We went to R.’s school today to observe motor group and recess. She was excited that we drove her and went into her classroom.
The motor group happens once a week and it is run by an OT and a PT. It is only half an hour but they do many things. They started by sitting in a circle and passing a ball back and forth. They did yoga poses, R. was mostly resistant. Which did not surprise me, but I have seen her doing some of those poses at home. Then the kids sat on scooter boards and had to cross the room and match a colored bean bag to a colored mat. R. can actually do this now, she was aversive to the scooter board at the beginning of the school year. Next was an obstacle course which included jumping on a trampoline, rolling down a wedge mat, climbing an A frame ladder (something else she would not do at the beginning of the year), walking a low balance beam and throwing bean bags into a hoop.
As if that wasn’t enough, they did fine motor tasks at a table. Each of the kids seemed to be working on different things. R. had to use tongs to pick up tiny discs that the OT was holding in different positions, and then she had to put the discs into a cup that the OT kept moving. She did this really well. I definitely got the impression R. likes the fine motor portion of motor group best.
Then we went with them to recess. I watched her line up with her back against the wall with the other kids when instructed. She held on to the teacher’s rope thing with her classmates to walk to the school playground. She was super excited to have us with her, she was jumping up and down and smiling, and she dragged me all over the playground, showing me around I guess.
There’s a typical preschool at the school, and a steady stream of classes came in and out. All the teachers seemed to know each other and all the kids, which was nice.
She was a little overwhelmed when there were lots of rowdy kids running around her, but she was also really interested in them – running away and coming back for another look. She wanted to join a group of typical kids and one of her classmates playing ball in a circle with their teacher. So I sat with her and helped her play. She stayed with it for almost ten minutes. She really wanted to play at the water table, but the rule is that the kids have to wear a smock and she will not wear one. She did not cry, it was obvious she is familiar with the rules.
The teacher said she is going to work on creating and teaching R. and other students specific play scripts to use with the typical kids. I think that sounds like a good idea. I hate to generalize like this, but it really seemed like most of the typical kids would do anything the teachers suggest if it is fun and gave them some attention.