The Pure Excitement When Alice Says Her Name!

This is an amazing story about one of our students. Alice is six years old, learned to walk at ALC with Ms. Regena and is pretty much nonverbal.  This story is why inclusion is so important with the typical kids. It’s not just a stunt or an angle to make everyone feel good. It is a part of the Magic of ALC.   Read the notes below from Alice’s teachers.  This is truely amazing!

~ Charles Schoen, Executive Director, The Adaptive Learning Center

From Brenda, Alice Hagan’s ALC Facilitator:

Alice had a fantastic day today! While in line waiting to go out for recess, Peter approached Alice and asked her if she wanted to play with him on the playground. Then he said her name in a sing song way. Afterwards, he looked into Alice’s eyes and asked her to say her name. “Alice, can you say your name? say: ALICE” Alice looked at Peter and said “aa ii” (short vowel sounds,two syllables) Peter was so amazed as he reached over to my arm and exclaimed “Ms Brenda! Did you hear Alice say her name!” I did! Then Peter invited Abby over “Abby, Alice can say her name.” He once again, looked into Alice’s eyes and repeated the same prompt. Alice responded with “aa ii” Peter and Abby clapped for Alice while Alice smiled and made several happy utterances. Then Peter asked several of the classmates over to hear Alice say her name. They were all so very excited and proud of Alice when she responded to Peter’s request to say her name. As we began walking down the hallway, LoriBeth noticed the excitement in the air. She inquired to what it was all about. With great enthusiasm, Alice’s classmates told LoriBeth about Alice saying her name. I asked Alice to say her name for LoriBeth, Alice responded with aa ii. Ms Shelby and LoriBeth were so thrilled for Alice!
In addition, throughout the morning, Alice was counting to five with great articulation accuracy for the numbers 1-4! She enjoyed counting bugs and stars in a book. Ms Shelby also invited Alice to count. During Speech Therapy with Lauren, Alice counted 5 stars on a piece of paper. She orally recited the numbers as she touched each star for one to one correspondence. 
A truly magical day!

From Alice’s Classroom Teacher, LoriBeth:

It was like electricity in the air between Alice and the friend (Peter,
 Abigail, Callum etc) or the teacher(s)…It was so exciting! I got goose
bumbs numerous times through out the day just recalling everything. The
 other children all frozen with anticipation. Seeing them look at her with
 such admiration and pride! Alice saying her name when asked, like it was 
something we had done a million times. And the time she clapped for herself
 after saying it again – or maybe she was clapping FOR US!? 🙂 These wilder than usual kiddos all slowed down and time stood still- and they were 
tuned into Alice. They often are tuned in and that is seen regularly every
day, but this was just another level of connection. And Brenda just 
stepping back and us watching everything unfold… I could watch it again
 and again in my mind a hundred times. I’m crying right now AGAIN! Once I got to the bottom of the stairs where Shelby was waiting with the
 other children, I explained why we were just then getting down the stairs
 and suddenly no one was interested in going out the doors (though they had 
been waiting and bouncing to get out) They wanted to talk to Alice. They 
wanted to hear her, and talk to her, and ask her themselves! So much 
CONNECTION– or whatever word means Amazing, sincere, authentic Connection -
That! Of course after so many times of this cool thing going on, as a 
teacher and just as a person, you wanna dig your heels in and keep going 
and doing it more and more – but then you are forcing it. The cool part too
is like everything Alice does – it isn’t forced – It was her being her!
 She was ready to tell Peter her name and he had the idea to ask her.
 So bam!
 We did note that the previous day, he had spent most of our playground time
walking around with Alice repeating her name in a song/tune. (Abigail and
 Peter both) But for 20 minutes of the 30, you could hear Peter singing
 Alice’s name while walking with, (both beside and in front of her) and at
 times even around her. 
IT was something that cannot be described with any justice in words -you 
absolutely just had to be there! 
In a week of receiving ‘gifts’ it made perfect sense and felt right on 
time.

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