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May 1997


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







            Hi, we had a great time at the museum.  Kat was very good.  She did strong talk a little (lot) but very quietly that we could not hear her most of the time.  Kids are really great in her class.




            Hi!  Glad to her you had a great time at the museum!  We’re in library.  Assign. is to organize books by the dewey decimal system.  Kind of tough for Kat to do independently so the group of girls @ her table are helping her  Class is browsing (sp?) and almost time to go back to class.  Class having a discussion review with their S.S. packet  Chapter 13 – A New Govt.  Kat paid attn. todiscussion.  Difficult b/c they’re reviewing a packet that she did not complete.  Did the best we could to keep her attn.  Now class having math.  Kat working on her math work .  Now off to Music!  Discussion about pianos!  Interesting!  Video and W/S activity .  Now we’re on our way to small group. 

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Melissa 5/5

            Hi!  Got here early perthenew schedule only to find things topsy turvy in terms of the school program .  CATS have begun and E.was pulled away from Kat to administer them to a small group elsewhere .  Kat was found in Mrs. R.’s room reading a story on tape w/ another boy .  Mrs. R. is out to write IEPs so her substitute , Mrs. Pts. , was instructing .  Kat was reading and following nicely.  Needed prompting only to modulate her voice tone .  ( went too loud to too soft ) .

            Mrs. M. has given out some math papers to Kat on her level .  She has generalized her skills well and those she did not know , she left blank !  This happens rarely but I think this is good – much better Then guessing . Thesepapers are baseline results ; no prompting involved . 

            Went outside for a brief morning recess – Kat played nicely , although didn’t seek anyoneout in particular.  She is in a very happy mood.  Icontinue to ask her “Why are you happy ? ” and prompt her when she doesn’t answer or answers inappropriately . 

            Please continue to ask her at home “why are you happy?” to see if she can generalize at least on response she has learned at school.

            In math , Theyare beginning theconcept of multiplication .  Kat is using counters with the rest ofthegroup to illustrate simple problems such as 2 X 3 or 3 X 3 .  She is listening to Mrs . Pts. directions well .  I think multiplication will beeasyforher whenshe gets toit .

            Lunchtime recess , Kat began to get very silly pulling her jacket over her head and posing.  We were playing a different version of dodge ball but Kat did not seem interested ( unusual ) and then began posing in line going in .  When back in the room , it got worse and I warned her we would go home if she continued to talk and be silly .  She started to cry – " no posing – no go home! "  Seems a little tired so we’ll take it easier this afternoon .

            Went to library to hear a book read by Mrs. Ro. – Hermit the Kermit .  Kat had her photo taken by a digital camera in computer . ( tucked in the blue book.)  Health was last today due to CAT testing schedule . 


Hi , E.  Kat’s schedule is changed this week . I am not sure how her mornings will be affected .  Can you ask Melissa this morning ? 


PS she hadaprty with family this weekend  , Bridget’s piano recital and a first communion party .


more 1 cent stamps

Clinic Note Sheets  

Skills for School

1. EC better w/ those she is talking to - Who

2. Voice modulation when reading

3. Posture when walking in hallway , eating at table in cafeteria ( does respond well to prompting )

* 2 full days at school Mon - THURS.


5 Causal Phrases

1. arithmetic

2. horizontal

3. vertical

4. diagonal

5. synonym

6. antonym

7. switch(papers )

8. healthy

9. jaw

10. verb

11. noun

12. adjective

13. single file


Jewelry Clothes

rings jeans

necklace T - shirt

bracelet jacket

beads socks

ankle bracelet pants

earrings coat

pins vest

watches sweater


Restaurants Stores

McDonald's J.C. Penney's

Burger King Disney Store

Wendy's bookstore ( Encore , etc.)

Chi Chi's Kaybee Toys

Chuckee Cheese The Gap

Chinese food rests. The Limited

TGI Friday's Express

Ponzio's Macy's

Olga's Diner Boscov's

Olive Garden Mr . Bulkie's

Discovery Zone

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            Hi when we ask her about feelings I’ll say both so that she has to come up with a third optionforex . why are you sad and crying ?  Why are you happy and smiling ?  She is starting to come up with new responses 


Melissa 5/6

            Began w/ Kat at EP ( Enrichment Program).  Study of volcanoes w/ Mrs . C. (See notes on 'Small Group')  Kat was attentive and interested in the hands – on experiments .  A.W. came fromThe MiddleSchool to observe Kat and will be calling you to schedule testing .

            Next saw a movie about volcanoes in Mrs . R.’s room ( 30 mins ) and Kat was excellent  Herbehavior is wonderful –shebehaved even when it wasn’t interesting to her !  Played a game insmallgroup andthen on to math .  Flashcard game in smallgroup



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D. 5/7

            We need to be there by 12 Noon today so if you could bring her in by 11 45 . 

PS ! ! She got 2digit carrying ! ! !  Itclicked! 

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            Hi!  In Mrs R.'s room again today .  Kat needed prompting 3x to bring a pencil & come to sit at table & do spelling . Once there she followed along nicely .  During reading I prompted her on her modulation .  It’s either very soft or very loud – sometimes she mumbles the words .  The vocab was difficult for her - ( 2 – 2 level) it was a story about a manatee .  She’s paying attention & following Mrs. M.’s instructions




            Good morning after her testing w/ J.R. . She did some independent seat work and thenjoined The math group to do more multiplication .  She really understands The concept now .  She won the game that they playedas a group.  Took her spelling test for the week - got 100% on " ch " words .  Next weekschedule back to normal !
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5/12 Melissa

            Hi !  We are back to normal schedules again this week , thank goodness .  Just finished science and chapter test coming up on Friday (17 ) .  E. was called out to do make – up CAT tests today so Kat was here in the class alone until I arrived . Mrs. D. cameover to me right away , said Kat had been great and that she had asked her if she could sharpen her pencil !  Shestill greets me with a loud “ Hello Melissa! ” when I enter theroom no matter what is going on .  Maybe we could teach her to say it softer and also when we get closer to her . ( at least in school)

            Now on to health where the kids have to role play situations that they are confronted with ( drug dealers ? alcohol? )  This is health! Anyway , Kat is watching intently and laughing along with the other kids. Kat won’t participate as it is too difficult for her without practice . ( lots of dialogue , etc. )

Clinic Notes 5/12

* 1. Voice modulation when reading ,speaking .

2. Won't - again contractions not understood .

3. Word problems - needs to learn key words ( altogether , in total , difference)

4. Definition ( ex. healthy , jaw)

* 5. Questions - Where is - R ---> I don't know , where is . . . ? promt answer

* 6. Forcefulness without aggression - holding arm tight , pushing hand away

* 7. Appropriate behavior - reinforce !

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5/13 Melissa

            Hello, once again . Kat smiling and happy this morning , copying sciencenotes from I. when I arrived .  ( E. called away again)  Finished up by having her listen to hand – raising activity by Mrs D.  Had her practice raising her hand w/ rest of class to indicate 1 , 2 or 3 (convection, conduction , radiation )  Not looking for correct answer , just watchingothers andraising her hand .  For somereason , shedidn’t want to do it .  Had to H - O - H prompt , said “ Look at the class , raise your hand ” and she did it 1x butthen wouldn’t do it without prompt  once she grabbed my arm , and immed. said, “ I’m sorry , M! ”  No aggression butclearly upset .  Started to recite rules !

            Off to music  Very good ; listened to a story and followed a short activity ona paper keyboard .  At the end of music , they all did The limbo .  Kat jumped up and joined the group – she was so excited to be dancing .

            Now in Mrs . R.’s room . Kat is going right to town on her multiplication tables . She finished 2 papers using counters .  She really understands it well . 

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            Hi , Melissa  Kat got the scrambled eggs from school menu .  I suspected that she must of memorized the menu.  She did !  ask her what is for lunch May anything and she’ll tellyou .



Melissa  ~

            Hi!  It’s me again!  Poor Kat will have me all week.  R. had to be at a meeting this morning.  We had art first thing this morning and Kat painted her sculpture.  She needed to be prompted to begin even though I asked her what the others at her table were doing.  This may need some practice in observational learning – if she watches what others are doing, she will self-start. She has lost this a bit – at least in some areas.

            In science, we read in book and discussed as we went along.  Kat was asked to read.  I’ve noticed as she gets to words she doesn’t know, she lowed her voice and it remains low.  Prompt found a happy median.  The kids clapped.  She still has trouble maintaining her place as other read.  On Friday, the Chapter test will be given.  Do you have a test for Kat.  in math, Rms. R had a group activity centered around multiplication.  She taught the class how to count by 3’s and Kat raised her hand to do it – no prompt! 

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Melissa 5/15

            Wow !  What a memory .  She never ceases to amaze me _ when it comes to lunch, the kids can count on her to know the menu . 

            PE this morning with a substitute, E. said it went fine.  When I spoke with L.C., she told me Kat is still playing with her hair – even when she asks her to stop.  I have warned her not to touch it but I think she knows L. is a soft touch so we’ll try token removal.  She knows that this will happen. 

            Science was 45 minutes long today as there is a test tomorrow.  In the blue notebook are some papers done in class which might help you make up a simple test.  Mrs. D. asked many questions for Kat today and Kat responded to most.  When I moved away from her, however, she started playing in her desk, looking to color on the worksheet they did as a group.  She tend to lose attention as soon as the shadow moves back in this class.  You must sit next to her.  Dialogue and quick transitions make it difficult.

            P . E the 2nd time this morning was fantastic .  Kat ran again for 5 min w/ no prompt – only stopped to walk now and then a s did others .  Played baseball w/o any H - O - H assistance!

            Lang . in Mrs . R.’s class is word endings this week ( s and es )  Kat is generalizing nicely from her 1st grade worksheets .  Also - doing spelling w/ “ ck ” endings this week in workbook .  Each activity is a little different and requires her to generalize previously learned skills which she does well . 

            Perfect opportunity at noon today to reinforce gas in the bathroom.  Please ask if I forget!

            Had a wonderful afternoon just reading, asking “uh” questions and finding answers in the book.  She was so happy! 


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Melissa ~

            Fire drill first thing this A M.  When back in class, watched a short video then took a science quiz with the class.  Had her copy answers from neighbor as she did not really understand what to do. (and couldn’t risk loud talk because class was taking quiz)  Next they took the test and Kat took hers.  Did well overall ( -6).  L.F. came in to observe and saw science as well as language in Mrs. R.’s room.  Kat is really generalizing some of the language skills beautifully.  Look at the sentences she copied from the board in Mrs. R.’s room ( yellow paper ) only first one prompted !  


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            E. will not be here tomorrow morning .  I’m still working on coverage & will call you this evening to let you know if I got it or not .  Schedule was a little different today due to rehearsing for talent show & an extra recess .  After, returned to class for science and S.S. which was 1 1/2 hours .  She did well even though very long .  Gave her W.S. periodically to keep her attention up. 


5/19: I will be in school at 12:30 to pick up Kat since R. must leave by 12:30.  Kat had dress rehearsal for her dance routine and did great.  See you at 12:30. 


Clinic Notes

1. Bring back o bservational learning ( w/out words ) or ma ybe try at playgroup? Kat needs to watch othersand begin activity if she cannot or did not hear teacher . ( ex . noisy environment)

2. Definitions - can we keep it ongoing for certain words Kat needs to learn ? No time for worksheets and she really retains defs . from Therapy previously learned .

3. Categories - for academics , needs more categories . ( nouns , verbs, adj . ) Can we add This to general categories ?

4. Pronoun Generaliztion - Whose ? Could not get for his / her/your

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            Hi!  Off to PE.  Class had a 20 minute jog around gym.  Kat and other students were not really able to keep the pace for 20 minutes but Kat put forth a wonderful effort.  Standardized placement test in Mrs. D.’s class (6th grade placement for math) so we’re in Mrs. R.’s room having math – great timing!  Now we’re having language in computer lab – Kat writing a story about a ballerina – she is really into it!  Already time for lunch.  After lunch small group working on spelling, we’re going to start a new spelling lesson on contractions.  Some crying because new skill – but she’s getting it - excellent !  Worked on this for a while.  Kat getting the hang of it!  Now we’re going to read a story with small group.  Kat doing a great job participating, reading well!  Great day today!  See you tomorrow! 


Kat was at neurologist yesterday.  Everything seemed to go fine.  She will stay till 3:00 in school today with S. and then S. will bring her home.  Tomorrow if you could bring her home @ 1:00 that would b great. 



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Hi S.,

            Tom is very sorry he forgot & remembered to late.  I asked Kat what she did and she kept saying bridge?  If you can’t being Kat home today give me a call  thanks .




            Hi!  S. must be running late so I can start w/ her until she arrives.  Although she’s doing so well, she really doesn’t need anyone 1st thing.  She really had the routine down pat.  I’m really thrilled about that!  Here’s S.  Have a great day.  Time for library .


            Hi! I’m here – sorry I was out in the hall yapping with Mrs. B. – not time to socialize!  Anyway, Mrs. Ro. is conducting library in Mrs. D’s classroom.  They’re watching a filmstrip – “The World Almanac”. 

            Danuta, I can’t figure out what Kat means by “bridge”?  Wanted to let  everyone know that Ellen has been reminding Kat to greet people with a whisper instead of an outburst when in class and she has been doing this successfully with Mrs. L. all morning ( 3 x's ) .  Great !  Went downto library and checked out books.  Backin class we’re having science .  Lesson review.  “ Flowering Plants ” page 362 review .  We participated for 15 – 20 mins .  Class is Now working ind . on sci.  Ch . 18 Review .  Katworking on her worksheets as well.  Everything going well this morning !  Kat is really becoming more and more independent in specials !  Now off to music .  They’re having talent show try-outs for whole period .  Kat seems to be really enjoying this !  Students did the bunny – hop she thought this was great!  After music we have lunch due to change in schedule . (standardized testing)  Kat will get lunch and extra time at recess today!  After recess it will be time to bring her home.  Kat will only have 15 min . in small group Today b/c of schedule change .  We will probably work on spelling – contractions again.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


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            Good morning!  It feels good to be back with Kat instead of moving.  Another mixed up schedule today.  When I arrived Kat and class were in the music room with Mrs. P. having a “ girl talk ” about periods .  Kat saw me enter and said loudly “ no silly talk , No singing ”.  Had to sit close to her as she began to sing loudly out of nowhere – guess it’s only weekend regressions.  When she persisted, took her out of room to do work for a few minutes until they finished .  She was upset but no scene made at all.  Got back to Mrs. D. for science. Unfornately , the chap . test is This afternoon - maybe she can take one tomorrow .  Had her do the Chap. Rev. worksheet w/ class in preparation .  You can use it to make up a test , if you wish.  R. could give it to her tomorrow .  Only took awhile before Kat stopped the singing, silly talk , etc.  She is now working quietly and appropriately .  One important point we must remember is that she responds beautifully to positive reinforcement .  I am continuing to try and find every opportunity to reinforce for these behaviors we want to maintain .  It doesn’t need to be token – a mix of praise, nonverbal social and token seems to work best . 

            Just went to Mrs. R.’s room and Em. left Kat an invitation to her birthday party of Jun 7th.  Kat was visibly excited.  The invitation is tucked in the blue notebook for you to R.S.V.P.

            We are now doing math and Kat is learning the key words used in word problems to identify what to do.  We are drawing the problems and writing the questions.  She is making an effort to follow directions from Mrs. R w/ prompt from me.

            Oh, oh.  Got up to get a tissue (does she have a cold?) and began to pirouette – said “no” she looked at me and did more – I took away one cent – then began to sing loudly – said “no” she did the same thing again so tore up her token sheet and said “no surprise today”.  She started to cry loudly – had her sit down and go back to work immediately.  No problem for rest of morning.

Lunch Tomorrow and Thurs . 11:45 - due to testing (4th grade)


            Hi, E. are you available for lunch on June 16th?  I would like to take everyone out.  PACT is having an auction / luncheon at a country club in Mt Laurel  It starts at 11:30 and I reserved a whole table for us ?  Hope you can make it


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            Hi Could you pass on the envelops to I.  thanks .  The scarf if for her dance with I. & D. .



            Schedule was crazy today due to 4th grade testing.  Had to make adjustments.  Lots of singing and silly talk overall today.  When consequated she would cry.  I think Kat is taking advantage of the fact that I’m new at this and don’t catch everything.  I’m also  not sure exaclty what’s expected of her in different situations and know that I’m not consistent with the others, which may throw her off a bit.  I think if I could overlap with someone, it would help.  Didn’t get all her dimes today. 

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S. ,

            Good morning!  Off to P . E .  They’re holding hands in a circle and passing a hoola hoop around using their bodies .  Kat doing O . K . trying to cut corners and use her hands.  2nd time better!  Kat wouldn’t let go and forced her to do it and she did!   Kat very independent overall in PE today.  However, she seems very sluggish right now.  Back in class we’re working on worksheets.  Class doing independent work as well.  Kat doing a wonderful job.  Quiet, diligent.  Back to P . E.  Another stellar performance !  Today is a crazy day !  Change in schedule for testing .  Mrs. R. is in meetings all day so substitute However, Kat has been wonderful throughout !  In small group class is getting special surprise.  They’re going to watch a video – I think Kat has been great today so I’ll let her know that she can stay at school longer and watch movie for her great work !  I’m sure she’ll love this !  Well of course she does !  

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Danuta ~

            Kat will be picked up by the bus at 1:15 at school .  She did great at the recital. She loved the lights on her as soon as she realized the colorful lights were on, a big grim showed up on her face . She did super !



            Good morning!  Danuta – I hope you did another video tape of the recital – I would love to see it!  I’m so proud of her!  Sounds great!  We’re in library.  ALL LIBRARY BOOKS ARE DUE BY FRIDAY JUNE 6.  If the class returns all books by then – they will get a party!  Again – discussion about “world almanac”.  Back in science in Mrs. D’s class – major outburst because class was given instruction to open science book and Kat wanted to finish her journal.  Science about “ photosynthesis . ”  Class is having teacher lead discussion .  They are to read and follow along in the book while taking notes from the board .  Lots of crying – loud outbursts .  This is not our best morning so far .  We’re going to get back on track here!  We’ve been following science lesson for about 20 min.  Now that Kat is calm – participating nicely we’ll move on to our own work .  OFF to music .  Tongue Twisters are the lesson today .  Sub is doing agreatjob though !  We’re having Math and then language.  When time to end Math and start language Kat not finished her math work .  More crying.  We’ll have to start working on transitions and incomplete tasks so she doesn’t get so upset.  Also, crying, screaming behavior was up today.  She has only earned 2 tokens so far.  Verbal stimulation up too!  Hope she has a better day Monday! 

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