class to PE, after he mistakenly came to my room. When she arrived 10 minutes late, she chose to model good participation without intervening with any of the student wanderers. It was a good indication of how dependent a good class is on the teaching team, rather than just the teacher!

What to do? Back to square one: hula hoops with a long spell of soft music. No verbals. Modeling engagement & exploration. A sit-down clapping pattern to end. A smiling goodbye. And hopes for next time.

2 Comments so far ↓

  • Susan

    Loved your blog. Sounds like some of our classes!would love to share some of your ideas etc with our faculty. Autism was new to us as well. we are learning more every day. it’t a challenging population and at the same time, extremely intriguing!
    Susan r

  • megrm

    Thanks for coming by! I’d love to hear more about what you’ve been doing too. Feel free to get in touch more directly