Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Hunt is On...Almost!

Children and adults at the Autism Treatment Center primarily look forward to two events during the year. One is the Roundup for Autism Rodeo in Fort Worth. Unfortunately, we are more than six months away from that event. The other event is the annual Easter Egg Hunt put on by volunteers of The Fairmont Dallas – and that is only days away.

Jenny, age 24, enrolled at ATC 12 years ago for residential and educational services. Once she turned 21, she transitioned to ATC’s Tiger CafĂ© and has focused on culinary skills while continuing to improve daily living skills to increase her independence. Jenny is non-verbal and uses sign language as her main communication; she has to work a little bit harder than others to express her feelings, ask questions, and to carry on with regular communication.

For the past several weeks, Jenny has known Easter is around the corner. Each morning, she has asked several staff members about the upcoming Easter Egg Hunt, to be held April 17th. She does this by signing the word “egg”.

After several days of asking about the Easter Egg Hunt, we developed a calendar system for Jenny. On the box for April 17th, Jenny glued a cut-out of an Easter Egg. Starting with March 26, she has crossed off one day before she goes home everyday. Today is the 8th day she has marked off; 14 days remain for her project to count down the days until the big hunt!

In this simple task, Jenny is doing more than just counting down the days until she hunts eggs. She is learning patience and positive behavior is rewarded. She is also increasing math skills, learning about the usage of calendars, and how fun the different seasons are. At ATC, education is more than learning. It is a fun, interactive, and enriching experience. 

No comments:

Post a Comment