Meet Chance. He entered our Blocks classroom on August 24th and had a difficult time engaging in peer play, expressing his emotions, and eating. Chance was a picky eater and we had such a challenge getting him to try the food provided by the school! He was also prone to emotional outbursts and almost always had a negative reaction when given directions, which often had to be repeated. He would reply “no” or “I don’t want to” and would sometimes even throw objects across the room. When Chance was sad, he cried almost all day, but when he was happy he is a ray of sunshine.
Chance’s teachers focused on improving his communication skills and helping him learn self-regulation. Using the power of repetition and communicating clear expectations, like “Walking Feet,” “Listening Ears” and “Nice Hands,” his teachers only saw moderate improvement. Chance still refused to positively engage with classroom activities or play with his peers. So, the teachers helped Chance connect to ABA therapy.
At the Learning Pavilion, we have therapists that come into the classroom to observe behavior directly and then offer intervention. After the first week or so of observing Chance, the therapist began to work one-on-one with him, focused on classroom transitions, conflict resolution and other social-emotional skills. Every time a therapy session would finish, Chance’s therapist would connect with his classroom teachers and go over notes about what they did and what will be worked on in the future. This collaborative approach worked! It was just a matter of time before we started to see a significant change in Chance’s behavior.
As Chance began to get more comfortable with his peers, he finally started to play along with them. He learned how to properly communicate his emotions and express his feelings to his friends and teachers. There is little to no refusal when asked to do something; his transitions from one activity to another are much smoother; and he has gotten so much better at conflict resolution. Chance has made his teachers and therapist super proud and we can’t wait to see him thrive in kindergarten!