Friday, February 26, 2010

Catagory 5 Hurricane hits Spokane preschool

We had Riley's first teacher conference this morning. Wow is he ever busy at school. I absolutely LOVE his teacher and she shared some great stories of Hurricane Riley.
I'll go for the funniest first. He has friends at school. His little buddy Darius likes to play with him and they often sit next to each other at circle time and during centers. Well, apparently Riley also like to have Darius help him with is work. Picture the teacher leading an activity where they had cut out a football and had it setting on top of textured wall paper. The kids were supposed to turn the crayon the long way and push it across the paper getting the color with the texture of the paper below it. Well pushing the crayon across his paper to accomplish this task was both hard and not Riley's idea. So instead of working on his project, after the teacher corrected him from turning the crayon the typical way in his hand, he stops, looks at this buddy, sets his crayon down in front of his buddy and then starts tapping on his paper to show his buddy that he wants him to do his work. Apparently this is not the first time that he has conned his buddies into do his work but it was the most creative technique he has used. He learned that the teacher makes him do it over if he doesn't finish his work himself.

The teacher said she has two kiddos in the room the Riley has really become buddies with. One little boy has had to care for his little brother so much that it is just in his nature to help and nurture Riley and little Darius understands that sometimes it is hard for Riley but its ok and that Riley will learn how to accomplish things on his own if his friends don't do them for him. I worried that because there is only 1 other 3 year old in his class and the other kids are SOOO much bigger physically than he is that they would baby him just based on size. Apparently he holds his own.

So on to the amazing story. During circle time the teacher holds up each child's name on a flashcard and the children have to raise their hands when they see their name. The teacher does not read the names but they have to identify their own name and raise their hands. Apparently Riley not only knows his name but has started pointing to his friends when she holds up their name tags too. It isn't all of the kids in class but his friends that he cares about he can recognize their printed name and point them out. How totally amazing and wonderful is that!!!
The teacher had wonderful things to share about his social and cognitive skills. His biggest challenge is communication. He is VERY quite at school. She told us that when he is by himself or just with a few children with imaginative play areas like the kitchen he is more verbal. Even though he might be saying clearly understandable words he has the intonation and pauses like he is having a conversation. He is doing better repeating words and she insists that he attempts the verbal word when he signs. Did I mention how much I love this teacher!!!

We also learned today that he is getting 20-30 minutes of individual OT each week. This is so much more than we were originally told he would receive. We were under the impression that he was only working with the OT within the classroom setting. His room is also such a high demand group for services that he is getting extra speech time with a 2nd therapist that comes in to work with a language group? I guess I should have asked what the difference is between an articulation group and a language group? HMM good thing we see his private speech therapist today and she just happens to be his regular speech therapist at school too.

So after so much worry and stress I'm happy to feel like Riley is just where he should be! He has a great teacher and great therapists.

It still is amazing to me every time I think about these too little boys and how fast they grow, and wow are they growing. They are not only physically growing taller and heavier but the maturing and learning that is going on inside just makes a person go WOW!!! If you needed a reminder of God's hand at work just check these two handsome lil guys.

Rex and Riley December 2006

Rex and Riley December 2009


  1. Hi Mary,

    I loved reading this. Riley's teacher does sound wonderful. Riley is doing so well!! What excellent news! I'm a special education teacher, not a speech therapist, but when our therapist comes into our room, articulation is more focused on the production of sounds, words and phrases. Language groups focus more on two-way communication, understanding the social rules around conversations, etc. I don't know if it's the same for Riley.

    I root for Riley and really enjoy reading your posts about his progress. You are so positive and he's absolutely fortunate to have such a loving mom (and dad, too!) You are awesome. Please keep sharing your stories!!

    Jill (Busse) Fetcho

  2. Love the stories! When my son was little, his daycare had everyone's names printed out and taped to the back of each chair at the tables. He could pick out his just fine! But one day a new kid was there and sat in his chair. Ryan THREW him out of it. The name tags disappeared...

  3. Rock on Riley! It sounds like you are blessed with a terrific teacher and how lovely that he has such good friends.
    P.S. I love the flashback photos.

  4. Yay for Riley! Happy SITS Saturday. Great post!


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