This is a crazy time of year filled with extra meetings for children moving on to middle school and incoming early childhood children for the next kindergarten class. It doesn’t allow for as much preparation time. So this session is a good contrast of what can go wrong when there isn’t time to think the details through.
The Circle Friends came together as usual for lunch. You may remember that originally we allowed the circle friends to have an early lunch time so they could have more time to meet after eating their lunch. Their classmates actually had recess first and then came in for lunch. This had worked well up until this point. This becomes an important detail the adults forgot.
The friends asked “Dee” if he would like to play jump rope or 4 square. He chose jump rope. Today we had a sunny day, which we hadn’t seen for a while.
The friends decided it would be great to go outside. “D” didn’t like this idea. He told them that you jump rope in the gym. Apparently this was something new and we hadn’t prepared him for. He was uneasy about going outside to jump rope. He played outside regularly on non circle days so you wouldn’t have thought this would be a problem. This is a persuasive group, and they got him to say he would go outside. Leaving the room, he decided to head for the gym doors. However the group managed to go out the side doors on the way and just sorta carried him along with them. He was still reluctant telling us we needed to use the gym, but he went with the group to the playground. He made it to the playground and the group got the jump rope going. He decided he would twirl. It looked like he would settle in and everything would be all right. Then within 10 minutes of being there it happened. The whistle blew for his classmates to come in for lunch. Well routine took over reason and “D” decided he needed to line up too. He didn’t buy into the idea he already ate his lunch and could stay outside. I did get a bit of a video tape showing him twirling outside. Maybe the tape will make him see he is able to jump rope outside as well. I think this session is a reminder not to lose sight of the details and details matter to a child with autism. Prior preparation can make a big difference.