Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Mess of a Day! And a Social Skills Cartoon!

So you know that super organized schedule I posted last night? Most of it went out the window today! It was a disaster. Not really having anything to do with my planning, but a lot to do with it being the first week of kindergarten in special ed. My plans for the day might as well have been a wad of paper on the floor.

One boy had tantrums throughout the day which included yelling on the floor and running out of the class. Luckily he just sat outside the door. And another boy seems to be on a hitting/grabbing people kick, so I spent a very large amount of the day putting him away from other kids or into a timeout. Both of these things are normal the first week of school, as I've learned over the years. Although, they did put a wrench in my plans to finish beginning of the year testing. Nothing can get done with a kid while he cries, so there's no point in trying. Plus, I can't test other kids on initial sounds if they can't hear my words over the crying. By the afternoon the plan became for 1st-2nd and sorting beads by color for kinder since we are learning both the color words and sorting next week. I figured it was as good a time as any for an introduction. This seemed to calm them all down. Thank goodness for the music teacher! They loved music today!


I feel like the day went in phases of great, disaster, super great, giant disaster, great, disaster, and finally ending on a decent note.

I started my day by burning my finger on my hair straightening iron as I tried to save the cord it was starting to melt, and that seemed to set the tone for the mess of a day. 

I had a parent unhappy their child wasn't eating enough. I prompted him 20+ times, and yet he still hardly ate. We are not a school equipped to feed by hand (and he's fully capable of feeding himself), so I don't really know what to do with that one. I can't force him to eat.

I also have a student who was in my class for the first 2 days of school, then moved to the upper grade class the last 2 days, and will be coming back to my room tomorrow or Monday. It's a bit of a confusing mess, but oh well, nothing I could really do about it. The kids in my class love him, so it will be nice to have him back so they stop asking about him all day long. He's a sweet kid.

I'm hoping next week we can start our normal routine since all this testing will be done. I think the days will be much easier when we stick to a predictable schedule without tedious and boring testing.  They were getting annoyed by my robot-style  instructions today. I can't wait to talk to them like a human again!

Thanks for reading my venting rant! Now on to the inspiring part of my post!! So my kids lack social skills, which is no surprise for kids with autism or just special ed in general. I do TONS of social skills instruction in my class. My latest adventure has been social skills cartoons! It was my project tonight after my disaster day. I haven't even eaten dinner yet... I should do that soon. Check out the comics below! I made them using ToonDoo! I have a feeling I'll be making a lot of these this year!


  1. I LOVE the cartoons! Have you used them with the kids yet? How do you introduce/incorporate them? Hope you don't mind if I pin them:)

    We are ALL Special!

    1. Hey! Pin away! I meant to pin it on my board last night but I was soooo tired last night by the time I finished these cartoons. I also added a different version of one of them to this post with more positive concrete language. I'll be making a lot more this year. I'll post them as I do :)

      I use social stories ALL THE TIME!!! Many are from Social Thinking and other pre-made books. The kids learn social skills the way regular kids might learn science. Books/comics are a great way to read and respond by making connections from the story to how they act in their own life. I use it very much like a read aloud and questions during story time. Then we practice and I have students read the comic/story right before they do the activity the social story was about. So the bathroom one will get read today when the child comes into class since he usually goes in there first thing in the morning.

  2. I love those cartoons! I have used cartoons to ward off major meltdowns in the past, but they were spur of the moment and drawn by me on the back of whatever was handy!! I think it is a great idea I have some ready as social stories. Brilliant!


  3. Omigod I feel your pain about your schedule being the same as a piece of paper on the floor! I have definitely have my fair share of those days!! Hope next week goes better for you :)

    - Sasha
    The Autism Helper


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