The Smell Of Freshly Sharpened Pencils And Brownies
Summer seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye. The evenings have been unseasonably cool and even many of the leaves on the trees have started to change. Autumn is my favorite season, but this year as it makes its approach I am more anxious then ever. This year my Monkey starts Kindergarten.
The school supplies were bought in somewhat of a daze as his excitement took over and anxiety set in. He flip flops back and forth from excited for school to terrified. I think that even for a child who is not on the spectrum such a major change would bring with it some anxiety and some fears of what to expect. For the Monkey this means we have started a social story filled with pictures I took at his soon to be school, it means that we have taken trips to play at the park on the playground, it means we are trying to figure out how we will make the transitions the easiest for him, and it means mommy has to let go a little. Letting go might just be the hardest part.
Next week we will finally find out who his teacher will be so we can finally complete his social story and we should also find out who his EA should be (there is no guarantee that changes wont happen somewhere along the way). I think that this will also help him be a little more at ease about the entire process.
One of the things we have decided to do is not to put him on the bus, at least not right away. That much stimulation with all the noise, smells, stops as kids get on and/or off is something that I feel will make transitions harder. He tends to shut down after Off to School (the pre kindergarten readiness program held this summer) and so we feel it be best to pick him up and let him have the drive home to quiet his mind.
I have also started a communication journal. I have written out some of the strategies that were used at the Off to School program which helped with transitions which I would like to continue with. I also wanted to make his teaching team aware of some of my concerns and highlight how they can tell when his anxiety is getting the better of him. I know they are trained staff who have experience with Autism but every child is different, every child’s queues are different, and voicing this helps put my mind at ease a bit more. Plus even though AIS will go over these things with the Autism Resource teacher I have learnt that it is then the resource teacher who trains or helps educate her EA on the child. I want a more direct approach. This way his EA will have most everything written out and easy to access.
I let the Monkey pick out a small box which we will fill with a few sensory tools that he can use when he is overly anxious or simply needs a break. We’ll have a few toy cars, his chewy tube, a few squishy toys, possibly a small mp3 player with headphones so he can listen to some music (he loves music and it does really help relax him), and stickers because he loves them and they always make him happy.
No matter how much we prepare I do not think the hubby and I are at all prepared for school to actually start. So as I dwell on all the possible bad out comes that could happen, as any good, may be slightly over protective mother does, I decided brownies were just what my soul needed.
Fudgey Chocolate Brownies
1/2 cup chocolate chips ( I used Enjoy Life)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup my flour blend
2 tbsp cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9 x 9 baking pan.
Next mix together the flour, cocoa, and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside.
In a small pot melt the butter and chocolate chips together. Be careful not to burn the chocolate. Keep the heat low and stir constantly. Once the chocolate and butter are fully melted remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Next, make sure the chocolate is not to hot before adding eggs. Add the eggs one at a time and beat till fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla.
Pour the chocolate mixture into your flour blend and beat until smooth. Pour in prepared pan and bake for 30 – 35min or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cut squares using a sharp knife as soon as they come out of the oven. You want to do this before the crust sets up on top so doing it while they are hot works best I have found. This makes about 12 brownies.
Hope you enjoy!
Now a question for all of you! What are your tips to helping transition your children into the school system? Has it been a positive or negative experience? I asked a similar question on our local group that Rebecca and I manage and got some great feed back. Breathing was most definitely #1 and probably the hardest one to follow. What were your experiences.