Taking the Scenic Route

Thesis, Reading tests and other updates

30th April 2008

Thesis, Reading tests and other updates

Zach and the thesis

Thesis is DONE.  He might have more revisions, although he has already completed the first round of revisions wanted by his thesis advisor.  (he wanted him to change something that would make it more usable for him (the advisor) in his project, which makes it more publishable).  Right now, it looks like he might not be able to defend it before the Spring graduation deadline.  It works for everybody on the committee except the head of the department.  We are now aiming for before graduation so that he can be technically done with all of his degree requirements before he walks, even if the degree won’t be conferred until the Summer semester.  At this point it is out of our hands.  If the defense date gets pushed beyond graduation, it won’t likely happen until the end of summer because his thesis advisor is leaving the area for the summer, so we really hope that won’t happen.

Zach and employment

No real news.  He has an “interview” for the same job he has had the last few years, for another 1 year contract.  woohoo.  No summer teaching jobs are available right now.  No summer jobs available anywhere that we have found yet.

No word from the job he wants in the south.  It is a federal job and it can take a long time to process everything, but we are still hopeful of getting it.  He is going to talk to the temp agencies tomorrow again to see if they have anything.  He is also expanding his job search to KC and OK City besides Wichita, but we hope that we don’t have to move unless it is the job down south.  Mostly, I hope we can just hear something good soon.

Church stuff

It is going well.  This week Zane went with his class to the big group (they have a group story time in a theatre/auditorium area with grades K-5 before breaking up into individual classrooms).  He sat better than most of his classmates (they put him in the 1st grade class instead of the kindergartners…the plan is to keep him in the 1st grade classroom next fall also, so he will be with his own age then but be used to the classroom already.  The Kinder kids have a slightly different schedule than everybody else, so getting him used to this when it will be changing soon seemed like a better idea).  He was participating in the activities in an appropriate way, and his “buddy/para” is a nurse and seems to really ”get” him.  I am very happy with how it is going.

There was a funny moment with Zora this week.  I dropped her off at the desk this week, and they took her to the classroom.  Because Zane and I are starting our day in the office instead of the classroom, right after I dropped her off and filled out the forms at the desk, we walked past Zora’s classroom.  (normally people can’t walk back there for security reasons).  As I walked down the hall, a teacher poked her head out of the classroom to say that “I don’t know her…are you sure she has been going here for several weeks already?”.  I turned to the person and asked if they were talking about Zora…they were…I looked up and realized they put her in the 1yo classroom.  I pointed out that she is 2, almost 2.5, not one, and the situation was resolved.  Later, when I passed by again, I took a close look into the two year old classroom and noted that she really was a lot smaller than her classmates.  lol. I am still not used to being the parent of a petite person. 

I still haven’t had the opportunity to talk to the pastor about the disgusting sermon he gave last week.  I was planning on talking to him a little after church, but when I took Zane out to the playground in between services, I failed to notice that the rain had settled on the bottom of the dirty slides, and Zane slide right through it.  His entire back of his pants were muddy and gross, and I didn’t have an extra set of clothes, so we just went home.  I think I will call this week and see if he has a time he can meet during the week.

Zane and his reading tests

He took the Woodcock and the RAN/RAS (and maybe something else too…I will have to wait until I get the written report to see if I missed it).  He did fairly well.

For word identification he is at 96% for his age, and considered to be working at the level of a kid in grade 2, 1st month.  For decoding/silly words/word attack he is at 91% for his age, working at 3rd grade, 0 month level.  For Passage comprehension he is at 64% for his age, and at 1st grade, 0 months.  His receptive language 1 word recognition is at 21% in his age level, and he is working at the age of a 5yo,2mo level (a bit more than a year behind).   With the Rapid naming (how fast you can “read” a line of letters, numbers, colors, symbols in various combinations he was average and above average for his age.  He is working in the range of 1st grade, 2nd month to 2nd grade, 7th month for those tests.

So, as expected, his reading level is high for a kindergartner, but his direct language skills are behind.  (but receptive language not as behind as I thought they might be…a year behind is really not terrible given that is expressive language is quite a bit farther behind…he probably isn’t much more than a 3yo for a lot of his expressive language, if I judge where he is compared to Zora.  She is actually ahead in nonverbal language I would guess, and just on his heels for a lot of the verbal.  I suspect she will overtake his expressive language within a short span here).  The biggest thing we have to really keep an eye on is his comprehension, but we knew that. 

One of the things I do that I need to continue, and probably expand, is pull out vocabulary words in the things he is learning and make a visual reference card for the vocabulary word.  (I take words and find pictures that match it and have him glue them to an index card with the word on it to help him learn the word better).   Google is my friend in this project…I love the ability to google images. 

It sounds like it is probably time to start trying to find chapter books for him.  They said the “captain underpants” books are probably too high a level at this point, but maybe the “boxcar children” books might be ok. (I remember loving those as a kid…it will be interesting to see if I like them as an adult) ”Junie B Jones” was also mentioned.  I wonder if the first Little House books would interest him…I know the first ones are at a much lower reading level than they are later in the series.  If anybody has other suggestions, I would welcome them.  I haven’t really had time to look through books at the higher reading levels yet.

A few pictures

 Watching Daddy outside

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During Speech Therapy..A Little Sailor Boy, pulling his boat behind him

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My view of him at ST (unless I am watching from behind a 2-way mirror)

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Putting Yarn on a Yak (guess what letter they are working with.)

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Discovering the joys of music in the headphones.

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posted in Autistic Life, Church, Crafts, Homeschool, Language Development, ST, School, Tests, Zane, Zora | 4 Comments

  • Zane's age

  • Zane is 15 years, 7 months, and 24 days old
  • Zora's age

  • Zora is 11 years, 7 months, and 28 days old
  • Random Quote

  • Autism is a continuum from genius to extremely handicapped. If you got rid of all the autism genetics, you’d get rid of scientists, musicians, mathematicians. Some guy with high-functioning Asperger’s developed the first stone spear; it wasn’t developed by the social ones yakking around the campfire. The problem is, you talk to parents with a low-functioning kid, who’ve got a teenager who still goes to the bathroom in his pants and who’s biting himself all the time. This guy destroys the house, and he’s not typing, no matter what keyboards you make available. His life is miserable. It would be nice if you could prevent the most severe forms of nonverbal autism.” — Temple Grandin, PhD, Autistic

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