You might ask. I am happy to say she is adjusting very well! Considering she didn’t go to school for most of the first week. I emailed her teacher last week to get an update and asked some basic questions on how Michaela is adjusting to the classroom noise, how she is doing during circle time, and when the special education teacher visits the room. Here is Mrs. Mullins response!

Yes, Michaela is really adjusting well to the classroom.  She is making friends and interacting with them.  Yesterday, she was helping put together a puzzle with some of the other girls.  Today was a great time for her to interact with some of the students in her group and she was talking to them and showing others the bus she made.
Our building is still working on specific schedules; however, a special ed staff member has been in for support for  some of our center time (We usually have centers from 2:30-3:30).  Michaela is moving from station to station completely independently with very little prompting.  She has been enthusiastic about trying new things and is anxious to show us her completed work.
Noise has not been an issue in the room.  She has not needed the headphones, nor has she asked for them.  They are in her cubby and she knows that she may get them anytime.  The only time she has covered her ears in the past two days, has been as the bus leaves after she arrives at school.
She is adjusting to the large group story time.  Michaela is working on not answering impulsively – just like many of the kindergarten students.  She is always engaged in the stories and lessons and rarely off task.
I am so pleased with her adjustment.  I was concerned that my absence last Friday after her sick days would be difficult for her, but I received nothing but good feedback.
I am looking forward to sharing all of Michaela’s accomplishments with you this year.  Please let me know if you have any other questions.  Maybe we can plan to talk weekly?
So as you can see things are off to a great start which got me thinking, if she is being accepted by the other children in the classroom should we go ahead with the “Autism program” the Johnson County Special Services provides? This program is very unique and an excellent idea. The autism coordinator from the Johnson County Special Services will come over to the school to speak with Michaela’s classmates about autism. Michaela would go to her speech therapy at that time so she would be out of the room. Then the coordinator will simply talk about autism to Michaela’s class and use examples like, “Michaela is more sensitive to loud noises like you can be afraid of storms, but it is still ok to be her friend and tell her it will be ok.” So the autism program teaches the other children how to be accepting and understand of some of Michaela’s different behaviors in the classroom.
With that said, my thinking is, if we go ahead to do the autism program and its not needed we might bring more attention to Michaela. I emailed Michaela’s teacher and special education teacher asking if they still feel the autism program is needed. Here is Mrs. Mullins response.
I do think the Autism program would be beneficial for the students.  While Michaela is doing quite well for a student with autism, other students are noticing that her behaviors are somewhat different from theirs.  She speaks out more often than other students, and the consequences are not the same for her as other students who do this repeatedly. She is also beginning to use some of the tools we have access to such as the weighted lap pad for carpet time and the seat cushion for table work.  The lap pad is helping with keeping her in her spot on the carpet and keeping her legs and feet in her personal space.  I was noticing that she was tipping her chair forward a lot during table work, and Friday, began to use an inflated seat cushion to help contain movement to a safe activity.  It seemed to work well and Michaela liked it.
One of the things we tell students here at Sawmill Woods is that “Fair is not always equal.”  We are working to understand that not every student has the same consequence for certain behavior, but it is based on individual needs.  By sharing the autism training with the students, I believe that they will begin to see (through example) life through Michaela’s eyes.
I am so pleased that Michaela is happy to be at school.  She comes off the bus every day with a big smile and comes in ready to begin her work.  She is making friends at her table and is interacting with other students during small group time.  She is working to do her best, and is always proud to show her completed work to her teachers.  I know this is going to be a year of tremendous growth for her!
(Have I mentioned that we have an AWESOME kindergarten teacher that understands a child with autism?) So needless to say we are going to do the autism program. We do not have a date set but I have a feeling it will be soon.
Michaela still loves going to school riding the school bus and coming home on the bus! Every morning she ask me “Can I go to school today?” I tell her yes after lunch you can go to school. Michaela has been bringing home her school work for the day. It is amazing to see her progress even within a week. She is learning to write her letters and numbers and her artwork is very detailed. Michaela’s artwork is usually a picture of herself with a rainbow over her head and pixy dust falling over her! Michaela already has brought home some homework. One was from Mrs. Mullins, we had to write a line of “E’s.” Michaela did the upper case “E” very well but we need to work on her lower case “e.” Then yesterday we had homework from Michaela’s speech therapist. We had a picture of an animal carton race and I had some questions to ask Michaela about the picture. Her answers were very interesting! I asked Michaela what kind of hat is the jelly bean wearing? She said it was “green.” The answer I was looking for was “cowboy hat.” 🙂 I’m excited to see what the rest of the school year will bring!