As 2015 heads closer and closer to Christmas, I am reminded of all of my blessings and the lessons I have learned this year. In my personal life, I have the blessings of my new husband, three healthy puppies, and the continued support of my wonderful family. In my work life, I have a job with a decent commute, friendly coworkers, and sweet students.
I have also had many lessons since starting in my new position. The adjustment from one district to another. It sounds like it would be easy, but it is honestly one of the hardest things to do if you leaving a place where you felt safe and comfortable. I'm happy at my new school but I have pangs of homesickness once a week. The biggest challenge, I think, is getting adjusted to preschool part of my caseload. It's one piece of the puzzle, but I feel like I am almost like a CFY again with that paperwork and finding materials. The other is simply missing having that close-knit group of SLP coworkers that I could always count on. That sense of closeness is noticeably vacant now.
One thing that I have really learned to embrace this year is Social Thinking. I've never had the opportunity to use it before now and I can say that I have really missed out.
So far, I have been using a copy of You're a Social Detective that our part-time SLP loaned me. We are about part-way through the book now and I love it. We've made our own "smarts" posters and a list of expected/unexpected behaviors for various locations at school.
I found this orange cone puppet at Goodwill amidst the Halloween headgear back in October. He is part of some vacation Bible school program according to his packaging. At $5.50, he is a considerable splurge for a puppet but I figure it would be hard to come across another one of these little guys. He is the perfect accessory for social skills lessons on Expected and Unexpected behaviors. Whenever we come across something "Unexpected", he pops up as a visual cue for my students to pay attention and use their social skills toolbox.