Happy New Year!!!!

So, I know that I have been absent a lot lately.  Honestly, life has just overwhelmed me.  2015 was a BIG year!
At home, my husband and I decided to move our family to a different town.  This meant cleaning, organizing and packing up our old house to sell (it sold in three days) so that we could start looking for a new house.  We didn't expect our house to sell so fast, so it was crunch time really quickly!  We really wanted to find a house in a neighborhood with lots of kids.  We looked all around, and found our dream house in the perfect neighborhood!  We were able to get a little more house than we originally wanted because we moved out a little farther that we had previously thought we would.  This neighborhood is crawling with little buddies for our guys, so it is perfect for us!

We accepted the offer on our old house on June 5, and a whirlwind later, we purchased and moved into our new house on August 1!  

Did I mention that we had also planned a family vacation for the middle of summer too?  We rented a cottage on Grand Traverse Bay, and had an awesome time spending time together during the lazy days of summer.  It was a great break from the craziness at home!  We spent our time exploring the area, climbing sand dunes, kayaking, paddle boarding, making puzzles, and playing games.  It was so fun!

After the vacation and moving, it was time to get the boys registered at their new school.  My oldest son has Type 1 Diabetes, so that took some planning time with the school.  The new school has been awesome with their support and help with his diabetes.  In November, they had Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Week!  My little guy who was selectively mute in pre K and K actually talked in front of the whole school!  AMAZING!!!!  He also got an insulin pump which has significantly changed his insulin delivery for the better.  There was a huge learning curve, but so worth it!

Of course, during all of this craziness, the boys still wanted to play sports too.  They were involved in soccer and a short hockey course this fall!

So, with all of that going on, it is amazing that I was also able take on an additional self-contained Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) room (4 total) and the rest of my general caseload, plus a new preschool program to boot!  Can you say CRAZY?!?!

At work, I have honestly been completely overwhelmed with the ASD classrooms.  24 students with significant delays can be daunting.  I have started to do groups with the students by working on Core Vocabulary.  I will write more about this another time, as this is definitely a work in progress.  The groups have been really successful, and I have loved running them.

My preschool students that I inherited this year are an absolute joy to work with!  I haven't worked with preschool age students in quite a while, and it is so refreshing!  They are so excited for everything I present to them, and have been making great progress too.

So now, on to the NEW YEAR!!!!!

I don't normally have new years resolutions, but this year, I wanted to write some things down to keep myself accountable.  
  • Blogging at least 2-3 times a month, if not more.  I have some fun ideas for posts, that I just need to sit down and write.
  • Create some new products to go with my Core Vocabulary lessons.  
  • Finally finish my Common Core Daily Workouts for grades 3-5.
  • Have fun with my students!!!!
Thanks so much for sharing 2015 with me!  I am constantly overwhelmed by the support I receive here.  Even with all the craziness that I have had going on, I love to check in here and see comments from people around the country and world.  Our online SLP community continues to grow in ways that amaze me.  

Here's to an awesome 2016!!!!  Cheers!!!

Speechless SLPs

There have been many moments in my career as an SLP that have rendered me entirely speechless.  When I saw this topic from Activity Tailor, I knew I had to link up!

Working in self-contained Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) classrooms for over 12 years now has produced many speechless moments for me.  My favorites are when students who were previously non-verbal or very late talkers communicate with me.

  • When a student uses every color on their PECS book to request every color Skittle I have.
  • When a student with ASD has been working on simple conversations for a long time, and spontaneously makes a comment without prompting.
  • When we figure out that a completely "non-verbal" student will speak and repeat words into a microphone!
  • When a parent cries at an IEP because they are so happy with the progress their child has made.
  • When a student with ASD moves away for a year and a half, comes back, and still remembers my iPad password!!!
There are many speechless moments with my students that are not in self-contained rooms too.

  • When my kindergarten friends across the hall make sure to come and get me any time they are starting "my song."  Pop See Ko 2.0  You have to check this one out!  This will seriously get stuck in your head!!!
  • When a parent tells me that their child's grandparents can now understand them on the phone.
  • When six first grade friends want to come with me to my room when I pick up one of their classmates, and the student coming with me looks so proud that she gets to go.
Of course there are many moments at home too!
  • When my seven year old son still wants me to "smush his cheeks" every morning.
  • When the same seven year old tells me "good night, sweet dreams, see you in the morning" every night before I shut his door.
  • When both boys come all the way across the house to find me and ask me to make a sandwich when their dad is standing in the kitchen!
  • When my nine year old son tells me that he is sad that he will have diabetes for the rest of his life. 
  • When my husband tells me he loves me and I'm beautiful.  Makes my heart beat a little faster every time.
I realize every day how blessed I am to have my family, friends, and students in my life.  They all make my life so full of love.

Thanks to Kim at Activity Tailor for putting this linky together!