Thursday, August 18, 2016

Inside the Backpack

Today, we're going to peek into B's backpack.

The Backpack
First, a word about the backpack.  I don't mind spending money on a backpack because it get used every day.  I like to get the big boys a nice backpack that will last.  With B, I don't worry about that as much. I let him choose the backpack. If it falls apart midway through the year, that's cool.  I just want him to like the backpack and want to carry it.  This is a big deal for us as he doesn't like to carry much of anything. He likes to pass stuff off to me or Ryan or the boys. He can't do that at school so he has to buy into the backpack.  This year's winner was the Super Mario backpack which cracks me up because he has never played Super Mario.  

Double Sided Tape
Our awesome PTA offers a school supply package.  You pay for it in the Spring and it's waiting on the first day of school at your kid's desk with everything the teacher wanted.  No scouring the back to school aisle at Target trying to guess what the teacher meant.

Last year we had a new principal at B's school. He and I went to meet her.  She asked him what he didn't like about school.  He said he didn't like using glue.  Immediately, she said "have you used double sided tape?" What an awesome idea! I was shocked that in the previous 3 years of his school career, none of us had thought of that!  So now, 3 packs of double sided tape are in my Amazon list of items I repurchase regularly (along with melatonin - gotta sleep!).

B will ride the bus twice a day this year.  In the morning from the before school program to the elementary school then in the afternoon from the elementary school to the middle school.  These are short rides but painful for him.  Hopefully, the headphones will help him cope.

Storage Clipboard
This houses all B's support resources described below

Feelings Chart
B can use this to tell his teacher how he's feeling.  A couple of years ago he asked me to make this one using the characters from 7D on Disney.

Activity Chooser
Based on the feelings chart, B and his teacher can use activities to help him get back to center.  I also send the book these things are based on - "How Does Your Engine Run?"

Take Five
This book contains a wide variety of activities that can be used with all students to provide sensory input and help them regulate. I've gone through the book and highlighted things that seem to work with B.

Visual Schedule
This helps B feel in control of his day.  It can be set up with the morning's activities.  He moves them to the finished pocket when they are completed.  With a visual schedule, B knows what is coming next and feels a sense of accomplishment at all he's able to put in the pocket.

I'll be honest, all these supports are not always used.  Sometimes B does need them. Sometimes he doesn't want them. Sometimes things just move too fast and they get forgotten.  But I always leave them in his backpack.  They are always there as a resource for his teachers.  I want his teachers to know how much we appreciate and support them.  We want to do our part to make his time at school as smooth as possible.

What's in your child's backpack? Tell us in the comments!

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