On Thursday we had our first SST (Student Success Team) meeting for Tommy. These meetings are typically held with the school psychologist, classroom teacher, parents, and other necessary support staff. For Tommy, that was the OT and the social worker. Due to the fact that the psychologist was unable to attend, our meeting, I’m told, lacked some of the fomality that it would typically have. That being said, I really appreciate that they still held the meeting without her, rather than keep us waiting for a couple more weeks.
We shared Tommy’s evaluation report from his OT. We also learned more about what is already being done for Tommy in the classroom. I knew that he was supposed to be working from a visual schedule in his locker, but that he was still forgetting things at school on a weekly basis. I have known that his teacher was to be discussing other possibilities with the OT prior to this meeting. I had assumed that she was trying some things out, but I had really no idea what she was doing and with what frequency. (The chaos of the holiday season is largely to blame for this lack of communication.) I was pleased to learn that she has put some things in place that seem to be helping Tommy quite a bit.
Overall, his teacher and the OT are pleased with Tommy’s response to the accomodations. We are definintely pleased as well. He’s been wearing a weighted vest in the classroom, and has been taking the initiative to put it on (and take it off) as he feels he needs it. This is helping to calm him, which helps his ability to focus. They have also implemented what they call the “Concentration Station”. This is a quiet area in the classroom where students can go to take a break. It is something that was designed with Tommy in mind, but can be used by anyone in the class. He can ask to go there if he feels he needs it. He may also be sent there if the teacher feels he needs a break. His teacher says that he has already been using it and it seems to help him. He also continues to be motivated by the “jungle dollar” reward system they are using in the classroom.
He still needs work with organizing himself and his belongings before leaving for the day. The schedule is helpful, but he needs reminders to use it. We’ve seen this same type of behavior with checklists that we have at home. They serve as a home base to go back to when he is “off”, but he still needs to be reminded to go there. They’re going to try to get someone to come to the classroom in the afternoon to help him get into the habit of using his schedule. The other area where he needs some help is when sitting on the carpet. He chooses to sit in front, but is always creeping forward and needing reminders to stay sitting on his bottom. At the social worker’s advice, Tommy will be getting some sort of visual to keep him in his own space. It may be a carpet square or even just a laminated piece of construction paper. Just something to help him define his own space.
We will be meeting again in 4 weeks to discuss his progress and perhaps make further adjustments to his accomodations.