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To help raise awareness of the importance mental health understanding Danuta organized a "Hat Day" for May -Mental Health Month at the Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club. The funds raised were donated to the Alzheimer's Association.

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May 1993


This daily correspondence between schools she attended and us gives you a glimpse of our daily life. Most parents of typical children do not communicate on daily basis with the teachers. This gives a reader an insight to how important daily communication is for a child with autism.

Kat has attended school since she was 3 years old. These are school notes that were result of correspondence with her parents and her teachers. We have made comments at a later date reflecting back on the impact of these events. Kats School Notes Index








5/5 Hi , Kat had a great trip . She went to Magic Kingdom , Epcot , MGM , Universal Studios and Sea World. On Monday though she got up and said " go home , all done ". So she was ready to get back . She hugged all the characters and loved all rides . she is still afraid of loud noises . Anytime they were shooting off a gun we had to leave the show . She loved roller coasters and especially " It's a small world " ride . She will be tired today . Let me know how she came back.


PS . When is the variety club weekend ?


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5/6 Danuta -

Kat had a great day back (I asked C. ) & she worked well today . Glad the trip was good. Variety Club is Thurs & Fri May 13 & 14 .

Did you get the slip (I'llsend another today) .


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5/7 Hi , I'm enclosing the permission slip . Tom & I will be out of town Mon , Tues & Wed (back on Wed 5/12) . Kat will be with Grandparents at our house , In case of emergency please call our house . Thank you. I can observe Kat May 17, 18, 19 or 20. please let us know which day is best for you .


Danuta -

The 20th is good for us. I'll be there by 4 ock for tutoring


Mrs. Highet ,

Kat broke her lunch container on the way inside from recess . She was upset because she had to come in early for not following the rules outside ( she kept trying to take her shoes off & hit an assistant who tried to stop her) .

She worked well the rest of the day .


P.S. We need Medical Form and $10.00 for Variety Club trip by tomorrow if Kat is allowed to attend . We have her permission slip .


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5/12 Dear K.,

The $10 fee in envelope in Kat's pack . Danuta will be in later today with medical info .

Ruth Highet

Thanks for the trip $. We are sending a camp story and packing checklist home. Please read the story w/ Kat & have her use checklist to help pack .



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5/17 Danuta -

Kat saw a puppet show today - she was very appropriate for the entire show ( called "What a Waste " - a show on recycling & how to dispose of trash properly)


5/17 Kat was doing her visual hand stim at the table . As her hands wer flying all over the table . As her hands wer flying all over I started reciting "Jack and Jill " to the rhythm of her hand movements. After I finished she said " Little Miss Muffet ". As I started to say it she placed her one hand on the table as if it was sitting when the spider's turn came up she took her other hand and wiggled it like a spider as she was bringing it down and than had her other hand run away. This might be a neat way to give her a substitute behavior instead of trying to stop the self stimming. Can you try something like that when she starts stimming ?


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5/20 I'd like to talk to you about the hand stim & functional alternatives . Thanks for your visit . Always good seeing you!



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5/21 K. & C.,

Thanks for letting me observe the classroom . The way Kat reacted was a great sign of progress she's making .

We looked over the IEP . If you have no objection can you please add 3 more items .

- Teacher home visitation program every 6 weeks (data will be reviewed at this time )

- 1 set of books & workbooks for home only

- Introduce use of note books ( e.g. copying information from board ) if you have an objection to any of these please give me a call . see you at 1 PM.


PS. It was great to be able to observe the class . I had fun



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5/24 Hi, Kat was supposed to go to Boston this weekend but she still had a little cough so we took it easy .

With the handwriting , when I physically hold her down she does a lot better. I was working with her on " writing fast " and " writing slow ". I thought maybe we could try over-correction teaching her much slower than it's realy required (writing, drawing ) . Let me know what you think and if you have any ideas .


5/24 Hi Danuta !

Your hand-over-hand technique is a very good method to use w/ Kat for hand-writing , but work this way perhaps from the beginning of your lesson w/ her & let her learn from you , but also work independently . I've used clay w/ students to block them from rapid work . I would write Kat's name or even use our handwriting sheets & place a strip of clay after each letter so she's forced to stop the pencil after each letter , therefore slowing her process w/ a physical interference . gradually lessen the amount of clay until she is writing at a more appropriate pace . you can also use clay to help strengthen the use of the pencil ( practice writing in a flat piece of clay & tracing her name slowly in the clay )


P . S . Kat needs to keep her hand on the table when she writes - she needs this for control & she does not do it independently yet . Thank ! C.

C. ,

Thanks for your ideas . I used your idea with clay except I made her stop . "(word stop). First she was frustrated but later it helped her . Thanks



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5/26 Danuta -

Thanks for the worksheets - Kat's coloring is improving w/ her hand being put on the desk - how's handwriting going at home ? Have a nice long weekend -



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5/28 C. & K. I worked on handwriting yesterday . C. you were right all I did was hold one finger on her wrist to make sure she held it on the table and she did a lot better.

She surprised me last night in a restaurant . They had those sheets with a picture and word with missing letters

example "_ ous _"

she filled in (verbally a lot of letters . Is spelling something you were working on ?



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