Posted By admin on February 25, 2010
Lyra is doing great in preschool. One thing that I haven’t yet mentioned…at least I don’t think I’ve mentioned, is that Lyra actually attends two different preschools. One is the school district preschool. This is the one that handles her IEP. She attends this one on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings and she receives direct braille/vision services once a week for 30 minutes. The other preschool is a private school specializing in children who are visually impaired. Lyra attends this school on Monday and Wednesday mornings and receives direct braille instruction once a week for 30 minutes. So she is actually receiving double the amount of time for braille instruction as is required through her IEP. The braille teacher at the private preschool does have a copy of her IEP and are working on those goals/objectives, but the teachers and the school are not connected to the IEP in any legal sort of way. The teachers and the school name are not listed anywhere on the IEP.
Wow… that was a lot of words to try and say something simple. I hope that made sense.
The link below is to her 1st semester IEP progress report from the school district preschool or SDP for short. I have since spoken to her TVI and learned that Lyra has met her first two objectives for both of her IEP goals. She also told me that Lyra is a quick learner and isn’t resistant to learning the braille. One thing I was really happy to hear from her TVI is that so far, Lyra isn’t displaying/developing any braille bad habits…specifically scrubbing. Yay! Lyra can tactually identify the braille letters ‘a’ and ‘i’ and maybe a few others… Her TVI didn’t have actual list of all the letters Lyra knew in front of her at the time of our phone conversation. We have a conference next week and she will get me that information then.
One of the main differences between her braille instruction at the SDP and at the private preschool (PP) is the amount of time she’s spent using the braillewriter. At the SDP she’s only got to try using the braillewriter occasionally. At the PP Lyra has been using the braillewriter since day 1. Every day that she has had her braille instruction at the PP, she has brought home a sheet of paper with all of her braille “writing” and “scribbling” for that day. She has shown an increased interest in knowing what letters she is writing and her hand and finger strength is increasing. According to her braille instructor at the PP;
Lyra uses a braillewriter adapted with unifix cubes on the keys. She rolls paper in with assistance and produce some full cells with inconsistent pressure. She is beginning to do some independent scribbling. She allows assistance to position her fingers to braille her first name and inconsistently brailles letters ‘a’ and ‘i’.
Lyra tracks across a line of brailled geometric shapes with some assistance, identifies 3 shapes, and locates the one dissimilar shape in a line of 4 shapes. She replicates configurations in a manipulative braille cell, sometimes naming dot numbers, often working from right to left unless prompted.
When practicing her braille at home, I haven’t had any problems with requiring her to read the dots tactually. She sits up straight and sometimes she even closes her eyes…just cause she wants to close them. The only time she ever wants to look at the braille visually is after we’re done with each task…to sort of “check” herself.
The braille learning has definitely not had any effect on Lyra’s ability to learn print. As you can see in the videos of my recent post Reading Braille and Print, she is able to identify all 26 print letters by sight (occasionally stumbling with M & W), and although it’s not the prettiest, she can also write her name. From my perspective, Lyra seems to extremely motivated and equally excited to learn both print and braille. She often draws pictures…more like CONSTANTLY draw pictures…and then many times wants me to write words for her…to make her pictures into a story. I don’t want to stifle her creativity or imagination…but I could definitely do without all the pictures, cards, and stories scattered about our house.
Believe it or not…it’s about time for us to start preparing for and planning for Lyra’s next IEP meeting. The meeting isn’t until May and hopefully things will go more smoothly than our first IEP meeting last year, but I’d much rather be over-prepared than under-prepared.