The program that the Monster is in – Together We Grow – is geared largely to provide the standard public pre-K experience in a classroom environment that’s also built to help children with Autism start to develop skills they’ll need in a real classroom. As such, he gets the same assignments any pre-K child in Maryland gets, including all of the homework.
I’m not as involved in the homework as the wife is, since she’s usually home and working on it long before I return from the office. On days where he’s home all day anyway – yesterday, for example – I often pitch in and help out, since she’s already had him for the bulk of the day.
At this point in his education, a lot of this is revolving around reading and writing.
The Monster knows all of his letters – he’s known them for ages, courtesy of Sesame Street. (To be fair, they’re also one of the things he obsesses about. He’ll sing the alphabet song ad nausium when he’s upset or distracted.) For him, the harder parts are reading real words and writing.
And writing connects up with something else that is not a strength of his, which is his fine motor skills. His grasp on the crayon or pencil still is fairly immature and he tends to want to scribble more than follow directions with how to use the writing implement. And while he can write the shapes of the letters, he’s not always inclined to concentrate enough to make it very legible as far as most people would be concerned. He can trace excellently, but his own freehand writing is not fantastic.
Still, when you consider that even three months ago, he couldn’t do any of it…
This, however, just gives me more of a reason to insist on finding out what his occupational therapist is doing with him so that we can back him/her up with similar exercises at home. I just want to give him every chance to succeed, and writing is something he’ll need to know how to do.