Alice Says Her Name… An ALC Success Story!
This is an amazing story about one of our students, Alice. Alice learned to walk at ALC with Ms. Regena and is pretty much nonverbal. This story is why inclusion is so important with 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 these notes from the teachers last night. Amazing!
~ Charles Schoen, Executive Director, The Adaptive Learning Center
From Brenda: Alice’s Facilitator:
Alice had a fantastic day! 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! -Brenda
From Alice’s Classroom Teachers:
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! lol 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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