Robin attended Muriel Humphrey School for Retarded Children at two-years old and made major gains in language communication, using one or two words together in a controlled environment. Her public school years could not continue this progress and at ten years old, Robin was still testing at the pre-kindergarten level.
Not to give up, I home schooled Robin for the next five years, bringing her academic test scores up to sixth grade level, some to tenth grade level. These videos are several years into her home school program, after extensive therapies and appropriate behaviors were established. Robin had speech-language therapy, occupational therapy sensory integration, and art therapy as part of her home school program.
Robin's school day started EVERY morning with 20 minutes of swinging/spinning, OT/SI. In this shortened video, pay attention to Robin's attention span, enjoyment of the activity, and interaction with her father. IMPORTANT: Do not do this activity with your child unless it is prescrsibed by a certified OT. Robin had been in OT for seven years before progressing to this point, with continued home programs supported by her therapists. She is 14 years old.
After using the OT swing, we continued our OT/SI program with other activities. In this video, we are sequencing balance activities, practicing her baton, parade footwork, and skipping. Sitting down to start school, we first did Simon for multi-sensory focusing. I often used Robin's swing for relaxation before we went to parades. This is her uniform as a banner carrier. Robin is 13/14 years old.
This was Robin's last year of home schooling. She is 16 years old. Our charting of attention and behaviors had graduated to the "clicker." (This is an attendance counter for large events.) I am clicking throughout the lesson (20 minutes actual length). I assist her by holding a marker above the line read and turning the pages. Anything to make the lesson less stressful and keep her attention on the assignment.
Robin returned to high school the following year (for two years) with no academic classes. She graduated from high school with a Certificate of Attendance. She was 18 years old.
Trying to be positive for Robin, I looked for activities with immediate rewards involving typical students. I was ALWAYS close by as her support system for success.
Our extended families were very supportive of Robin at holiday functions. She did not retreat to her bedroom, she was expected to "socialize" as much as she was able. We all slowed down our communicating with her.
Robin belonged to a typical local 4-H club. Because of her severe language delays, we practiced her presentations in our home school first. Also shown is a rehearsal for her clowning performance with friends. Robin did not relate to her friends unless she had prepared script, as shown. The final segment of inclusion is Robin practicing her baton routine. She twirled the flag in parades, eventually twirling two batons with her peers. Baton required no language! Robin was 16-18 in these pictures.