Learning at Home Success

June 29, 2020

A spot to honor our students and their parents for learning at home during Covid19.  

We are so proud of the many parents of the students we serve. You are working so hard to help your children keep their skills and move forward with their goals, during the most challenging of circumstances. Here, we want to share some of your stories. What is going well or terribly? How does learning at home look for your family?

Please email Vickir@crossroadcenter.org if you’d like to be featured here. You’ll be a source of encouragement and connection to others. We’ll just use first initials.


6.29.2020 – N (Room 6)
As our 2019-20 school year comes to a close, we have one more story to share. We are so very thankful to all of the parents who have been working so hard on their child’s education through the time of school closures as we’ve been doing remote service delivery. We salute you!  

A child with special needs has needs that are special all of the time, no matter where he or she may be – not just at school. Although I.E.P.s (Individualized Education Plans) are written for ensuring the child’s needs are met when he /she is at school, parents at Crossroads well know the extraordinary ways that – wherever they are – they provide their child with care and parenting. And lately, with schooling, too.

M and J are two such parents. Their son, N began at Crossroads in Room 6 as recently as December. Previously, N was in a home daycare. At age 2 his parents and teachers were noticing some signs of delays yet testing showed that he didn’t quite qualify for services. A year later, at age 3, testing showed marked delays and qualifying for special education services became a reality. M (Mom) and J (Dad) began looking for schools and were thrilled when Crossroads was able to find a spot for their little boy.

At Crossroads in Room 6, N, a gentle, motivated and energetic learner, immediately started making gains. With N’s special needs being met in a structured classroom with evidence-based practices in place, N was finally able to learn and significantly grow.  M tells about how he went from using just two and three words sentences to five and six word sentences. “He had a huge explosion in his skills upon coming to Crossroads. We’re so thankful for all that they’ve done here.”

So how has it been at home during the Covid-19 learning at home time for this family?

“Well, it’s not been easy,” M admitted. She noted that she felt so connected to the other parents who have shared their stories on our blog spot. The challenges and the silver linings that others have told about are similar to what she and J have experienced. The complexity of their work/parent/teacher roles is one common theme that all can relate to, it seems.

“We’ve both been working from home. You know, your employer expects you to keep up with your normal activities and responsibilities but then, as a parent you need time to be a parent for your child who is now at home while you’re also working,” she says. “Keeping up with all the different expectations has been challenging.”

Beyond parenting, teaching tasks are an additional layer of their day now.

The facets of helping children with schoolwork at home are already complex, and when you top all of this off with the extra time, prompting and attention needed by so many children with special needs, it adds up to a lot.

M relays that they’ve had to make it work, though. They take the time to sit with N for speech therapy and circle time and to work on his skills in between. He enjoys the circle time with Ms. Jenn (Room 6’s teacher) as one of his favorite things. Doing the activities that his classroom teachers have given to the class is another. “Jenn posts fun activities such as scavenger hunts and N enjoys those. And he likes seeing his friends,” she says. He also really enjoys interacting with his speech therapist, Ms. Ria, she notes.

N has a little brother who is just a year old. He has been home also during this time, although, very recently he started back at his day care. In two weeks, N will be returning to summer program (E.S.Y.) and things might start to get back to normal a bit for this wonderful family.

Between N, his team at Crossroads and his parents, the repetition, consistency and planful approach to his education, N has “met his goals and has done intensely well,” M says. “We are thrilled with how well he’s done.”

We are so honored and thankful to hear N’s story and are grateful for the time and effort that they are putting in at home. Further thanks to Ms. Jenn, Ms. Ria, and the Room 6 team for their hard work to help N and their other students.

 


6.22.2020 – N (Room 14)

To all of the parents who are working through the current school closures, we salute you. These are difficult times, and we are well aware of the extraordinary challenges many of you are managing.

At Crossroads, positive reinforcement is a mainstay of the work we do. When a child is able to select what to work for, and receive that when work criterion is met, he or she learns the skill that is desired and to value learning. It’s something that L and M have learned during the time they’ve spent teaching their son at home. Here is N’s story.

N is a student of Room 14, a school age classroom for students of Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade ages. The students here, like in all of our classrooms, have many different needs and goals from one another, and individualized programming is developed for each child by his or her team, a function of the IEP (Individualized Education Plan) process. Like most of our students, N has many goals to work on for his academic goals and is also working on skills for Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech.

L, N’s mother, relays that this time has been difficult. She shares that especially in the beginning it was a real struggle to be able to get any work done. “He can get so frustrated and distracted. Just to sit down to do one activity was hard,” she says.  “I would sit with him with my bowl of tangerines to get through just one activity. He loves tangerines.” Tangerines were the reinforcement N needed to work with his mom and learn that schoolwork was going to be done at home now.

“For him,” L expresses, “it is a lot of trouble focusing. He gets distracted.” However, putting aside these challenges of frustration, L kept trying. She and her husband decided to divide the things their little boy needed to do between the two of them. “My husband started working on the PT goals, like throwing the ball, and using the staircase. I would work on his coloring skills, and his math.” Splitting up the activities has been working well. Trying to do everything was overwhelming. “My husband,” L adds, “besides PT and OT goals, he reads with Noah also. Lindsay (N’s teacher) recommends to read with your child every day. So, I would do school activities and some speech activities and my husband would do what I described above. “

Between each activity L and M give their son a little reinforcement break. “We started doing, ‘first this work, then the trampoline’ to reinforce him and give him a break for each thing he’d get done. A couple of minutes to jump on the trampoline is reinforcing for him, because he struggles and gets frustrated if he has to sit still for a long time,” she relays.

N has also enjoyed connecting with his teacher, T.A.s and classmates through Zoom. “ We love our morning circle time, L notes.

Just over two weeks ago, N was able to start up with his per diem ABA (applied behavior analysis) therapy again at home. The therapist is new to N so she so she took the first week to get to know him. The second week, she started working on goals with him. L notes that this is a big help.

It sounds like L and M have figured out what works best for them all during this time. Together they are getting through the challenges and helping N learn to their best ability.

It was very important to L that she shared her appreciation for N’s team. “I want to give a huge shout out to his teacher and therapists. They have been very helpful sending activities for him and we have weekly meetings to see how N did and they would give us tips in those challenging areas. Lindsay even dropped off N’s binder that they used at school. His OT sent some materials to help him practice his OT goals. Without their help, we could not do all of this. I am grateful for this wonderful team from Crossroads.”

We’re also grateful to the team. Their dedication to the children and families is phenomenal. Many thanks to L for speaking about her family’s challenges and successes learning at home, and giving us a way to connect and inspire our community.  


6.11.2020 – Z (Room 14)

These stories from our families are links connecting one to another in the Crossroads family. We hear struggles and successes that are both similar and unique. By listening we understand, by sharing we connect. Several parents have shared that they were able to find ideas and hope from each other, and a sense of belonging and connection in a hard time. Today’s story is shared by J. She is the mother of Z. 

During normal times, when school is in our school building, a day in the life of Z and his Room 14 classmates includes circle time, reading group, math group, PE, art, social and play group and 1:1 sessions to work more intensely on individual skills. Some days there’s also a healthy food program group lesson, or a science one. A plan in place provides positive reinforcement for appropriate and adaptive behaviors, targeted and fine-tuned daily by the team according to the data they’ve collected.

It’s a busy school day, with many people and activities in place to help Z be successful. He has done well since attending Crossroads, the repetition and consistency from his educational team and carryover from his family have made a world of difference. He’s learned to communicate to make his needs known. He’s even moving on to a classroom in his school district in the fall.

So, the day that J, Z’s mom learned that school was to be closed and she was now going to be Z’s primary teacher, she felt a bit overwhelmed.

J works full time from home. Taking on childcare responsibilities during the hours she needs to work was one aspect of this, and then to be actually guiding her son’s schoolwork at the same time seemed impossible. She decided to get super organized and make the situation work as best as she could.

J says that with Mrs. Lindsay, Z’s teacher’s help, she created a schedule for his days. “I got a cute white board and set it up for every hour, what he has to do. So at 9:30 the class has a Zoom time, that’s on the schedule.” She set up his room up somewhat like a classroom, so he could feel like he is at school. He needs to work on his school assignments and follow his schedule, and then he can earn tablet time as his reinforcement.

Z used to be a huge Spider Man fan, but that’s in the past now. His current hero is Sonic, so J has done everything possible to incorporate his Sonic love into his work. She laughs as she says, “Google is my best friend,” and explains that she’s been able to find Sonic sight-word games, Sonic stickers, handwriting booklets, and work activities. “I try to make sure he is motivated as well as educated,” she says.

J says there have been no maladaptive behaviors at home. Are their times when Z doesn’t want to do his work? Sure. J turns these times into a game. “OK,” she tells him. “So you don’t want to do your writing? Then no Sonic sticker.” She tells how she keeps it light, laughs and shrugs when she gives this response. Then he’ll say, “oh no Mommy, I want my Sonic sticker,” and does his work. Then she makes sure to praise him for doing it.

“In the beginning was totally a struggle,” J notes, “but I have to suck it up. He likes to see Mommy happy, not sad or upset, so I stay positive and upbeat and keep going.

J describes her little boy as smart, sweet-hearted, and quick-witted. He has a big heart, and is very kind. He wants others to be happy and tries to help when he sees someone who is sad. He loves swimming, his Nintendo Switch game and biking. He loves to play with his cousins, whom he refers to as his brothers. He loves to eat, and of course he loves Sonic.

“I’m so proud of him and all of his achievements. She says she applauds Crossroads for all he’s done. “He’s grown so much. He can communicate well. Before he started at Crossroads, he knew his ABCs and some counting. He couldn’t read. He couldn’t pronounce things. He couldn’t communicate and would get upset all the time. He’s been able to grow and learn so much. It makes me so emotional.”

Big kudos to this very inspiring and positive woman for coping so well during this time. Many thanks to Z’s entire team for their love and care of this wonderful child and his family.


6.9.2020 – J (Room 14)

As time goes on, we’ve been privileged to be able to talk with more and more of our students’ parents, and learn about how they are coping throughout this time when school buildings are closed to children. It is humbling to hear their challenges and how they are accomplishing life these days. Today we honor J and his family.

Few things are more inspiring than hearing a child’s first words. When this happens at ages older than “typically” expected, it is undeniably amazing. That is part of “J”’s story.

Meet J and his parents, A and J. In this post, we’ll distinguish between the two J’s, father and son, by referring to the elder J as “Dad.”

Because his parents sought out help early, J was diagnosed with autism at 18 months and ABA therapy was recommended. Through research, they found Crossroads, and J started receiving clinic services. Later, he was placed in the preschool program for center-based programming. He’s now one of the children in our school-age program, a student in Room 14.

Speaking to his parents, you know at the jump that they are full in for doing whatever they can to fight for J and his growth. Where they formerly thought and spoke of his communication as “nonverbal” with the amount of words and language he has now, Mom and Dad now expect J to use words to communicate.

The covid-effected school closure has been challenging. A and Dad both work full time. The sudden need to take on teaching their two children, especially one with special learning needs, on top of increased time of the kids being at home, all on top of full time work responsibilities has been difficult.  Yet, both have gotten to more fully understand J as a learner during this time of having him at home constantly.

J is “sweet and lovable with a feisty side,” says A. “I feel like with us, with J, there are some days we can get nothing done, whereas on other days we can get four or five things done. We have learned to have grace for him and for us. To be grateful for what he’ll give us when he’s in that space.”

Thanks to Mrs. Lindsay and the Room 14 teaching assistants as well as the therapists that work with J, A and Dad have learned how to more effectively reinforce J for his work. Dad shares that in the past they had never been able to do much in the line of school work at home. “We would try to get him to read his sight words, and when it was a struggle, we’d just know that they’d be able to get him to do it at school.” When circumstances forced parents to suddenly become teachers of J and his sister, retention of skills immediately became a priority. Being able to mindfully apply reinforcement, coached by Lindsay, has been integral to getting J to work on his skills with his parents at home.

They relay that there are many skills they had never been able to see. “We heard about him doing this or that, but we never really got to see it.” That was until J started understanding that his schoolwork – including reinforcements – were going to be part of life at home.

One example A shares is with the Zoom meetings with his class and team members. Seeing him be able to sit in front of a computer, and actively participate in a session, blew her away. “Just the way they know how to get him to engage, and through a computer…I never thought I’d see that.” Both parents are so very grateful for Lindsay and everyone on the team. How they connect, how they put so much thought into everything they do, how they really go above and beyond. A, also an elementary school teacher, truly understands the level of commitment and effort that J’s Crossroads team is putting in.

Things J likes the most are reading his sight words and reading his books. These are printed out and he loves to sit and read them. Several he’s memorized by reading them again and again, and will say the words aloud as he goes through page by page. From this, he has also developed a love for any books, and, as any teacher will tell you, that is a heart-warming occurrence when it happens.

J also loves any time spent outside. He loves to run and play. He rides his tractor, and just enjoys being outdoors. The consistency of being at home every day with his family has led to a family relationship that has thrived.

Although it sounds like everything is perfect, A and Dad both are quick to assure us that they are very anxious about getting back to normal. They have found many silver linings, which speaks well to their nature as people who tend towards the positives in life. But they are certain in wanting to get their two children back to school. For J getting back to school is especially critical as they consider regression of skills. “What the teachers do at school we can never replace.”

Many thanks to this inspiring family and to the dedication they are putting into action during this troubling time. Many thanks, too, to Mrs. Lindsay, Mr. Nick, Ms. Melissa, Ms. Brianna, and all of J’s therapists for your commitment to your students, and for recommending this family for this spotlight. 

 


6.5.2020 – L (Room 13)

We all know by now that the situation of distant learning is not in the best interest of our students, and is a huge challenge to parents and teachers alike. That’s why this blog-spot is such a point of encouragement; seeing the various stories and how we can relate and support each other in the effort to keep our children moving forward, is a connection we all need.

Today it is a wonderful pleasure to honor the family of a young girl from Room 13. Her name is “L” and her mother’s name is “A.” Here is her story.

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When you think of all of the different children that Crossroads serves, you have to feel good about being part of the organization. We truly have an awesome community, with some incredibly devoted and hard-working parents who are helping their beautiful children get through this time despite the challenges.

Today, we’re delighted to share the story of “L”. She is a Room 13 student who has been part of our school since she started as a preschooler in Room 8. L uses an eye gaze assistive device to communicate, but also has some words. She loves Bubble Guppies and has started to enjoy the dog and two cats that are the family’s pets.

L’s mom is “A.” She and L’s father are both working full time, she from home and he at the office. In the beginning of in-person school closing they both struggled. Doing assignments every day, trying to get on for every online activity offered, she said they both ended up feeling fried, and then guilty for not being able to do it all.

To top that off, there were the worries. Worries about the regression being permanent, the loss of skills that she’s worked so hard on being lost forever. “I’ve had my meltdowns and fits of feeling I can’t do it.” she acknowledged.

A shares that prior to learning at home, they would always do a bit of structured work with her at night, but mostly just being a family was their focus. They would gear up for the weekend and between the two would manage for L’s needs and energy. It was a big change to suddenly have to help her to do her schoolwork seven days a week, at home, and learning how to help her the best was a big curve.

What A says she’s learned is valuable for others. “I’ve learned not to put too much on her, and on each other. To take each day as it is and accept what each day has to offer. To know when too much is too much. Knowing that when I hear myself say ‘I can’t do this,’ it’s time to take care of myself. We need to take care of each other and our family. It’s ok to accept that I’m not the therapist. That I’m not doing L a disservice when I can’t do it all, when I can’t do as much as her team does when she’s at school.”

The support they’ve received from L’s team has been phenomenal, A says. “I love their commitment. They do circle time, literally, every day.” This component has been the stability they’ve needed to put school structure into their weekdays and save the bulk of work assignments for the weekend when both parents are there to support each other. Doing what works for them all helps them all feel better.

She tells about L’s teacher, Ms. Victoria, driving all the way to E. Greenbush to bring work packets. Witnessing the way L saw her teacher and tried to get out to her through the locked screen door made an impression that she felt deep appreciation for. She names L’s team members, classroom educators, her OT, PT and Speech Therapist. “They’ve all been so dedicated,” she says tearfully. “Their care and concern is phenomenal. And they’re so adaptive, so willing to step outside the box to do what helps. The support we’ve received has been huge.”

Among the ups and downs, the good and the bad, there have been some bright spots. Having the opportunity to be around her family constantly, L’s parents have been able to see her do the academic skills that the team has told them she can do. “It’s cool. Yesterday, she independently identified the color blue. It was nice to be able to see that.” Another example is that until recently, L never paid one iota of attention to her pets, two cats and a dog. The fact that she’s around them more has made her more aware of them. She’s begun to acknowledge them, and even try to pet them in her own way, “something we need to work on,” A laughs.

Many thanks to this wonderful family for all they are doing to keep schooling move forward, for fighting to stay positive, and for their love for their beautiful daughter. Many thanks to L’s Room 13 team for their dedication to L and her family. 


6.2.2020 L (Room 5)

It’s always an honor to speak with the parents of our students, to learn their perspectives and how we can better support them during these very challenging times. Sharing their stories can help us all to come together to be stronger and wiser, kinder and more effective going forward. Today’s feature is one of our own. “L” has been a student in Room 5 this year. His mom, “A” who we will hear from below, is a staff member of Crossroads. We salute you.

Today we honor the family of “L.” This mom spoke truthfully from the heart, and is a bit different of a perspective from others we’ve featured here. Mom, also known as “A” is also a Crossroads employee.

She works hard at her job with her own students and as well with her two children, L and his younger brother C.  Today we share her compelling story.

“I struggle on a daily basis,” she says. “I need to provide more for my children, and more for the children at school. Finding the balance has been difficult.”

Too frequently, A finds herself questioning what she should be doing. When she’s working on something for her students she feels like she’s letting down her two boys. When she’s engaged with them, well then she thinks she should be doing something for her students. This is a struggle that has been articulated by other moms who are trying to juggle the increased responsibilities.

How she’s making it work, is by incorporating the main ideas of lessons presented in L’s school activities into activities that are manageable for her younger son, too. “It’s not always necessary to do the exact activity that the teacher shares,” she notes, “when you can take the concept and work on the skills in a different manner.” Examples she shared were going for a walk and counting houses, or asking the colors of flowers, rather than absolutely having to sit down at the table to do those skills in a different format.

It also helps to get C, the younger brother involved in the activities. “It keeps L engaged and involved. They can help each other and can work on turn-taking, sharing and other important skills that would not be integrated if he did his work on his own.

When asked for advice to share with other parents in this situation, A’s response is this: “Try not to judge yourself too harshly. As parents we’re not supposed to have to be the teacher and therapist; we’re doing the best we can. We need to remember we’re still the parent, that’s the most important job we have. Don’t judge yourself so much based on the things that aren’t working right now. Give yourself the grace sometimes to just be a parent.”

Does she feel supported by the team? Emphatically, yes. She has received great packets of materials for hands-on activities, and feels connected to everyone through dojo and zoom. She enjoys reading the comments of encouragement from L’s team and is grateful for the help.

As for the boys, they ask every day, “When are the germs gonna be done?” The other day L asked Alexa this question. “Alexa, when are the germs gonna be done?” Sadly, Alexa didn’t know. “I’m sorry, I don’t know that one,” she replied.

L misses his friends and teachers, and is looking forward to coming back soon.

L’s Dad normally works from home a lot, and is tickled to have the family around more. He also shares the teaching duties and supports the boys through this new learning at home period.

In summary, A says some days are better than others, ups and downs like a roller coaster with many loopdy loops built in. But she has many things to keep it all in a positive perspective – her family’s health, her work and most of all her family.


6.1.2020 R (Room 12) Update

Today, we’re pleased to share an update from the family of R (see below for his past feature).

R has been working on social skills while out on the boat. Mom reports that he has been initiating greetings to people they see. He loves it, as you can see, and we’re so happy to see  his joy and excitement!


5.27.2020  S (Room 11)

Today we honor the family of “S”

Say hello to “S.” She’s a creative learner from Room 11 who loves hands on activities like coloring, cutting and pasting, which her mom, also “S” tries to keep her stocked with during this time when she’s learning at home. With names both starting with the letter S, we’ll further refer to Mom as Mom and this student as S.

Mom’s name came up recently when staff members were asked for ideas of parents to reach out to learn about how they were doing at home and honor their hard work here. Mrs. Kerry, Room 11’s teacher relayed that Mom has been quite diligent and keeping S engaged at home during this challenging time.

In a phone meeting, Mom said that it can be hard, especially as she herself is finishing up her semester of college, another switch to virtual learning which she’s had to learn new systems and make adjustments for. Having to do the work for her courses, cook for meals, and “do all the things we need to do” can be hard with S at home. Mom says her daughter prefers a level of attention that can be difficult to meet when there are other things to do.

But she’s learning to adjust she says. She tries to keep her engaged, and has been able to establish a consistent routine, which helps. For instance, she has found by experimenting, that S is more agreeable to doing her schoolwork after dinner, with a meal in her. She’s able to focus and sit for a longer period, whereas attempts earlier in the day were largely unproductive.

Mom says that S can be selective and likes to pick and choose what she’ll engage in, so she’s found an assortment of acceptable activities for her to choose from. S can be coloring while she’s cooking, or work on her tablet. She has toys, playdoh, and lots of art supplies. A swing and a trampoline give her some exercise and movement, which Mom notes is important.

Mrs. Kerry supplies lots of activities which address S’s goals for the year, notes Mom. She gives an example of counting bears which Kerry provided, because S doesn’t like the online learning, she needs the contact of something to touch and manipulate to learn. S likes reading the books and creating the crafts that are printed out from Dojo, their classroom learning platform, and she responds well to the use of her reinforcement system, with the most special rewards for the most difficult tasks, such as toileting, for example.

When asked for words of advice for other parents who may be struggling through this learning at home time, Mom notes that it’s hard to give advice because everyone’s situation is different. She says that whatever works for you and your child, that’s what you try to do. “You can’t over-push them, it’s different now, you don’t have breaks from them and they don’t have breaks from you,” she relates. She suggests trying a different time if the one you’re in isn’t working. Keep trying, and find what works, when they’re more cooperative, and then be consistent. Use that same time every day. And sometimes, you just have to “let it go,” Mom says. Tomorrow’s a new day.

Many thanks to this mom for sharing her thoughts and the fantastic pictures, below. Thank you to Room 11 for all you are doing for your students and families and letting us meet this family!

VIDEO CLIP 1

VIDEO CLIP 2 


5.19.2020 – A (Room 3)

We are happy to share “A”s family, with you today.

Meet “A” and his family.

Eager to learn, and eager to please, A is a happy, active Room 3 student whose parents are tag-teaming the teaching role. His mom, “M” tells of how challenging it has been. She is still working from home at this point but will soon need to go back to her office to work. She says she’s lucky to have her husband also working from home two weeks and then at his job two weeks for now and doesn’t know how they will work it out when the time comes. M says that the balance of being A’s teacher is a challenge, juggling the duties of getting online with the classroom and therapists, doing the activities, completing her own work, and then doing everything else you do to.

But M is definitely focused on making it work. “I hear some people saying that it’s not their job to teach their child. I’m like, yes, yes it is your job right now.”

What helps?

  • Keeping it fun.
  • Following a structure, a routine.
  • Using the resources and advice from the teachers.

M says she’s enjoying working with her son. She says that she’s found he does not have difficulty sitting and focusing. He loves his schoolwork, and loves receiving praise for his efforts. He works for a reinforcer at the end of a job well done, and he loves to follow a routine.

On the other hand, A misses the socialization of school. He misses being with other kids, and as an only child, M feels he really needs this aspect the most. She tells of how he’s been working on turn-taking, for example, and she sees how this skill-set is being addressed in the zoom classroom groups he attends.

Many thanks to M for sharing her thoughts and the awesome pictures, below. Thank you to the team of Room 3 for having us get to know this wonderful family!


5.14.2020 – C (Room 6)

Today’s spotlight is on “C” and his family.

C is an adorable youngster who is part of Room 6 this year, and who enjoys school and has made many gains. This morning, Ms. Kelsi, BCBA pointed out how great a job C and his family are doing with the learning at home situation.

In a phone conversation with C’s mom, “A”, she acknowledged that it’s been hard adjustment from being a parent to being a parent and teacher. During the time at home, she says, she’s learned a lot about how to be his teacher and bout how he learns. She expressed gratitude for the teachers and therapists for giving a lot of help and advice about how best to work with him.

Here are some of the ways A is getting through this time. These are great bullets to share to help other parents when they are struggling:

  • Work in short periods. A says she’s found that C is much more successful when she doesn’t try to accomplish everything in one day, and works on activities a little at a time  rather than in longer periods.
  • Keep in a routine. A finds that when she keeps things as routine as possible, C does better and is happier.
  • Stay hopeful. A feels that C, along with many others will likely experience some regression. She has her fingers crossed for summer program, and is committed to doing what she can to keep him moving forward.

Many thanks to A for sharing her thoughts and her pictures of her beloved little guy with us today!


4.20.20 J – (Room 4)

We want to honor another of our families today.

Meet “J”. J is a sweet, active learner who is missing school but working on skills and activities carried out at home. J recently had a birthday, and we saw him celebrating it on Facebook. His mom, “B” wrote the most beautifully worded message to her son and it brought some of us to tears. We salute B and “A,” J’s dad today for their hard work to make at-home learning a success!

B writes,

“Things are going well so far. Missing school. Trying my best to keep him busy. He loves to help me cook sometimes, loves painting , loves blowing bubbles, and loves his brother a lot!”

Thanks so much to Ms. Jena, J’s teacher, for obtaining permission and these adorable pictures to share.


4.17.2020 – R (Room 12)

Today, we have a new story from “J.” Her son, “R” has been learning to wear a mask. She said it was important because she doesn’t want him to lose his community skills, so, among other things, she is making sure to get him out. Sometimes it’s to the garage with Dad, sometimes it’s four-wheeling, and sometimes it’s in the car for a ride.

Does “R” try to take it off? How is it working? Mom says that she says, “leave it” a lot, and gives tons of praise.

Thanks to this wonderful family for sharing with us all.


4.10.2020- R (Room 12)
To all of the parents who are working through the current school closures, we salute you. The challenges that are presented by these unbelievable times are intense. We are are well aware of the exceptional hardships many of you have to manage right now. This blog spot is to honor Crossroads students and parents.
Here on this page, we hope to share many stories that parents send in to tell how it is going at home. Today we have a story shared by Mrs. Erin, Room 12’s teacher.
She expresses that her student, “M,” has been working hard all year on many skills, one major area being life skills. Sorting and matching colors and sizes is one goal that has been addressed as part of his school day this year. “M”‘s mom sent in this wonderful picture of how he is working on this skill at home by sorting socks.  Erin writes, “It’s an (individualized) life skills goal but something all could do for sorting and matching colors and sizes.” 
Many thanks to “M” and his parents, and to Erin for sharing your uplifting story. We are so very proud and inspired by the work being done and the coming together among the members of our community despite the severe challenges of learning at home. 

3.31.2020

To all of the parents who are working through the current school closures, we salute you. These are incredibly challenging times, and we are well aware of the exceptional hardships many of you are managing.
This post is the first of hopefully many stories that will be shared by parents of our students. They will added here on this blog spot to honor Crossroads students and parents.
This story was shared by Ms. Kelsi, BCBA with permission from “J” and “D”, parents of “R” one of our school aged learners.
She writes,

I was hoping we could share some of these photos of the (family)’s homeschooling success.  (They have) worked to keep a consistent schedule consisting of his morning binder, daily living skills (e.g. dishes, vacuuming, dressing, cleaning, etc.) and afternoon car rides with his dog.  “R” and the family have worked hard to find simple and realistic consistency in a way that works for them while building practical skills along the way.  I wanted to honor the hard work they’ve done by sharing some info and ideas with others. Thanks!! Kelsi 

Updated 4.2.2020 – see below.

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Today, April 1st, begins Autism Awareness Month. This Guest Submission is in celebration of the families that know firsthand the struggles as well as the tremendous love and life lessons that come from caring for a person with autism. To love a person with autism is to learn to see the world in a new way; the experience making you both, simultaneously, a kinder, gentler person, and a fierce, unwavering advocate. I ask, for this April, for Autism Awareness Month, that you put yourself in the poetry of a moment of someone with autism. Experience the world in a new way. As the guest poster writes of this submission: "This pic just makes me want to be more like R. everyday. R. has no fear of the coronavirus. He lives life fearless and limitless." For more information about autism, please visit www.autismspeaks.org. #poetryinpeople #photoseries #autismawarenessmonth💙

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