Fourth Grade

Dan completed the fourth grade twice at Colonial Elementary School. After a legal battle that went to the U.S. court of appeals, Dan's parents won him the right to attend Colonial and participate in their first ever experiment with inclusion. Dan was the only student in his class with Down syndrome or a learning disability. Roe Overcash was the classroom teacher and Maureen Haegele was the teacher's assistant, assigned specifically to Dan as his aide.

Manila Composition Book
Mrs. Overcash, Grade 4

Inside Cover:

Says = Means
Perry = Terry
Bownie = Brownie
Wu = You
Wadit = Wallet

David Curran’s phone number

September 3, 1996
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Drinker,
Dan made it! He was quite reserved today, actually. There were many, normal formalities that needed attention such as bus, schedules, etc… for the whole class. We reviewed these with Dan. Thank you for sending in the bus info and the paragraph about Dan. Ms. Haegele found Dan warming up to her towards the end of the day. I spoke to Ms Cuppe, Dan’s O.T. teacher, and Ms. Sives for speech. We will all work together regarding his speech. So… pat him on the back for a good day. We will continue daily to share his days’ happenings with you. We would love to hear from either of you. Thanks. Roe Overcash and Maureen Haegele

Sept 4, 1996
Dear Roe and Maureen,
Thank you for all you have done and are doing to have Daniel in your class. I appreciate all the preparation and time you have expended to make this work. I am very concerned about Dan not seeing any of his friends from last year. I know the 4th and 5th graders are kept apart. Ned and I are seriously wondering if remaining in 4th grade was the right move. I would like to discuss this with you when you can—please call me. We asked Dan if he made any new friends and he named kids from last year. We asked who was sitting with him around his desk and he did the same. I asked if he didn’t remember their names and told him he would learn them. Would you jot down the names of the kids he is sitting with so we can talk to him about them?
Also, when writing on Dan’s books, folders, etc, we need to print so he can read it or better yet let him print his name on his things. I am enclosing a newsletter with some articles on inclusion. I circled the pages. Thanks for everything. Diane.

Sept 4, 1996
Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Thank you for your correspondence. It is most helpful. We only want Dan to be happy and communicative to you both. Today I spoke to the class about Dan. Everyone was very receptive. His classmates at his table are: Terri McKenzie, Shannon Kearns, and Fred Chang. Terri was commended today for being so wonderful and helpful to Dan. We will review, discuss and inquire about your other concerns. I will call you this afternoon. Thank you for all of your articles. Sincerely, Mrs. Overcash and Maureen Haegele

Sept 5, 1996
Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker
Dan had a good day today. Ms. Haegele and I went out at lunchtime to play, observe, and watch Dan mingling. Today was successful. Obviously my chat with the children was successful. Several of the children were playing with Dan and he almost did not want us around him. That was good! We pretended to be doing other things. We worked on some math review with him and he did well. His friend Terri mentioned that Dan kissed her at lunch-time. She was very understanding so we spoke to her and we also explained to Dan. We did many activities today where Dan was part of a group and he did well. We started place value with Dan today. I tried calling all night—Will just corrected our files. My class list was incorrect. I’m sorry. Mrs. Overcash, M Haegele

Sept 6, 1996
Dear Mrs. Overcash and Ms. Haegele
Everything is going great! Dan seems to be fitting in fine and making some friends. Dan is bringing in “Little A” to practice reading. He really can read most of the words. I let him read by himself and then he spells the words he doesn’t know. He is very proud to be able to read like this! He is also bringing in the Macarena CD per your request. One thing we would like to work on is getting to the bus at the end of the day. We want Dan to be just like anybody else. He should be dismissed and get to the bus on his own. I know that was now how Joe did it last year but remember, self-sufficiency is the key. Dan can and should get to the bus on his own. Ms. Haegele could serve as a trainer to help him work the bugs out of this process. We would be happy to talk about this. Plus we will talk to Will about his role. Ned

Sept 6, 1996
Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Dan once again had a great day! We’re pleased! The children once again were helpful to Dan and have engaged him into “play”. We are still reviewing Math. We did special Bulletin Board activities which he did, just like everyone else. I will give you a call next week. Have a great weekend. Mrs. O and Mrs. H.

P.S. Ask Dan @ our party.

9-9-96 (please read)
Mr. & Mrs. Drinker,
Just wanted to write a quick note and let you know that I will be working with Dan again this school year. We will be meeting together on alternate Mondays. I will use this communication book to let you know things that we are working on and how you can carry over at home. Let me know if you have any specific skills you’d like me to address. Thanks, Kathy Coppa, OT

Sept 9, 1996
Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Dan is doing well—I’m happy to report! We are truly beginning this week’s real instruction with books, etc. Dan participated in our Math lesson today regarding estimating. Maybe you could talk about it with him at home. He can send in a plastic container filled with something and the children will estimate how many object are in it. He needs to count them first and put the secret number somewhere (maybe on the inside of the lid where no one can see it.) He was included in our Social Studies re: where we live, what state, country, continent, etc. If you could go over these it would be great. We will call you later this week. Again, thanks for reading material. Fondly, Mrs. O and Mrs. H

Dear Mrs. Overcash and Ms. Haegele,
If you have time would you please write down Daniel’s weekly schedule with specialists. We went over the Social Studies and Dan was really into it. Thank you for all you do to make Dan’s day so great. Sincerely, Diane

Dear Mr and Mrs. D,
Everyday is a better day! He did beautifully today. He is interested in the Band? What do you th ink???! We are in a hurry today! Thanks—Mrs. O and Miss H

Dear Mrs. Overcash and Mrs. Haegele,
Thank you for your communication—it really helps. Also, the paper—The Week’s Work Calendar is great. It took quite a while for Dan to tell me something about the story, Abyoyo but this is a great thing for him to work on. He has no confidence in relating a story partially because of his speech limitations mainly because he has no practice—we all talk for him. He comprehends and remembers a story but says he cannot relate the story. I always ask specific questions about the story to help him express it. How is he managing at lunch? Does he sit with anyone? How about at recess?
Also, your reports are always so positive (about his day) but it is OK to tell me the negatives. No one knows as well as Ned and I that Daniel’s social-emotional development and behavior are very difficult. Please make us aware of problems he is having. We hope he isn’t driving you crazy! Also, if you have time would you print his work Calendar out? Or, print it on the board or on paper and “make” him copy his homework. Thank you, Diane

Sept. 11, 1996
Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Mr. Sigafoos (assistant principal) had a talk with Dan today about his behavior on the bus yesterday. Apparently Dan was standing up and dancing when he should have been sitting. The bus driver corrected him but he didn’t listen. Dan also was hitting people in the head. I was there when Mr. Sigafoos explained the consequences that will follow if this continues and Dan seemed to understand. I’ll remind him of the appropriate behavior each day before he leaves. I think this will be helpful.
Dan really did great in math today. We are all learning about estimation and bar graphs. Dan made a beautiful graph today! Ask him about it! He is very proud of his work! Also—Dan’s friend that sits next to him is Terri. Apparently, he was following her and not allowing her time to play with other friends. She appears to be a very nice and fair friend. She isn’t truly complaining about him she’s just suggesting that she be able to play with other kids, too. I talked to him, and could you, too? Some other boys also came up and said they want to play with him for tomorrow. So—I felt good about this because they all worked this out on their own. Also—thank you for your great suggestions. These are very helpful to us. If we all work together and communicate the rewards are endless! Thank you, Roe overcash and M Haegele
P.S. We had a fire drill today. Dan was somewhat frightened from the noise. He was at the library with Mrs. Moreaux. The next time we will be sure that Ms. Haegele is with him.

Sept 11, 1996
Dear Mrs. Overcash and Ms. Haegele,
It sounds like you are doing a great job keeping up with Dan’s activities/behaviors in and out of class. Keep up the good work! He responds best to firmness and consistency. If he knows he can get away with something, he will try. If he knows that you are not going to give in or “slip” he will behave properly. This is very hard to put in to practice when you are also dealing with other kids that don’t require as much firmness or consistency. It’s a balancing act that we are always trying to get right. Good luck!
What are the usual disciplinary steps for misbehavior on the bus? If Dan’s going to be disciplined, as he should, we should plan it so that it has the most effect. I’ll try to call Mr. Sigafoos to get his input. It sounds like those boys in the class have come up with a good solution for dealing with Dan’s overdoing it with terri. You might want to talk to her about how she doesn’t have to do everything with Dan, that she’s not responsible for him, etc. She has to set limits.
Dan is unusually sensitive to sound, so the fire alarm would make him scream bloody murder. I don’t think it matters who is with him as long as they are sensitive to his sensitivity to the loud sounds. Other sounds that cause him to go beserk are fireworks and a crowd cheering/clapping in a gym/stadium.
P.S. Dan left his lunchbox in the lunchroom on Tuesday. Would you help him recover it? Ned

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Dan must have forgotten his Journal book so we will write on this paper today. Dan’s lunch mates are different every day. He has become popular to sit next to at lunch. Could you talk to him about “snorting” and remind him to cover his mouth when he burps? He is enjoying Social Studies. We are encouraging him to talk and answer everything and no one is talking for him! Roe Overcash

Please sign Dan up for clarinet! Ned

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Dan had a great day academically. He practiced printing some basic words. We encouraged him to do this independently and he did well for his first time. We’ll send it home so you can see it. Dan also worked on a cooperative group to complete another bar graph. He worked well with the other children. In social studies we made some “potato presses” of the earth. As Dan to tell you about it. Dan was able to do part of this independently and some other children offered to help him!!
Unfortunately, Dan had to stay in for recess with Mr. Sigafoos today. Dan would not stay seated and didn’t respond to the bus driver when she corrected him. Dan knows that he will have to stay in at recess if he doesn’t obey the bus rules. Can you please remind him? Dan did, however, remember to keep his hands to himself. Mrs. Overcash would like to give the bus driver a chart to keep track of his behavior. When Dan obeys the rules he’ll get a smiley face. I’m sure this will help! Thanks, Ms. H

We ate “hemispheres” today with apples. Dan painted potatoes and we created latitude and longitude lines. Other than the bus problem he had a great day. We will work on a behavior chart for Monday for Dan’s bus—have a great weekend. Mrs. O

Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Dan will be working with me on every other Monday—our next session will be Sept 30th due to the holiday next week. He seems to be adjusting well. On the 30th I am hoping to take a look at his skills in the cafeteria again. Did he get a chance to work on “cutting” food items this summer? Kathy Coppa, OT

Sept 16, 1996
Dan had a good day. No bus trouble!! We have Dan writing his name, address, and phone number in the morning. He also writes a journal response. He is able to tell me his thoughts and he also writes it. He is often willing to share his thoughts with the class! Dan worked in a cooperative group to complete a bar graph. His group graphed the chalk he brought in for the estimation. Dan also participated in the Health and Social Studies. It was a good day. R. Overcash and M. Haegele

Sept 17, 1996
Dear Mrs. And Mr. Drinker,
Dan had a busy day! We continued with the tens and ones in math. He seems to understand he concept. He also completed two pages in spelling with some help. Ask Dan about the maps of the school he drew with his social studies group. He also participated in the science lesson on rain. Overall it was another good day. Can you pleas remind Dan to follow direction in class the first time given? Also, I couldn’t find Dan’s social studies homework. Maybe he left it home. For Language Arts, Dan listened to “Whistle For Willie”. He drew a picture when he was finished. I will go over the book again with him tomorrow for comprehension/characters, etc. Dan was very busy—bus somewhat sluggish. We gave the bus driver a behavior chart today. So far, so good! Interaction with other students is well. We changed seats as well as Dan’s. He also is Board Eraser this week. M Haegele and R Overcash

Sept 17
Dear Mrs. Overcash and Mrs. Haegele,
We ask Dan to follow directions all the time, but that certainly does not mean he will follow them. If you have logical negative consequences to go along with your request, you might get him to cooperate. If he cooperates later, it’s no good. He does not cooperate with us most of the time so if you figure it out, let us know! Will says that some kids sit near Dan on the bus just to laugh at him. Plus he says that the bus driver is more strict with Dan than the other kids misbehaving the same way. Have fun!
Emily and Dan and I discussed Emilys “Weekl Reader” and we talked about Clinton and Dole, what an election is, how you win, etc and Dan was very involved in the discussion. Now Dan wants to vsit the White House because we went last year but only saw the back. Also, I was talking to Dan about the spelling homework, page 116, where you have to pretend you took a bike ride and describe what you would see. We just talked about what you would see and it was like a conversation. He said on his ride to school he would see the mail man, garbage man, his brother and sister on their buses, houses, cars, stop lights, etc, and that he’d stop to get something to eat. Both of these were firm exercises and it may be a coincidence, but Daniel’s behavior was excellent afterwards. Ned

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker
Dan continues to do well academically. He did well on his spelling and math pages. Dan also finished his flowchart in S.S. Dan and I also reviewed “A Whistle for Willie” today. His comprehension was much better today after some prompting. He talked about Bob Dole today without me asking. He was excited to share his new knowledge. I talked to Dan about missing some recess time if he doesn’t follow direction. He seems to understand. It was a good day overall! Miss Haegele
P.S. We will be doing a SS lesson on the election. Dan will enjoy it!

Dan had a very productive morning. We did a lot of work in math and spelling and social studies. He stayed on task and was very attentive. Dan participated in the science lesson on weather, too. Dan seemed to be very tired in the afternoon. He was complaining about his neck and back hurting today. While Dan and I were doing Language Arts, he was a little off task so we will continue during part of lunch recess tomorrow. I think if we nip it in the bud, it will be better in the long run. Dan’s bus driver said he’s doing great! Miss Haegele

Mr. And Mrs. D
We are adding some new material to Dan’s instruction. More phonics, grammar, and listening skills which are stimulating. He appears to be happy and well adjusted. Mrs. O

Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Dan had a wonderful day! He played a place value game in math, and was so excited when he won! Dan was very cooperative today during all of the academic work.

Mr. And Mrs. D
Dan was rewarded today with soft pretzels for a good day. We feel we are making progress daily! It’s a great feeling for all of us!! Mrs. O

Sept 24
We took a family trip on Monday to Hawk Mountain near Allentown. We hiked to places where you could sit on the rocks looing out over the valley and migrating birds pass overhead. We didn’t see many birds but we saw a few turkey vultures and hawks. Dan lead us back down the trail following the trail markers or “blazers” so we wouldn’t get lost. Ask him about it. Dan’s not supposed to have soft pretzels with his braces but if he breaks them into small pieces it would probably be alright. Ned

Mr. And Mrs. D-
Hi! Dan did well academically today. We are challenging him in Math and L.A. He likes it too. We have introduced more vocabulary and additional math games. Today, Dan was a little ore aggressive at recess. Everything worked out. It did not require a “strike-slip”. These were his “friends” in school: TJ, Shannon, and David S. Shannon shoved him and he did not care for that! We discussed it. I talked to Shannon. We also talked about Hawk Mt. I had him share with the class. It certainly sounded like fun! Mrs. O
PS Sorry about the soft pretzels. I purchased some Fritos instead!!

Dear Mr. And Mrs. D-
Dan was aggressive again today. I don’t think he means it, but it still happened. His academic work is moving smoothly. He was upset that Terri wouldn’t play with him today but we explained to him. Mrs. O

Dan and I read The Three Little Pigs today. We discussed it. Maybe you could review it with him. Dan played a place value game in math today with the class. He enjoyed himself and did well! Miss Haegele

Last night Ned and I went to Plymouth Elementary for PTO-Back to School Night. Soon after the meeting was underway the lights went out (while a million parents were in the gym and all the teachers were in their classrooms waiting for the parents) due to a power failure. Ms. Lipson dismissed us in an orderly fashion and we went home. The meeting will be rescheduled. We came home and the children were so surprised we were home and we told them what happened and Dan kept saying—my school. So, perhaps he would like to share this with you. I am sorry about Dan’s aggressive behavior. I wish I had an answer but to be honest I am overwhelmed with his behavior at home. Daniel seems unhappy or sad and I’m just not sure what is going on. He has great difficulty identifying feelings.
Also, William has been having complications with his bowel disease and I am afraid of the potential outcome of more surgery. I am really concerned about him. However, as you might expect, he continues to “love” school and is thriving academically.
Back to Dan—you may remind him that he will lose his recess priveledge if he does not follow the rules and behave appropriately. I will remind him of this (as if he doesn’t know—La La) before he leaves for school. Thank you, Diane

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker
Dan had a good day. No problems on the playground today. Dan played funnel ball with the other children. The kids said he did well and played nicely. He seems to be very happy in school! Dan worked with TJ today during health. We were discussing personal strengths and weaknesses. Maybe Dan can tell you about it. Mrs. Lipson came to CES today to observe a social studies lesson. Ask Dan about the volcano eruption. He seemed very interested. Miss Haegele

Dear Mr. Mrs. Drinker
Dan had a good day. He is still practicing place value in math. He beat Mrs. Overcash in a special game. He was also proud of himself. Dan had a spelling test today. He got 100! He even gave me a test. Ask him about it! Dan and his social studies group are writing a newspaper article on Mt. St. Helens. He did well sharing his ideas. Dan has a chart on his desk to help him see his accomplishments. He will receive a sticker for each lesson that he completes. His goal is to stay on task and try his best. He earned six stickers today. We continue to remind Dan about keeping his hands to himself. He is doing very well on the bus! Have a great weekend! Sincerely, Miss Haegele
P.S. His recess time has been a tremendous amount of fun for him. Basketball, funnel ball, and climbing on the equipment are just some of the activies he comes in and tells us about. He’s been demonstrating a very happy disposition at school. Hopefully he will bring these “feelings” home to you and share. Have a good weekend and keep me updated on Will. Thanks, Mrs. O

Dear Mrs. Overcash and Miss Haegele,
I just want you to know how grateful we are for everything. I am so filled with gratitude for both of you and I could really cry. Please know I do not take you for granted. I appreciate your notes—it helps so much for me to know something about his day so I can discuss it with him. Daniel’s behavior has always been a challenge. Also, I think the school schedule leaves him exhausted (after school) and he would like to come home and do what he chooses to do rather than homework. Some days are better than others. I insist that he read (or attempt his homework off of the sheet and then read the instructions in the math and spelling books. Although he needs help I think he should do this to promote independence. Also, he has to open his book and find the correct page number—this is quite a task for him and he fights me on all of these requirements but is starting to see he can do it—also I am always there to help. Dan would like me to remain seated next to him while he does his homework but I weaned him away from that last year and I’m trying not to sit by him as he does his work. The work (math) is more difficult for him this year (the tens and ones and sequencing larger numbers) so sometimes he does need me to sit next to him (as opposed to just being in the same room). If you could, would you send home some math work (it can be in addition to) that is simpler that he can do independently so he realizes he can work and complete it on his own. Thank you, Diane

Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Dan and I were working on cutting with a knife and fork today. I first have him group the utensils in a fisted manner with the ends pointing up and he says “I want food” (this is just his cue to remember how to group them). I then taught him to lift his elbows up and point the utencils down to be ready to cut. He tends to want to switch the fork in his hand, but we worked on keeping it in the same grasp. We worked on cutting a banana (which is an easy thing) and then cutting putty, which is tougher. He is doing pretty well. When using the knife, I remind him to keep the blade of the knife level and to “saw” back and forth rather than to just push. We use a heavy duty plastic knife which works well but isn’t dangerous. Dan also worked on buttoning/unbuttoning his shirt today. He does very nicely with this, but just needed some cues about where to place his fingers and pushing the button through the hole rather than just pulling. Thanks Kathy Coppa, OT

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker
Dan is doing great academically. His chart really helps keep him focused on the work. He really wants to earn his sticker! Dan and I reviewed place value. He does well with it here; maybe because we use manipulatives. If you find that a certain concept is too difficult for homework, write a note and I’ll be happy to do it with him the next day. We have a lot of materials/manipulatives to help visualize the concepts.
Dan participated in the health discussion today. He also did the art project extension as well. For language arts I went over initial consonant sounds. He’s doing fine! Mrs. Overcash wasn’t in today. Dan handled this very well. He asked where she was and carried on like any other day! Miss Haegele

Dear Mr. And Mrs Drinker,
Dan had a very, very busy day! We had so much to do for Open House! Dan had a math quiz today on place value. He got 100! He is really proud of himself. Ask him about it! Dan had to stay in a couple minute during recess because he hit Bridget. I talked to him and he told her he was sorry! Dan was upset because his tooth was bothering him this afternoon. Did the nurse call you? He seems to be better now!! I hope to see you tonight! Sincerely, Miss Haegele

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Dan had a superb day! We got so much accomplished! Dan worked on initial consonant sounds (c,m,l) and did well. We also practiced reading Who Said Red? (the book he wants to read to Dr. Solow). He needs a little more practice—he’ll be ready in a couple of days! We are starting to learn about poetry. Dan wrote the cutest poem about Terri today. Ask him about it. We started one about Will, too! When we are finished the good copy, I’ll send it home for you to read. We watched a video today on Mt St. Helens. Dan enjoyed the part he saw. He had to go to band practice so he didn’t get to see all of it. He will be able to tell you something abouti t I’m sure! Dan made a real good effort to keep his hand to himself today! He has been able to earn all of his stickers (subject chart) too! I enjoy working with Dan. He’s doing just fine! Sincerely, Miss Haegele

Oct 3, 1996
Dear Mrs. O and Mrs. H,
As usual thanks for the communication. I really do appreciate all the time. Daniel went to the orthodontist yesterday and had lower braces adjusted. He is complaining about them hurting and I gave him Tylenol (2 1/2 tabs) this a.m. I sent some in for the afternoon if he needs it. We went to the ophthalmologist this morning. Have a great day! Thank you, Diane

Everything was going well until, lunchtime. Apparently when Dan was getting in line he walked in front of a boy—Ben. Ben asked him why he walked in front of him in line and then Dan whacked him in the face and hit Ben’s nose resulting in a bloody nose. It was a significant incident which resulted with a meeting with us and Mr. Sigafoos. He will be calling to discuss consequences. Mrs. O

Dear Mrs. Overcash and Miss Haegele,
We were so disappointed about Dan’s behavior with Ben at lunchtime. I wish I knew what goes through his mind. I spoke with Mr. Sigafoos and agree with the in school suspension. We spoke with Dan several times about his behavior. Also, usually, after his homework he is allowed to watch one tv show—“Saved By The Bell”—his favorite—and he lost that privilege yesterday. I am very sorry for any inconvenience this is causing you. Sincerely Diane. P.S. We gave Dan money for pretzel day—he can have one if he break it into little pieces before he eats it.

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Dan had a suspension today. In the morning Dan completed some math, spelling, and handwriting independently. Dan ate lunch alone and stayed in for lunch recess. Dan was very cooperative during the day. We talked about how Ben felt. Dan made a card for him and apologized. I believe that Dan understands that what he did was wrong and he is truly sorry. Also—we received word from Mr. Sigafoos that Dan was written up by the bus driver. We are going to check this out. We had no knowledge of this. We were shocked. Will was surprised, too. We will look into this. We will come down everyday 2x a day to follow this. Have a good weekend. Mrs. Overcash and Miss Haegele

October 7, 1996
Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker
Dan had a good day. He seemed very tired. He did his work but needed an extra push to complete it. One of the fourth grade parents came in school today to talk about stress management. Dan listened and seemed to enjoy it. We are having a social studies test tomorrow. I wrote some questions in Dan’s notebook for review. Dan stayed in at recess today because of his bus behavior. I talked to him today (Mr. Sigafoos) and he said he was going to call you about it. Miss Haegele

Dear Roe and Maureen,
Mr. Sigafoos did call me about Daniel’s bus behavior last week and explained the consequences. He said he would sit outside at recess with Dan today and tell him it was because of last week’s inappropriate behavior on the bus. I explained to Mr. Sigafoos that Dan may not understand this. We spoke repeatedly this weekend and this morning to him about proper bus behavior and he was good on the way to school on the bus and then he looses recess. I explained to Mr. Sigafoos that this is similar to a younger child needing to receive consequences at the time of the incident. We need to make sure the bus driver give some kind of report the same day (if it is occurring on the way to school) or the very next day (if it occurs on the way home). Is there any way this could be enforced? Apparently the bus driver files a report which goes to Romano’s then through the transportation dept. then to the office. This takes several days. Do you understand what I mean? Ned called Mr. Sigafoos later in the day and requested a “buddy” for the bus. Mr. S. argued with the idea and will work on it. I am not sure it is realistic. It is too much to ask of a 4th grade and I doubt Dan would listen to a buddy. Also, Will says Daniel has an assigned seat in the front of the bus but that all of the “bad” kids sit up front and encourage Dan’s behavior.
We are very concerned about the bus problems. At the beginning of last year I asked if Dan could have an aide on the bus but they said no—if the bus didn’t work out Dan could go on a van. I don’t think that is the answer. Anyway, as I have said, we are exhausted with Dan’s uncooperative behavior at home. He has been very difficult. It could be partly his adjustment back to school—it really has affected him and manifests in his behavior (since he does not express or identify these feelings).
I am looking into developmental/behavior evaluation for him. I just need to find the person who is very familiar with children with Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome). Sorry this got so lengthy. Thanks, Diane

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Thanks for the note. I am meeting with the bus driver after school every day to see how things are going. Hopefully this will help prevent future write-ups! A boy named Paul in our room will try to help Dan remember appropriate behavior on the bus.
Unfortunately, at lunch recess, Dan hit two girls. They both went to the nurse. One of the girls got ice for her chin. Dan had to write letters to both apologizing for what he did. Dan’s desk is isolated from the group right now. He really enjoys interacting with his peers and this isolation will have an impact on him. He will also be spending recess in with us for a few days. If you have any other suggestions please let us know.
Dan has a health test on chapter one tomorrow. I put a review card in the health book. Dan started the buddy program today. He also had clarinet practice. He should be able to tell you something about it. We are also putting Dan in the “mentor” program (as you suggested). Dan went to speech today with Ms. Sives. He did well in his Social Studies test. He started it with Dr. Solow. We are going to be extremely strict with Dan regarding all of these incidents. We will do everything we can to emphasize how his behavior is unacceptable. Sincerely, Mrs. O and Mrs. H

Oct 9
Dear Roe and Maureen,
We are so disappointed and dismayed by Daniel’s aggressive behavior that we don’t know what to do or say. I hope you can have some affect on him. Maybe if the “bus buddy” works out he could have a buddy in the schoolyard. This would be a good time for you to look at the information I gave you about a “Circle of Friends”. I think that approach might work.
I talked to Dan about discontinuing clarinet and he thought that would be fine. I had thought he might be able to play a few notes and feel pat of the group, but the clarinet is too big for him to hold and his little fingers don’t cover the holes. He says we can work on the recorder that we have. He says we can work on the recorder that we have. Does this make sense to you and how do we discontinue the clarinet? Let us know how it goes. Ned

October 9, 1996
Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
We will write more tomorrow. Dan stayed in for lunch today. He is watching his “aggression”. Will write more tomorrow. Ms. Sives had Dan today and everything went well. Mrs. O

Dear Mrs. Overcash and Miss Haegele
I’m sorry if we overwhelmed you with yesterday’s novels. We are worried. I would like to have a team meeting for Dan regarding behavior and curriculum. What do you think? Sincerely, Diane

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker
The past two days have been better behavior wise. We had a fire drill yesterday and Dan was a little upset but he managed. We talked about Presidential Debate yesterday and today. Dan enjoyed the discussion. He seems to be pretty fond of Bob Dole! Also—we feel the curriculum is working out nicely. We will be very happy to discuss anything with you. We are keeping record of everything. His academic progress has been both adapted and inclusive. I.E.P. objectives are being included and enhanced by the other enriching activities. We will be happy to meet. Give us dates and times. Behavioral objectives and rewards are being monitored daily. Thanks, Mrs. Overcash

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker
Dan’s bus buddy reported to us today that Dan his him for no apparent reason on the bus. Paul told Dan to sit down. I guess dan didn’t want Paul to remind him? I was very disappointed with him and he understood. He repeated all directions to me: Hands off… no hitting…etc. He had lunch recess with me and Mrs. Haegele alone. I think we both talked to him and he realized what he did. If you still want to meet—fine. Let us know. Have a good weekend. Mrs. H and O

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Dan had a good day on the bus today. He earned his stickers. Dan and I are working on greater than and less than in math. He does fine when we use manipulatives. I sent some basic facts (subtraction) for homework. We are still discussing the debate in social studies. All the children were asked to fill out the ballot (tonight’s homework). Dan seems eager to take part in our discussion in class. Dan had a good day behavior wise. He remembered to keep his hands to himself! We moved his desk back to the table too. He seemed tired. It was somewhat difficult for him to focus at times. He said he was tired. Sincerely, Miss Haegele

We were so thrilled to hear the a.m. bus trip was OK. I hope the ride home was OK, too. I have (for awhile) told Dan that when he comes home with a bad report (bus or school day) he does not get to watch TV or play games with me. These are things he looks forward to after school. Yesterday he got to watch tv and play (ball) a game with me. My husband worked on the ballot info and Dan was interested but distracted by his siblings (Will stood up and recited a presidential candidate 2 minute speech—I think I’ll vote for him!).
I still would like to have a meeting but Ned is going out of town today and I would like him involved. What are good times for you and whoever else could come? Is before/during/after school better? Let me know. Also, should I call anyone else or should you? Maybe I could talk to you first about my concerns? As you can see if I am not sure. Let me know what you think. Thank you for everything. Have a good day! Diane
P.S. We asked Daniel a few weeks ago where his library book was and he did not know. After he came home with a new book the following week, we assumed he had left it at school and returned it. We will search the house for the book.

Dear Mr. And Mrs. D,
Hi! 3 Things…
1. Dan, unfortunately, hit another student. Boo, on the bus during the ride home yesterday. We were shocked. We found out today. Dan had lunch alone and was outside with Mr. Sigafoos. We have been talking to him all day.

2. We are not sure to whom you are speaking about to be present at the meeting. Is there anything specifically you want to talk about so that we can be prepared with anything or info to assist you. Please let us know.

3. Time and place for a meeting. We have lunch at 11:25-12:15. We have specialists at 1:20-205. Before school, 8:00? After school, 3:40? In my classroom? Let us know. Mrs. O and Mrs. H

Dan has really needed an extra push the last few days to complete his work. He seems a little more tired than usual. Also, Dan’s art teacher and speech teacher reported that Dan was somewhat uncooperative today. I wonder if something is bothering him. I tried to talk to him and find out but he didn’t tell me anything. Miss Haegele

Good morning and may today be a better day. Where do I begin? Daniel and William did not go to sleep at their normal time two nights ago (they share a room by choice) because they were horsing around and wound up. So they went to sleep late and Daniel usually wakes up very early in the a.m.—between 5:45-7:00 a.m. (since he was a baby every day. Yesterday was no exception. So you are probably correct in thinking he is tired. Last night I put him to bed early by himself at 7:45 p.m. and he went right to sleep so he was exhausted. I’m sure that has not been helping his behavior.
Presently, we are so worried about his deteriorating behavior that I am too overwhelmed to figure out having a meeting and addressing academic concerns. Some of the things we are concerned about are: 1) Appropriate library books on his level, 2) Enriched curriculum including whole language approach on his level—basically, all this work my daughter is doing in school and for homework is perfect for Daniel and less repetitive than his current spelling and math books. Emily is in 1st grade at Plymouth Elementary. 3) Circle of Friends. 4) Supervision on bus and at recess.
Most of this I have requested last year but would like to try again. It is all very important. Also, my husband spoke to Mr. Sigafoos yesterday and requested “van” transportation for Dan to and from school rather than riding the school bus. We feel the bus has become too overwhelming for him and seems unworkable at this time. We are trying to work on his behavior at home a small piece at a time but the bus scene is too big to address at the same time.
We have spent a lot of time very sad, disappointed, worried, and crying with Dan’s behavior this year. He seems to be changing before our eyes. I do see frustration a lot of the time when he acts out but it is not easy to deal with. I do not think isolating Dan in class or recess over and over again is not helpful. If you have any suggestions or questions please call me I will be home in the early morning today (I think) or page me anytime. Thanks. Have a good day. Diane

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Dan had an excellent day! He got right to work in the morning. He did excellent with his math and spelling. He did social studies and science with the class. Dan had a great day behavior wise. Mrs. Sives reported that Dan did very well. We were really pleased with his behavior and academic performance today. He went out at recess today. Dan also earned all of his stickers.
We are using the whole language program. Dan is reading from the Houghton Mifflin Literary Reader. I am sending it home so Dan can practice the first story (p 7-20). Mrs. Overcash also gets a lot of library books on his level to enrich/supplement his academic program. Dan and I read every day and he displays a good effort. I feel that he is making progress.
Also, I called you on your pager at 1:50. I called you at home, too! I would like to address your concerns. 1) I bring books in every week from the library which Dan can select and also have an option of listening on tape. 2) We are doing whole language. 3) Circle of friends we are working on. 4) Supervision we need to discuss. Thanks, Mrs. O

Dear Mrs. Overcash,
Please know I am so grateful for everything you have and are doing for Dan. I know how hard you are working for Dan. It was great having Daniel’s Reader. He really was into reading along with me. I did not know Dan was using “whole language” approach because of the difference of levels—4th grade vocabulary etc during subjects of the day. I know you have been bringing in library books since last year and am very appreciative. But you should not have to do this—you don’t have to do this for other students—the school provides plenty of approved books for the classroom and library for the students. Last year we requested appropriate library books but were told “they are working on it”. This would not be acceptable for a “regular ed” student and is not for Dan either. Last year we suggested that CES borrow books from each of the K-3 schools.
I hope you understand I am NOT directing my frustration at you. These problems are more the schools and the newness of inclusion. I know you understand that I just want the best for Daniel. Also, I would rather speak to you in person about my concerns. I think sometimes it is difficult putting things like this in writing clearly. Please don’t think I am unhappy with anything you are working on in class with Dan. Ned and I are just very worried about Dan at this time.
I am sorry we didn’t connect yesterday. I worked in the afternoon and I received 1 page from school with the number and when I called back they didn’t know who paged me. I told them it would probably have been you or Tom Sigafoos (I had called him earlier, too) and after a while Mr. Sigafoos got on. Maybe that was your page and he was available so he spoke to me. I am sorry. I will try again today.
I was thrilled Daniel had a good day all around yesterday. Please thank Maureen for all the info. Thanks! Sincerely, Diane

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Dan had another wonderful day! He again got right to work. He earned all of his stickers again today. The computers are finally working so Dan was on the computer. Tomorrow he will be typing something that he wrote today. Dave Curran’s father came to school today. He is a firefighter. He showed us his uniform and equiptment. Dan, Dave, Dave’s dad and I went up on the ladder (80 ft!) Dan loved it! He wasn’t scared at all. He couldn’t stop talking about it! Please ask him about it!
Sorry about the phone mix up yesterday. I spoke to Michelle Yavorske regarding library books for Dan. We all agree. They will definitely look into it. I will pursue this as well. I am sorry I was unaware of your previous requests. I will still continue to bring in library books, too! Ms. Haegele and I I would love to meet with you. Sincerely, Mrs. O and Ms. H

Dear Mrs. Overcash and Miss Haegele
Thanks for calling and telling us about the “BIG” event. You were right. Daniel was so excited and proud. He beamed when he showed me the paper he printed out and the drawing with the ladder. Everyone made such a fuss. Also, Will was shocked He said he saw the ladder (or whatever it is called) going up from his window but he didn’t know Dan was on it. I’m sorry I didn’t get to call today. My schedule turned out to be overbooked. On Friday Dan is going to take the bus but change his seat to the very last seat on the bus—so he hopefully won’t stand up and turn around and face the crowd and dance. This was Will’s idea to try since the van won’t be ready until Monday we decided to try it. Dan does not want to take the van so I told him “hands to himself”, “no hitting”, “sit in seat”, “no standing or dancing”, and he could ride the bus. I told him he could do it and that he was a good boy and he needed to act that way. He has a lot riding on this bus trip tomorrow. I am nervous for him. I hope I am not sabotaging him for the day. Have a good day.
P.S. Dan picked his outfit—he loves dressing up! Also, he wants to wear his glasses for the picture. I drove Dan to school today—we were running late for the bus. He will ride the bus home today. Also, I didn’t have a tissue in the car so would you ask Dan to use a tissue or two and blow his nose—he needs it. I noticed on the ride over. I told him we don’t want to see “boogies” on his picture! Thanks, Diane

Mr. And Mrs. D,
Dan looked handsome today! We reminded him also about good behavior on the bus. Today was a big day for our class because of “Zero Tolerance” and we earned the reward—Bingo Game. Also—my class earned a part, because of the good behavior.
Dan, again, had a wonderful day. He was well behaved and worked hard. He is still talk about going up the ladder. Dan worked on the computer today. He started to type his story about it. Dan is really doing well! Miss Haegele

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Dan continues to do well academically and behaviorally. He gets right to work and has been very cooperative. Dan went on the computer again today. HE seems to enjoy it. We had Diversity Day today. We made rainbow jello. Dan helped, he had a ball! I’m glad Dan has another chance on the bus. I’d hate to see him separated from his friends. Miss Haegele

October 22, 1996
Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
We had a very busy day today! We are writing fall poems for Language Arts. I’ll send a copy of Dan’s when we’re finished. We also had a spelling bee today—Dan did great! Dan’s math homework is on time (p26). We will start time tomorrow. I know he is excited about it, we talked about it. Dan’s behavior was good today. As far as I know, things on the bus are going well! I’ll check in with the bus driver today. Miss Haegele

Dear Mrs. O and Miss H,
We are unsure about what to do about the bus. Now that Dan sits in the back of the bus, Mrs. De Leo doesn’t see what Dan is up to but Will tells us that 2 days ago Dan was hitting (“tapping”) kids and yesterday he was kissing girls and sitting with them and they (some of them) were just laughing at him. I have reiterated to Dan about hands to himself, no hitting, no standing or dancing, etc. I have told him that if he does not behave on the bus that a van will come to our house to take him to school. He has verbalized that he doesn’t want to take the van but I don’t know if that will be enough to motivate him to behave on the bus.
Also, Dan received a notice regarding a library book that he did not return. We have searched the house and have not found it. Dan says it was at school in his desk and that he has returned it. Would you check and see if he is correct? Thanks Have a great day—its supposed to go up to 75! Diane

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Before I forget—we did return Dan’s library book I found it in his drawer at school! Dan had another great day! He is really working hard and behaving himself. Dan had speech today and got an excellent report from Ms. Sives. We started to go over Time today a bit. I made some vocab cards that may help him if you’d like to review them. I’m sorry these notes have been a little short but it’s a little hectic. I’ll catch up later!! Miss Haegele

Dear Maureen,
Thank you for the info. I am relieved to hear Dan is doing well at school. We do not have math flash cards at home—maybe Dan has the at school. We did review time flash cards and he did great.
I am still concerned about the bus problems—Will reported that Dan did hit Donny yesterday. Will says someone was yelling at Donny for something he did and Dan said, ‘Yeah, Donny,” and hit him. It is becoming a habit. I continue to go over good bus behavior. I hope he eventually gets it.
Last night we went to “Crazy Olympics” at Emily’s school—Plymouth Elementary. Dan loved it. He participated 100%. He answered a math question, caught the elephant and cooperated. Ms. Lipson made a fuss over him (as usual) and took his picture. It was fun but made for a late night. I hope Dan isn’t tired. Good luck. Thanks. Diane
P.S. Please ask Ms. Sives for speech homework so we can do a little each day rather than a lot at once—Dan can’t do it for too long at one time. Thanks.

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Once again we had a great day. Dan seems to be doing good with Time in math. Dan had speech today and Ms. Sives said he did well and behaved. Dan and I are reading “Caps For Sale” in language arts. Ask him to tell you about it. I think he likes it. I’m going to give Dan a spelling quiz tomorrow (pg 145). He’ll probably give me one, too! I hope everything stays good with the bus. Sincerely, Maureen

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker
I’m sorry there was no note on Friday. I was sick and Mrs. Overcash wasn’t in either. The woman that worked with Dan on Friday said he did well and behaved himself!! Dan seemed a bit tired today. He was a little fidgety today. It was difficult to keep him on task. He seems to enjoy “Time”. We practiced the hour times today. I also showed him some times for school that he should know (recess, lunch, arrival, dismissal). I’ll write these down so he can review them tonight for homework.
I just received Dan’s bus report. I was so disappointed. I spoke to Dan about this. It’s a shame for you two. I feel bad. He’s doing so much academically in our class… and doing well! I wish this behavior would carry to the bus. Dan and I did a sequencing exercise for Caps For Sale. It was a little difficult for him but he survived! I hope everything is okay on the bus. Maureen

Good morning! I am keeping my fingers crossed hoping Daniel behaves on the bus today. We told him if he gets a poor bus report he looses his TV privilege and no game with “Mommy” after school. Please reinforce appropriate behavior at lunch—recess (especially with the girls!). I know you do it already I just wish he would listen. We did receive a note on paper Friday from the substitute and Dan had a good day (except for the bus!) As usual, Thanks. Have a nice day. Diane

October 29, 1996
Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! Dan had a good day. Dan seems to have a good grasp on the hour times in math. He does confuse the hour and minute hand sometimes but we’ll practice. Mrs. H

Hi! We have some good activities on the computer for Dan set up. Ms. Yavorski sad you wanted to setup a “team meeting”. This is fine—but this is going to be during conference time? Or when? Just let me know. Thanks. Mrs. O

October 30, 1996
Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
I received your note and was disheartened to hear about Dan’s bus incident. He was very excited al day today. He had speech and did “excellent”. He had “Adaptive Gym” with Mr. Price today. He had a great work out. Dan’s getting better with “Time”. I think he’ll need constant reinforcement until he gets it. His costume is so nice. He looks so cute in it. All he can talk about today was the party. Sincerely, Maureen and Roe

10/31 Happy Halloween!
I apologize that Daniel did not do homework for yesterday. I had to take Dan and Will with me directly from school to a patient’s house and we were there for a long time. Daniel fell asleep real early—after dinner! This is very unusual but he was very tired (he was up during the night 2 nights ago and got up at 5:45 for the day on Wednesday) and needed the rest. I told him we would do the homework over the weekend. Thanks. Diane

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
Hi, Happy Halloween! Dan was fine today for us. He did have some behavior problem with Ms. Sives, though. Ask him to tell you. We made anemometers in science to measure the wind. Dan had fun with the project. He should be able to tell you about it. We are doing a creative writing assignment (A Special Lunch) Dan is writing about
Kelly from “Saved By The Bell”. I’ll send it home as soon as we finish. Maureen

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Drinker,
I’m sorry to see Dan leave so early. We are sending a little homework if he feels up to it. Next week we are giving Dan a little project in math. We will ask him to make a ‘Special Time Book’ using the times he is familiar with. He can draw clocks on each page that shows each time. He should be fine with this. Have a great weekend!! Maureen

Dear Mrs. Drinker,
Dan and I have continued to work together this year. We have been trying to reinforce some of the things we learned last year. Last week when I was here, they had waffles and sausage for lunch. Dan worked on cutting them independently. We have also been trying to improve his handwriting. Last week we worked on letter “S” and this week, lower case “g”. I am giving him a new type of journal book for school that has dotted guide lines to give him more structured difference between upper and lower case letters. I think it helps somewhat, but he still needs reminders sometimes about where to start with him pencil. He was a little “testy” today, but he completed his work. Thanks, Kathy Coppa, OT

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Academically, Dan had a good day. He did his morning work well but left early about 9:30 to work with Kathy Coppa. We practiced drawing the hands on the clock to show certain times. I sent some home to practice. Dan is reading “A Letter to Amy” by J. Keats in Language Arts. We started by looking through the pictures to make predictions. Dan made some reasonable guesses. Dan also spent some time on the computer today.
The woman on the van today said that Dan was taking his shirt off in the van. We talked to him and he said he was hot. Dan also complained about his teeth—we gave him some ice. This seemed to help. Mr. Yarocs (music teacher) said that Dan hit Rob during class and was uncooperative today. Dan will stay in for part of recess tomorrow. He understands why he is being punished. Sincerely, Maureen

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker
Dan was fine on the van today. We told the driver about Dan going to your neighbors. He was a little “off task” today. Mrs. Spangler said he was good at Art. HE was typing on the computer again his “poem”. I will confirm conference time with you tomorrow. I’m trying to accommodate with siblings etc. Do you have your time for Will yet—let me know. Thanks, Mrs. O

Thank you for your consideration regarding the conferences and siblings. I do not have a time yet. Will is in Rm. 313—Mrs. E. Hoffman—if that helps. Dan is scheduled for a developmental, psychological, neurological evaluation in December. I will be sending in teacher questionnaires that you will need to complete. I hope you don’t mind—I’m sorry for the inconvenience. I hope Daniel is a good listener today but please let me know if he is not. Have a great day. Diane

11/6/96 2nd note!
I am sending in $10 in an envelope for the Book Fair. Would you please help Dan choose appropriate books—no chapter books even if he knows the cover (Harriet the Spy). He likes Arthur books by Marc Brown. I’m sorry I couldn’t make it in to help. Thanks, Diane

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Dan did a fine job in selecting “appropriate” books. He had adapted gym today. We are proposing a math project for Dan which we feel will enrich his experiences with inclusion. This way he too is doing a “project”. He’s doing well in it. He’s working cooperatively in group work. I am working on time for a conference for you with E. Hoffman—Will finalize it tomorrow.

Dan and I are still working on time. I will give him a quiz Friday. We have been reading a A Letter To Amy. Today we worked on sequencing the events. He did well with it. Ms. Sives has not been in the past two days. Hopefully she will be here tomorrow. Dan had adaptive gym today also. Overall, Dan had a busy, productive day. We did need to remind him to keep his hands to himself a few times. Maureen

Good morning! Will’s conference is on Nov 13th 7:20-735. Thanks for coordinating the times—it really will help. Today William is taking the van home with Dan. It is very important. I am having difficulty coordinating one of my regular patients that I see every other day with Dan’s new van schedule. He leaves later in the morning (8:40) and is home by 3:45. He used to get home around 4:00-4:10. anyway, I see a patient in Flourtown at 3:15 9he works and can’t see me earlier) and I can’t make it home by 3:45. I am wondering if the van could leave the school later so it gets to my house later. I am going to call Transportation today and see what could be done. In the interim Will needs to come home with Dan—I cannot have Dan alone at home even for 15 min. I am not thrilled about Will and Dan being alone for 15 minutes but because of this new time I have no choice. Thanks, Diane

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! Please keep us posted about the van time if it changes. I pick Dan up and walk him down in the afternoon so I need to know. Dan was a little off today behavior wise. Maybe he was tired. He needed and extra reminder to complete his work. He also pushed Terri into a locker today. She was fine. I talked to him about it and he’ll have recess with me tomorrow.
I will be giving Dan a math quiz on time tomorrow. I’m sure he’ll do fine. I’ll also give him a spelling quiz. Dan and I will be reading The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins. It is a predictable book about a mother that bakes cookies for the neighborhood. I told Dan f he behaves himself and completes all of his work, we will make cookies for the class tomorrow. He is really excited about it. I’ll send one home for you! Maureen

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Dan had a good day. We were very busy. Dan did well in math and spelling. He had so much fun making cookies. I want to send the book home so you can see it. Maybe Dan would like to read it this weekend. Is Dan okay with the math project? Let me know. Have a good weekend. Maureen

Dear Mauren and Roe,
Dan’s still having trouble with his braces but the orthodontist doesn’t have any time to see him. We’re going to switch doctors when this phase is over. I clipped a loose wire off his braces with gardening shears! Ask him about it.
Dan spent Fri 7pm-Sun 1pm at the Variety Club camp in Worcester. It’s supposed to be a good time for him and give us a break. They call them “respite” weekends for the family. It was.
Dan did not have a great time, however, because his best friend, Mark Graham, who has Down syndrome, was not able to be there the way we had thought. Between that and problems with his braces Dan had a bad weekend with a lot of freezing, saying “no”, disobeying and taking things that weren’t his. He did get to swim at the big indoor pool which he liked. Ask him about the weekend.
Dan and I started on the time project and we will keep working on it. Ned

Nov. 11, 1996
Dear Mr. Mrs. Drinker
Hi! Dan had a good day. We accomplished a lot! Dan had a math quiz today on time. He got 100! Tomorrow I’ll start half hour times with him. Dan was also on the computer today typing a story. Dan and I read Come In, Boo Bear (p 39-46). We just read it once so I would like Dan to reread it tonight for homework. Dan also worked with the O.T. today. She gave us dotted lined paper to help him with his writing. It does look neater! He is also writing his first name in cursive. I’m sure he’ll show you! I hope everything is okay with Dan’s braces. He didn’t complain about them today. I hope the math project is going well. If you have any questions, let me know. P.S. I hope you liked the cookies! Sincerely, Maureen

Nov 12
Great cookies! Dan did his spelling with his grandmother and I asked him to correct it but he refused. You should go over it with him. We read “Boo Bear” but Dan didn’t get a chance to read. Ned

Nov 13, 1996
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Dan was busy today. We started half hour times in math today. He seemed to catch on quickly. I’m teaching Dan to count by fives so we can get into more exact times. Will you review half hour times with Dan tonight? I’ll send the clock home. We also corrected the spelling homework. We also made a community brochure in Social Studies. I’ll show you it tomorrow. Dan had group speech this afternoon. He got a 3 for behavior. He was proud of himself.
Dan was a bit antsy today. I really had to push him to complete his work. He did complain about his braces today, maybe that’s why he was off task. Roe and I talked to him about camp. He told us that he went swimming in the deep end of the pool. He also told us about some art projects. It sounded like he had fun even though Mark wasn’t there. I’ll see you tomorrow night! Sincerely, Maureen

Dan has completed his book “My Day” and is ready to present it to you. He didn’t draw any pictures because we ran out of time, but he would like to add them. He loves writing cursive but mixes up printing and cursive. See you tonight. Ned

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Dan had a good day. He was so excited about his math project. It looks great. We started to illustrate it. He read it to the secretaries. He will also read it to the class. Dan had speech today and was very well behaved. WE are continuing with time in math. Dan talked about the conference. He is excited about you coming. Dan did complain about his braces a little. Sincerely, Maureen

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Dan started out on a good note today. He is doing great with his sentence writing during journal time. Dan continues to do well with time. I am trying to teach Dan to count by fives (5-30) to help with more exact times. Dan had speech class today. He earned a 1 for behavior. I think he was missing his speech homework.
Unfortunately, Dan poked Dave Curran with his pencil today for no apparent reason and Dan and I talked about it and he will stay in for recess tomorrow and make a card for him. Maureen

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker
Dan had a busy day. He still gets right down to work with his journal writing. We were decorating bags for American Education Week this morning, too. He really enjoys art work. We had an assembly today. Some children in the school enacted “An Empty Pot”. Dan enjoyed it. Maybe he will tell you about it. Dan had adaptive gym today with Mr. Price from 2:10-2:50. He seems to enjoy it!
Dan seemed to be a little fidgety today. He was talking about going to a party this weekend. Maybe he is excited about that. Have a great weekend! Maureen

Dear Maureen and Roe,
Thank you so much for the extra time at the conference last week. We know it was an unusually late night for you at school but we really appreciate your spending the time with us going over everything. You are doing a tremendous job and we are blessed to have you working with Dan. Thanks!
We went to see “Grease” yesterday (but our seats were too far away) and Dan may tell you about it. Also, Dan joined the Children’s Liturgical Dance group at our church—he is very excited and does very well. Have a great day! Diane

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi, thanks for the note. It was very nice. Dan had a pretty good day. “Time” is getting a little difficult for him. I’m trying to have him count the minutes so he can learn more difficult times. It will take a while but we’ll get it! We are learning about stress in health. Dan seemed to understand what we were talking about because he said that fights were stressful.
We are reading “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” for language arts. Dan likes it a lot. Ask him to tell you about it. Dan was taking things from people’s desks today. I did talk to him about it. I know that you had mentioned in the past that he does this when his braces hurt. He said that his braces were fine today. Could you please tell me which days Will will be taking the van with Dan? Sincerely, Maureen

Monday 11/18
Dear Maureen and Roe,
I had said before that Dan had had a hard time at the Variety Club Camp because his braces were bothering him and he was taking stuff from other kids. I don’t mean that the “braces” caused the “taking”! Dan seems to be doing more of this taking lately and it really worries us. He doesn’t have respect for somebody else’s property; he just does whatever he wants with it. This morning he threw Diane’s wedding and engagement rings down the bathroom sink drain! Diane had them soaking in a paper cup filled with vinegar for cleaning. It seems Dan emptied the cup and then pushed the rings past the stopper. When Diane found that the rings were gone she and I were very upset, and Dan admitted eventually to duping them. Fortunately, when I took the trap off under the sink, the rings were caught on the stopper lever and I recovered them. We put Dan to bed early for lying about what he had done.
Dan had probably not meant to do any harm when he emptied the cup that happened to have the rings. He was probably trying to help out by throwing out an old cup. The bad part is how he reacted to his original error. Maybe he was just curious to see if he could wash the rings down the drain. Maybe he felt power by doing something he knew he shouldn’t. Then, when we yelled at him for what he had done and lying about it, he cursed back at us. No remorse. Very scary.
I’m telling you all this so you can be attuned to this type of asocial behavior. I think that when he takes things from other kids or their desks, you should be very strict. We really need to impress on him the importance of honesty and respecting the belongings of others.

November 19, 1996
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi, thank you for the note. I was sorry to hear about the wedding ring. When Dan takes things from other people’s desks, we always talk to him about it. Today he stayed in for recess because he took things from other kids yesterday. The math is getting a bit more difficult for Dan. I am really stressing more precise times by counting each minute on the clock and counting by fives. We’ll keep practicing. If he reviews each night for homework, that should be helpful. Instead of completing a spelling page today, Dan and I reviewed some basic sight words to help him with reading. Mrs. Overcash read Tar Beach today in Social Studies and Dan enjoyed it. Dan had group speech today from 2:15-3:00. Dan had some free time on the computer today. Sincerely, Maureen

Nov. 20, 1996
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Unfortunately, Dan had a rough day behavior wise. He hit Kendra (she sits next to Dan) in the face today. I told him that I would meet him after lunch so he could spend some time in at recess. He didn’t wait for me, he went out. I went to the playground to get him. I was really upset that Dan disobeyed me. I was really stern with him when we discussed it. He is also taking things from his classmates. I remind him everyday not to. I gave Dan a strike slip today because of this. He was upset.
Roe and I have been discussing Dan’s recent behavioral patterns and we wonder if he understands the effects of his actions. For example, when Dan dropped the rings down the drain, did he realize that you may not have been able to get them back? We are trying to find a book on cause and effect. Maybe this will help Dan understand the possible consequences of certain behaviors.
Dan and I are reading about dinosaurs in language arts. I want to make a dinosaur egg with Dan as an art extension. I explained that he would have to earn this and show me that he deserves it. We are still working on ‘time’ in math. Is he doing okay with his homework? Let me know if he has trouble. Sincerely, Maureen

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Dan’s behavior was much better today. He didn’t take things from others. He also kept his hands to himself. We did a real neat math lesson. It was an extension of The Doorbell Rang. We used the flannel board to divide cookies. Dan did great! He did really well in speech today. He was well behaved. We had the French teacher and some students from P.W. at school today. Maybe Dan can, speak some French to you! Maureen

Mr. and Mrs. Drinker:
We are really trying to be stern with Dan and consistent in our expectation of him. I think he is realizing this too! I will be searching for material regarding cause and effect for Dan. I am sending home a clock for Dan. I saw it and had to get it for him. I couldn’t resist! I remember you saying you did not have a clock for Dan. I hope this will be put to good use. Thanks—Roe Overcash

Thurs night 11/21
Dear Maureen and Roe,
You might be right about the cause and effect. Sometimes I think that Dan does things wrong just to see what will happen the way a much younger child would. But that makes sense considering his mental age. But I think he knows cause and effect; he’s just testing things out for himself.
I think he hits and touches kids because his communication is so bad. He is just dying to have the other kids “hear” him and treat him as a peer that he will do anything to get their attention, as we have seen. A few years ago, Dan was on a Plymouth League soccer team and during practice he pulled down his pants and threw all the balls down the hill! Why, I think because he couldn’t do what the other kids could do. Anyway, I am trying to help communicate by helping him write stories that he can read to the class. Hopefully, this will help him convey his thoughts to his classmates, help his classmates to get to know him and give him practice writing and reading. He will also learn patience because it will take time to write the stories and time to practice them before they are ready for the class. Plus, I think Dan will be so proud of his stories that he won’t need his bad behavior. Our first story is “Go Bayside”. He is still practicing reading this. Have him practice for you and make changes where you and he think are necessary (if he can’t say a word). We want him to be able to read it so everyone understands.
If this story works out maybe a classmate could help him write one. Good luck! Ned
P.S. Dan is pretty weak on those spelling words.

November 22, 1996
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi, thank you for the note. The story is great. Dan and I will practice reading it. Maybe a day next week, he can read it to the class. Roe worked on cause and effect with Dan today. As he gets used to it, we will spend some time typing his “Go Bayside” story on the computer. He is very proud of it. We made a big fuss! Dan had his adaptive gym class with Mr. Price today. He seems to enjoy it. Dan’s behavior was fine today!! Have a great weekend! Miss Haegele

Dear Roe and Maureen,
Roe, thank you so much for the clock—it was so nice of you. Dan is really into using it. We taped numbers above to help. He really loves his clock. Thanks. Daniel was really proud (and so was I) this morning when he zippered his jacket all by himself. He wanted me to tell you about it. Hope you have a good day! Diane (also signed by Dan underneath)

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! Dan told me about his coat right away. I praised him for it. I’m lad he likes the clock. I worked on basic facts in math today with Dan. We used a calculator. He needed a break from “time”. For language arts we read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Dan really enjoyed it. I’ll send it home—maybe you can reread it to him. Dan’s behavior was fine today. We gave him Fritos as a treat.

Nov 25, evening
Dear Roe and Maureen,
How is it going with “cause and effect”? Tonight, Dan kept pushing a box with shoes in it until it fell off the table. I think he knew what was going to happen but he felt compelled to do it; like when you pass your finger through a candle flame. Did you ever do that? A lot of times when Dan is bad, I tell him “you don’t have to do something just because you can”.
If Dan is working on “Go Bayside” please send home a copy so that we can work on it. Please don’t let Dan walk around in his T-Shirt. It’s not appropriate and Will said he was embarrassed. I think Dan likes showing off his physique. Ned

November 26, 1996
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! Today was a busy day! We are preparing for our “Hero Day”. Dan wrote about Terri. It is really good. I will send it home so Dan can practice. We did review time today. Dan is a little confused on the half hour times. Will you practice at home? We’ve only spent a short time practicing the Bayside story. I’d really like him to read it to the class. I made a copy for you. Dan can practice at home, too. I had to talk to Dan several times about taking things from other children. We still need to work on this. Sincerely, Maureen

Dear Maureen and Roe,
I am planning on coming in for Hero Day but one of my patients may take a lot more time than I am allowing so I may not make it in time. I explained this to Dan that I will do my best. Have a great Thanksgiving! Sincerely, Diane

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
I am still working on cause and effect. We still have Dan swiping pencils and punching students. I explained that if he does these things he cannot sit and work in our room. I emphasized this. He repeated it to me and I think he got the message loud and clear. He’s doing better with time. We are still doing oral reading with him. He did a WONDERFUL JOB and you would have been so proud of him. He gave Terri the award for Hero! Does Dan have his clarinet? Could you look into this? Could you also work on Dan’s Bayside Story? This would be something to work on. Happy Thanksgiving! Roe and Maureen

Dec 1,
Dear Maureen and Roe,
We had a great Thanksgiving. We went to my brother’s house in Chestnut Hill and had a sit down dinner with 27 people! Dan got to see his cousins Abigail, Grace, Judd, Lauren, Alex and Paul (who he sees every weekend). We saw The Nutty Professor and Dan spent a lot of time at his Grandy’s.
Dan said there is a party in music Monday and he could bring in a CD. He chose this party CD that has “YMCA”, “The Chicken Dance”, and “Hokey Pokey”. He love them all. Dan dropped the clarinet right away and I returned it to Zaph’s. Would you please tell Mr. Spangler? Also, would you please get David Curran’s phone number off of the front inside cover of Dan’s copy book? We wanted to call him over the holiday but we didn’t have his number.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi, I’m glad you had a nice Thanksgiving. I know Dan enjoyed himself. He told us all about it! Dan had a really good day. He was very cooperative. He was able to keep his hands to himself and didn’t swipe anything from his friends. I gave him a quiz in math today. He did well but still has some trouble with the “half past” times. I sent a paper home to practice. Dan spent some time on the computer today. If I catch him in the right mood he really enjoys himself. Maureen.

Hi—I hope you both had a good Thanksgiving weekend! Michelle Yavorski approached me regarding that you, Mrs. Drinker, had approached her regarding a “Team Meeting” she said she waited to hear from you. So whatever you want to do is fine with her—as to whom you want there too! If there’s anything I can do—let me know. Thanks, Mrs. O.

Dear Maureen and Roe,
Dan read “Go Bayside” to me, but reluctantly. There are still some rough spots. We all made biscuits tonight. Dan helped roll the dough and then had a biscuit cutter to make the round pieces. They loved it! You would have thought we were or “Little House on the Prairie”. Please get Dave Curran’s phone number off of the inside cover of the previous copy book. Ned
P.S. Dan made this get well card for Terri.
P.P.S. Will will be riding home with Dan on the van.

(Dave Curran’s number)

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi, thanks for the letter! I will continue with “Go Bayside” tomorrow. I really want him to share that with his classmates. He is very proud of it! I’m sending Dan’s green reader home. I would like him to practice the first story, ‘Mary Wore Her Red Dress”. He is doing well with it. Our goal is to have Dan record that story on a cassette so he can listen to himself read.
I’d like to have Dan move on to the “quarter times” like 1:15, 2:15, etc. Could you practice some with him for homework please? Dan’s behavior was okay today. He had a good day overall, but punched Bridget during Art class. We talked about it and he will spend part of recess with me tomorrow. Sincerely, Maureen

Dec 3, 1996,
Dear Maureen and Roe,
We’re not sure Dan is ready for the quarter hours yet. He’s having problems with the half hours. That’s a shame about Bridget. Diane asked Dan what happened and he said that Bridget made him mad. But he knows not to use force to show his anger. Did you get a more complete story about the incident? Dan read “Go Bayside” to us and he did great! Whenever you think he should read to the class would be fine. Then we’ll start working on another story. Thanks for Dave C’s phone #. Ned

December 5, 1996
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Dan’s behavior was much better today. He did all of his holiday shopping, too! He was so cute trying to decide what to buy Ned and Diane. Dan is doing great with the Bayside story. Tomorrow he will share with the class. Greetings from Mrs. Overcash. Dan is doing well in his story from the Houghton Mifflin series. HE is ready now to “travel and read” to other teachers. He is writing his own story about that and he is enjoying it thoroughly. It is reinforcing words he learned from the story. I hope you like his pictures! He looks cute! ENJOY. Sincerely, Roe and Maureen

Dear Maureen and Roe,
I am glad Daniel’s behavior was better today. He was very uncooperative and oppositional before school and I was worried. It is exactly this type of behavior (and what you and Mrs. Sives witnessed yesterday) we are concerned about. If you read through the communication books there is a pattern of this type of behavior all throughout his day especially In less structured settings i.e. lunch, recess, the bus! This is why we are having him evaluated at CHOP. The appointment is Dec 31 (Happy New Years Eve!). I will be sending in questionnaires for teachers at school soon. I will send them as soon as I receive them from CHOP.
When Dan came home from school he was dying to show me all the gifts he purchased including mine! Then he decided to hide them in the cabinet of the hutch in the kitchen. He was really cute. Hope you have a nice day. Diane

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi, thank you for the note. Dan had a great day! He was busy! Dan read “Go Bayside” to the class. He did great and everyone clapped when he finished. Dan also wrote a holiday story today. He wrote about the gift of love. We are going to display it in the hallway. I’ll send it home in a couple of weeks. Dan also had adaptive gym with Mr. Price today. He loves that.
We had indoor recess today. I’m happy to report that Dan did very well (No fights and no hitting!) I praised him for his good behavior. He had some Fritos for a reward. Have a great weekend! Sincerely, Maureen

Dec. 9, 1996
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi, Dan had a wonderful day! He worked hard all day. I even gave him an achievement award. Ask him to show you! Dan also worked on the computer today. He did some math and reading in it. We had an assembly during language arts. Tomorrow I will continue with cause and effect! Sincerely, Maureen

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker
Hi! Dan had a good day. I gave him a subtraction quiz today. He got 100! I had him use manipulatives for one part and a calculator for the other part. He put a lot of effort into it. He was proud of himself. Dan spent some time on the computer today on reading. He was listening to poems. He also learned about rhyming words. He really enjoyed it. Yesterday, Kathy Coppa, the O.T. worked with Dan during lunch. I want to send the communication book to her so she can give you an update. Maureen

Mrs. Sives did not give him such a “hot” report. I was disappointed. He was fine with us all day. I did speak to him about this. We are following our program; every thing that we discussed at our meeting with you. I’m pleased with his progress. We must all work with him with time. We are counting by 5’s. We are announcing the time out loud—anything to keep him aware of it. Dr. Solow came in and read @ 3:00. He was an attentive listener. We are doing many project. Our gifts, gingerbread men, holiday wishes, etc. He is involved with all. Talk to you tomorrow. Mrs. O

We are not surprised about Dan’s behavior in Sheila’s class. It is more surprising that he would behave differently in your class. I can’t figure that out. We are trying to work on time (hours and half hours) and reinforce as much as possible. It sounds like you are very busy in the classroom and Dan loves it. Also, Dan’s reading ability seems to be taking off. He read the Boo Bear story to me with a little assistance. It was awesome.
Dan kept talking about David Curran and a stick and a big something. Dan went out to the garage and brought in a stick to a broom and Will had an empty 2 liter coke bottle. (they always save containers for making things) and Dan and Will made a really cool puppet they said they learned from the assembly this week. Dan was so excited. Would he be allowed to bring it in? If no, it’s OK. I always discourage him from bringing things in because he would (he used to) bring in something everyday. But this was related to school. Thanks for everything. Have a great day! Diane
P.S. Enclosed—Dan made these sentences by himself and asked for help with spelling as needed! Also, Dan left gloves and lunch box at school.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! Unfortunately, Dan had a rough morning. He was off task and somewhat disruptive. He took things from people’s desks. He also punched Dave Spady in the back. Dan stayed in with Ms. Sives during recess because he didn’t do his homework. Dan’s afternoon was better. We worked on the book he is writing. It is an extension of one of the stories in his green reader. He enjoys it.
Ask Dan about our social studies lesson. We set up an assembly line in the class and the kids made cars out of candy. Dan was in charge of the steering wheels. The mentor program started today. Dan’s mentor is Bunny Swetkowski, one of the secretaries. She loves Dan! They spent about 30 minutes together. Ask him tot ell you about it. Dan and I also discussed some cause and effect scenarios. He seems to be comprehending for the most part. I’m glad he did well with the reading last night. He is making progress! Have a nice night! Sincerely, Maureen

Dear Maureen and Roe,
We are sorry about Dan’s behavior yesterday. I spoke with Daniel about it (actually it was precipitated by his uncooperative behavior during homework time after school) and he told me that he was “very tired”. He has been getting to bed by 9pm at the latest but who knows what is going on. And he has been sleeping a little later in the morning, too. I hope today is better for everyone. Diane

P.S. would you please forward the following note to Sheila Sives regarding speech homework? Thanks

Dear Sheila,
Hi! How are you during this busy holiday season? We have returned ALL of Daniel’s speech homework that was sent home in his speech folder. In fact, Daniel was proud that he brought in today’s homework yesterday (we are never early!). There must be some mistake. Perhaps the sheets were lost between speech class, Rm 202 and home. We NEVER saw the “s” and “r” syllable sheets. I would definitely remember it. We will practice the “s” words you jotted down. Thanks. Also, please clear this up with Dan so he knows he is not responsible. He is very good, in fact, excellent about doing his homework. Please let him know it was a mistake. He gets in trouble enough for things he is responsible for. Thanks. Diane

12/12/96 Thursday
I’m crazy! How are you all holding up? Holidays are nuts—but always worth it. Thanks for the note. Sorry about the mix up with the “s” sheet. I explained the situation to Dan, but he was in a “rammy” mood and I’m not sure he absorbed it all. (He was on his way to lunch). Have a great holiday if we don’t write/talk, and thanks again. Oh, with “s”, I’m so pleased with Dan—He’s keeping his tongue in (I usually only need to say “tongue” if he slips). He works hard on these words. Great focus. How’s he at home with “s”? Take care! Sheila

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi, Thank you for the note. Dan was great in the morning. He had his picture retakes first thing. He looked cute. He was funny, he kept combing his hair and asking me if he looked sharp! Dan did well with his journal sentences and math work. We practiced his spelling words, too. I’ll give him a quiz tomorrow. Dan earned a “2” for behavior in speech today. He apparently “called out” a few times. This afternoon, Dan and I read a little paragraph. I asked him the “who, what, when” questions. He did fairly well. I sent a page home for homework.
I want to have Dan practice some classification exercises. We did some warm up activities today. We’ll get into it more tomorrow. It will help him with organizational skills. Unfortunately, Dan’s behavior wasn’t so good this afternoon. He “froze” on me a few times and refused to complete his work. I asked him if he’d rather complete it at recess tomorrow. He said, “Yes”. So he’ll spend some time with me tomorrow!! Dan seems to be very tired. He has also been sniffing a lot. Maybe he wasn’t feeling well and this may be why he’s misbehaving. Tomorrow will be better!! Sincerely, Maureen

Dear Maureen,
I think you’re right—Dan has a cold and has seemed tired lately. However, I try to not make up excuses for inappropriate, unacceptable behavior. We are so overwhelmed with this type of behavior at home and the impact it has on our family but we think Dan needs more firmness and consistency (at home) even though this is difficult with everything else that goes on in our daily life. The “wh” questions regarding the short story were great. It really made Dan think and he likes that as well as being beneficial to him. He read the story with help on words he didn’t know and then we did the questions. I think I should have reread it so he would hear it again before answering questions.
Dan has been going on since he came home from school about a “party for his friend, Rob”. Dan says he is invited but he did not bring an invitation home. Do you know anything about this? I told Dan that he may be friends with Rob but that if he did not get an invitation or a call from Rob that he could not go to his party. Dan wanted me to call Rob (it broke my heart) but I told him you can’t invite yourself to someone party. Try to reinforce this or give me some more information if you can. Have a great weekend! Thank you, Diane

Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Dan is invited to Bob’s party. He must have misplaced it. Here is Bob’s number. We were so excited that he was invited. 4:30 TODAY is the party. I was out this morning at a meeting. Ms. Haegele was out all day subbing at Ridge. Please call Bob! Also—Dan was way off today! Thanks—Mrs. O

Dear Maureen and Roe,
Thank you so much for letting us know about the party. Daniel went and was greeted at the door by all the boys and they were thrilled he came. It made Dan’s weekend and it was opportunities like this (although they are rare) that really boost his self-esteem. It was super. He also went to another party at a neighbor friend of Will’s and our family. It was a special party and Dan loves parties.
Dan’s behavior continues to be a challenge. The van driver who brings Dan home after school complained about poor behavior on the van. This was the first time he reported a problem to me but it wasn’t the first time he has had trouble. He said that Dan sometimes will not listen to him. Apparently, Dan and Matt have been fighting. I told him to separate them. He said he told Dan to do that but he wouldn’t. I told Aaron that I would tell you and you would make sure Dan was seated in a different row than the other boy. The driver is very nice and doesn’t want to have to write Dan up. He told me to talk to Dan and tell him he must listen to him—I said, “If only it were that easy!” I’m sorry to burden you with this but if you could, would you walk Dan to the van and see that he is separated from the other boy? Thanks.
Also, Dan may want to tell you about chopping wood with his father 9they both enjoy doing this together) and bringing in the Christmas tree. Have a great day! Sincerely, Diane

Mr. and Mrs. Drinker
Dan continues to work in O.T. on the goals we established i.e. improving handwriting, improving independence and improving use of school tools/materials. For the most part, he has been doing great. He does not seem to be having any difficulties at lunch—opened his milk without difficulty, cut up a piece of sausage, ate appropriately (except for a little bit of talking with food in his mouth) and zipped his jacket just fine. Lunch is such a social time for the kids, though, I think that he enjoys that part more than the eating! Today our session wasn’t so great……. It just seemed to start off on the wrong foot and never improved. He didn’t want to leave the classroom. When I got there, he had just his tee-shirt on and he didn’t want to put on his shirt. I suggested that we take it to my room and put it on in there. He finally came, but took forever to finish the shirt. He kept saying, “done”. It was a little hard to figure out why the opposition today since we had a special holiday activity to complete. I showed Dan and he seemed excited about doing it, but then he just kept being silly and not following directions. He was grabbing scissors out of my hand, etc—just annoying stuff. He also was not doing as good as I knew that he could. Ex: I would trace a piece of foam for him to cut and as soon as I would look away, he would cut it into tiny pieces. Consequently, he doesn’t have a project to bring home. I don’t want to focus on these behaviors since Dan has usually been cooperative and enjoys coming to O.T. It must be that “Holiday Fever”. He has been very independent and his handwriting is improving. We have been doing some work on writing his name is cursive.
Hope you and your family enjoy the holiday break and Dan and I will try to start over the New Year. Thanks, Kathy Coppa O.T.

Dec 16, 1996,
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi, Thanks for the note. Dan told us all about the Christmas tree. He also talked about Rob’s party. It sounds like he had a great time. Dan had a rough time with Kathy today. He was cooperative with me this morning but was a little off this afternoon. Dan finished his book that he was making in L.Arts. I sent it home so he can read it to you. We continued with classification today. He is doing great with it. He is also working in a cooperative group to help with our class newsletter. You’ll see it on Friday. Have a great day! Sincerely, Maureen

P.S. I do walk Dan to the van every day. He does not sit in the same seat with Matt. Let me know if things improve.

P.P.S. Dan has a meeting for hockey tomorrow at 8:10 a.m. in the gym!

Dear Maureen and Roe,
Enclosed are four sets of forms needed for Daniel’s evaluation at the Children’s Seashore House. I am sorry there are so many questions. Also, since Daniel is special ed in a reg. Ed class some of the questions are not applicable. It is not set up for children with special needs but the doctors in the clinic have had a lot of experience with children with Down syndrome. Please fill out forms and mail in the envelope enclosed. Daniel’s appointment is Dec 31st. Thanks and again I’m sorry for the inconvenience and timing (holidays). Diane

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Thank you for the note! The forms will be completed as soon as possible—no problem! Dan’s behavior was off today. He poked Terri with his pencil, punched John at lunch, and ripped Paul’s paper. I was very firm with Dan when we discussed it. We had indoor recess today and Dan was not allowed out of his desk.
Dan did very well in his math quiz today (100!). I think we will take a break from it after the holidays. What do you think? Dan is doing very well with classification, too. How was the reading homework last night? His comprehension is usually pretty good when I read with him. The children are doing book reports. They will all report on mystery books. I have one for Dan, The Berenstain Bears and the Missing Dinosaur Bone. I’ll write directions for the report on a separate piece of paper. Dan can hand it in on Friday, December 20th. We have already read it and discussed it. He should be familiar with it when you reread it. Have a good night! Sincerely, Maureen

Thanks for your note. Dan really did the math homework super fast and with no help. It was a big improvement. He used to need help and would skip a set of 10’s. Sorry about the behavior. This is a difficult time of year (we are running around a lot preparing for Christmas and decorating etc) and Dan gets very excited. Also, today is my birthday and he loves birthdays. He has fun but I think he gets over-stimulated and tired. I am not excusing his behavior—it is totally unacceptable—but I think it gets worse (if that is possible) with everything going on. Anyway, when filling out the CSH forms please don’t feel like you are being unkind by reporting or answering accurately about Daniel’s uncooperative and very oppositional behavior. Remember incidents like today so the doctor’s get the right idea. I will be bringing his communication books (if you wouldn’t mind sending the 1st one home) to show the consistent pattern of behavior problems. As always, thank you for all of your help. Diane

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi, Thank you for the note. Dan’s behavior was very good today! He worked so hard, too. He had speech today. We worked on some association exercises today. He did very well after I modeled one for him. I will send one home tonight. We also picked some work for his portfolio. His responses are really improving. I’ll send his 1st communication book home—but if you don’t mind, when your finished with it—could we have it back? Thanks. We’d appreciate it. He was cleaning his desk today. He also worked on some new computer math programs. He enjoyed this. It was on addition, very good graphics! We completed all forms today and sent them out in the mail just so you know. Also, we were wondering on the envelope it mentions something about ADHD. We are confused as to what it is and why is that on the envelope. Please let us know and explain. Thanks. P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Fondly, Roe, Overcash and Maureen Haegele

Dear Roe and Maureen,
Thanks for doing the forms—it will be very helpful. Also regarding ADHD—Daniel is going to be evaluated in a pediatric, neuro-psych clinic. It is a thorough evaluation involving pediatric medical doctors. At this clinic they also specialize in ADHD in children and are very familiar with the disorder in children with D.D. Unfortunately, there is a higher incidence of ADHD in children with D.S. (as well as many other disordered and diseases). Due to Daniel’s behavior we want to have him evaluated. Also, the psychologist who has known Daniel sees him since he was about 3-4 years old has suggested the possibility of him having ADHD. He has recommended that we have Daniel evaluated for this. If we can rule out ADHD and anything else they consider, then at minimum Daniel should probably begin a serious behavior modification program. I guess that is why we have delayed because it will mean even more work from us and we are about tapped out. Anyway, lets wait and see. We have several friends that have children with D.S. who have had leukemia (2) Tourettes, ADHD, infantile spasms, seizure disorders, thyroid abnormalities, etc so we are aware of the reality or possibility. Daniel is generally very healthy now. He had a major heart defect and apnea as a baby but is doing great lately. Anway, I’m sorry I rambled on so, I guess I’m nervous about the whole evaluation process. We love him so much and just want his life to be easier for him. He has been working on the book report and working very hard. Ned has been working with him and says he really knows the content well. For math review—what should I focus on? Have a great day and I hope the sun shines! Sincerely, Diane

Dec 19, 1996
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Thank you for the note. I hope everything is okay with the testing. Dan had a good day. He was well behaved. He had a very fun day. After the math, we typed his Christmas wish list on the computer. I wanted to print out for him but the printer wasn’t working. Maybe I can do it tomorrow. Dan also had a chance to spend time with his mentor today (Bunny Swetkowski). She gave him the chicken limbo today. He absolutely loves it. You’ll be busy tonight! Have fun. Ask Dan about the big dog he saw in school this afternoon (160lb Newfoundland Water Dog!) One of the parents in Mrs. Lindheim’s class brought it. Dan was a little nervous at first but warmed up after a while. Have a great night! Maureen

December 20, 1996
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! I heard that you had a great time with the chicken limbo! Thanks for the gift. Dan’s day was a little off. He hit 3 people today (Bridget, Rob, and Shannon). When I talked to him, he said that he didn’t know why he did it. As a consequence, he missed 10 minutes of our holiday party. The fact that our daily routine was altered may have something to do with it. Roe was not in. There was indoor recess too. Good luck with the testing. Have a great holiday! Maureen

Jan 2, 1997
Happy New Year! Whew, that was a hectic holiday! It doesn’t seem that we did anything that remarkable but we were going every minute. Dan went to several parties and we had a New Years Eve party at our house where we did the Macarena and the Chicken Dance. We played Trivial Pursuit (Dan rolled) and went outside at midnight and banged pots and pans and made a racket. The kids put on a play in the basement and had fun with a strobe light. Dan is really getting good on the trapeze bar I moved from the outdoor swing set to the basement. Dan’s behavior was erratic and he was thrown off by the lack of structure and scheduled activities. He’s been asking about going back to school since the day after Christmas. He can’t wait! Dan left his lunchbox at school; can you help him look for it? Ned

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! Thanks for the note. Dan told us all about waking the neighbors on New Years Eve! It sounds like you had a great holiday. Dan and I started with ‘money’ in math today. We did some rubbings of coins today to help him recognize the penny, nickel, dime, and quarter. He did well but confused the nickel and quarter. I sent his notebook home so he can review tonight. He isn’t ready for written work yet. Dan had a good day behavior wise. He was a bit tired though. Could you please have Dan bring the Berenstain Bears Dinosaur Book back tomorrow: I have to return it to the library. Thank you! Sincerely, Maureen

Dear Maureen and Roe,
Hope you had a great holiday? I am glad Daniel’s behavior was OK yesterday. The holiday was fun for him but some of it is over-stimulating for him and the lack of structure is difficult for him and makes his behavior crazy. He couldn’t wait to see his “friends” at school. Daniel said you were having a part at school tomorrow (Fri) and I wasn’t sure. He brought in tapes and I hope it is OK with you.
Oh, I forgot, regarding behavior, please let me know if there is any more hitting (12/20) I really want to know because I told Dan (and will reinforce) that if he hits anyone he looses his privileges to play with his blocks. He has Kapla blocks and Jenga blocks (and others!) and builds with them almost every day. He loves them. I told him that hitting is totally unacceptable and won’t be tolerated. I told him you would write to me if he ever hit anyone and then he would loose his blocks. It breaks my heart that he is getting aggressive. We do not hit him (or the other children) as a form of discipline or punishment but he is doing it anyway. I would like to focus on this behavior since it is the most unacceptable and could be dangerous (he is strong!).
We do wish to deal with Daniel’s oppositional behavior but we can’t do too much at once—it is overwhelming for him and us. Also, we went to the Children’s Seashore House for the evaluations—we were there for 5 hours on New Years Eve day! We go back one week later for a parent conference. The doctors were great with Dan and were very competent. They would not offer us any diagnosis or recommendations because they said they needed to sort through all the info we brought. They requested past medical exams, IEP, communication book, etc, as well as meeting with each other. They said they are very cautious about making any quick diagnosis and that is why they use a process technique. I’m sure they will have plenty of recommendations regarding behavior (translated into more work for us!) so we’ll just wait and see. Again, thanks for your part—they had received it and we are grateful.
We went over the money—he definitely needs work on it and yes, did confuse nickel and quarter. But he likes telling me the values. Sorry we didn’t return the library book. We need it again and Dan likes it. Have a good day. Diane

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Thank you for the note. We’ll keep our fingers crossed about the test results. Dan had a good day. He was well behaved and very attentive. He seems to enjoy learning about money. We needed a break from time. Dan did some typing on the computer today. He enjoys it when he’s in the mood. Dan also selected some of his work for the portfolio. He is very proud of his work. Have a great weekend. Miss Hegele
P.S. I wrote this letter before Dan went to gym class. Unfortunately, Dan poked Bridget in the eye. Dan and I talked about it and he said that he didn’t know why he did it. I explained that Bridget’s eye really hurts and she had to go to the nurse. He did apologize. Earlier today, Dan told me that he forgot his pretzel money. I told him that I would buy him one if he had a good day. After the incident occurred with Bridget, I told him that he did not deserve it. He was upset, but I think he got the message. Maureen

January 6, 1997
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi, I hope you had a nice weekend. Dan and I had a busy day. We reviewed money in math. Dan seemed to be a little confused today. I also had him add coins together. It was somewhat difficult for him. I sent a page home for review. Dan and I played a game called WORDO today. It’s just like Bingo but we are using his basic sight words. Ask him about it. He beat me 3 times! We read a story from Frog and Toad called The List. He enjoyed the story. As an extension for homework, I’d like Dan to make a list of things he likes to do.
Dan was cooperative in the morning but in the afternoon he was very tired and somewhat uncooperative. We had a fire drill today. Dan was nervous, but handled it well. Maureen

Dear Maureen,
Just wanted to let you know that Dan did a great job doing the lang/arts homework. He really enjoys thinking and writing ideas down. Perhaps we can do more of this. Daniel had a good night sleeping—I don’t think he was up during the night and I had to wake him at 7:30!! I hope it helps his day. Have a good one. Diane
P.S. William is taking the van home from school today


Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi, Thanks for the note. Once again, it was a busy day. We are still going over money in math. We also made New Years resolution art projects. Dan traced his foot and wrote that he wanted to study time and money every night. We also spent some time on cause and effect. He’s doing well. We continued with the Frog and Toad stories in Lang Arts. Dan’s behavior was okay today. He was a little reluctant to complete some of his work. He also seemed tired today. Have a good night. Maureen

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! Dan had a pretty good day. We reviewed money and practiced counting by tens. I want him to start adding dimes and other coins together. Please review tonight (identification and values). Dan had speech and earned a 3 for behavior. Ms. Sives also wrote you a note.
Dan met with Mrs. Swetkowski for the mentor program. He played WORDO with her (his choice!) He was very happy because he won 3 times! Dan and I continued with Frog and Toad today. Dan’s comprehension was excellent. He remembered several details! He seems to like it. I have a video of this. We will watch it tomorrow. Dan knows that he must be on his best behavior to earn this. Have a good night! Sincerely, Maureen
P.S. Dan would like to bring a snack in for the movie (He doesn’t have to!).

Dear Maureen,
We did not get a chance to do math review of counting by 5’s and 10’s—sorry. We had a lot of interruptions (visitors—my mom and a friend of Emily’s I was babysitting came home from school with Em) and Dan was very distracted so his homework took longer than usual. Also, I was finishing taking down all of the indoor Christmas decorations and Daniel kept looking around and point to all the changes and asking “why”. He needed time to adjust to this—it really is amazing how sensitive he is about changes. And after all that we went out to dinner to the Lonestar and Dan was so excited—more like overstimulated. The music was loud, the waiters were dancing and he joined in (Ned checked on him in the Men’s room and Dan was dancing!) He could not even eat his dinner. Anyway, he asked me if he could tell his friends about it so remind him. I was amazed Dan had an OK day yesterday. We had a horrendous morning before he left for school. I hope today is good and doesn’t snow. I’m not quite ready for building snowmen yet this year. Have fun and enjoy the video. Diane

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! Dan was full of energy today. He told the class all about Lonestar. He was also excited about the snow. We had an assembly at 9:30, then Dan had speech. Sheila wrote you a note about homework. Dan had some trouble today during indoor recess. He kicked Terri and Sara. I talked to all three of them together and Dan said that he didn’t know why he kicked them because they didn’t do anything to him. As a consequence, we did not watch the Frog and Toad Movie.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! Dan had a good day! He did so much work this morning. He really did well when we reviewed money. He also did great counting by 5’s and 10’s! I want you to see the WORDO game we’ve been playing. Dan does so well. This is a fun way for him to recognize more basic words. You’ll be happy to know that Dan survived indoor recess without any behavior problems! He did have a good day! Have a great weekend! Maureen
P.S. Please review “money”

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi, I hope you had a nice weekend. Dan told me that he played WORDO and won! Dan and I are still working with money. He seems to be very interested and motivated but it is somewhat confusing for him. It will take a lot of review and practice. He’ll do fine. Dan and I read The Berenstain Bears Go To Camp. We discussed his camping experiences afterward. As an extension, I would like Dan to write a story (about 5 sentences) about his camping experiences. He can hand it in on Thursday. I will give you some dotted lined paper for it. This will help him write neatly. We had a pretty good day behavior wise. Sincerely, Maureen

Dear Maureen,
Hi! How are you? Dan and I worked on pennies and dimes last night. I think it might be good for him to stick to two different coins at a time for a long while so he doesn’t get confused and so he can get them down in his head.
We read the Berenstain Bears book and Dan was unusually attentive. Later, Ned and Dan started on the camping story—he is almost done—he really got into it. I can not find Daniel’s speech homework (papers in folder). Would you remind Dan to check and see if they are in the folder at school? He told me it was at school. Please send it home if you find it—we haven’t been able to do homework. Also, William is sick with his GI problem so he will not be going home on the van. Have a nice day. Stay warm! Sincerely, Diane

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker
Dan was a little off today. Yesterday, Dan participated on his own at journal time. He raised his hand and spoke in a sentence. We are updating our goals/objectives on our Inclusion chart. We are absolutely working on answering in sentences, staying on task, and completing projects. He is capable of doing all of these things and we will work hard together with him to prove it!!! He told me about Will. Please tell him we are thinking of him. Also—I forgot—Mr. Yaracs said Dan called out inappropriately in his class on Monday. We spoke to him about this. Thanks, Mrs. O

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi, I hope Will is feeling better. Unfortunately, Dan had a rough day. At lunch Dan was kissing several children and also hit a girl on the behind. He also had a hard time during speech. Ms. Sives wrote a note explaining. We had two guests in school today. They are wood carvers. Ask Dan to show you his key chain. He also spent time with Mrs. Swetkowski for the mentor program. He played WORDO with her. We are working on a new story—Curious George Rides a Bike. Dan is enjoying it. I hope he’s doing well with the camp story! Maureen

Dear Roe and Maureen,
Thanks for the notes. Ned and I went yesterday for the parent conference at the Seashore House. We were there for a long time and the doctors (a developmental pediatrician and a child psychologist who specializes in behavior disorders) were concerned about Dan’s behavior patterns. The visit was overwhelming and the doctors were very informative, sympathetic, caring and competent. We were very impressed. They think Dan’s most prominent and concerning behavior is his opposition to many things every day. He fits Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) exactly! They give us literature and it is as if it was written about Dan. Actually, they told us so much and I would like to share it with you. If you can, please call me—I will be home in the morning today or you can page me. On Fri, I will be home in the later afternoon.
Also, the psychologist asked our permission to call you to talk to you and we said it was OK. I just wanted to let you know so you would be expecting his call. Last night Daniel was out of control. He was really wound up and we aren’t sure why. I’m sorry he had a bad day yesterday. He was up sometime in the middle of the night playing with his blocks. Will was awakened by Dan’s noise and he told us. I don’t think the loss of seep helps his behavior but we can only work on so much at one time. Hope you have a nice day. Sincerely, Diane

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi, Thank you for the note. Roe was not here this morning. I taught the class and a sub came in to work with Dan. He was reluctant to work with her even though I was here. He was somewhat uncooperative today and didn’t get much work finished. He had a rough session with Miss Sives, too. During indoor recess Dan hit Ben with a ruler and slapped TJ in the face. I took him out of the room and had a very long talk with him. I was very firm with him. Dan said that he wanted to be home with his family. I asked him would you hurt people in your family—he said “no”. I explained that he must treat his friends in school the way he would treat his family. As a consequence, Dan will work with me during his recess time. I’m sorry to throw all this on you. I know it is very stressful for you to hear this. I also know (and appreciate!) that you want to follow through at home. We appreciate your support. We will be waiting for the doctor’s call and will be in touch with you soon. Sincerely, Maureen

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! Unfortunately Dan displayed a poor behavior when he closed the door on Dave Curran’s face! This all happened so quickly and for no reason. I am still working on cause and effect with him. We are going to re-emphasize at this point, his vowel sounds, too! He participated in a Spelling Football Bee! He made it to the final round. His final triumphant word was “January” he did very, very well. Do you think we should all meet regarding Dan and your doctor visits? Sheila Sives, Michelle Yavorski, and anyone else? I know I.E.P. time should be here soon, but I am eager to hear about these results. Also—it can be just Maureen and I if you want. Let us know. We will do anything to listen about and help Dan. Have a great weekend. Keep us up to date on Dan’s activities! Fondly—Mrs. O and Ms. H

Dear Maureen and Roe,
Yesterday was a big day for Dan. We went to Children’s Seashore House for another follow up visit. Dan started on medication today. It is called Paxil—an antidepressant, but also used to help treat ODD. The side effects are mild and he may not experience any. But, just so you’re aware, he may experience GI side effects, such as nausea, belly ache, decreased appetite. These are the most common and usually subside after the first week or two. Also, he may have a nervous, jittery, or hyper reaction—we would monitor this and may discontinue the drug if this occurs. However, this reaction, although it may be uncomfortable is not dangerous. As with any new drug he may develop a rash and then we would discontinue the drug. These reactions are rare and the drug is very safe.
Also, Daniel had an EEG (brain wave study done to rule out seizure disorders) due to some concerns we have over atypical “staring” which can be indicative of seizure activity. We do not have those results. He had to wait from a 10 a.m. appointment with the pediatrician until 1:30 for the EEG and he was extremely nervous, worried, and frightened. However he did great and was very cooperative. He can’t wait to tell you about it—the wires hooked into his head and chest, lights flashing, opening and closing his eyes and blowing out candles. I mention all this so you’ll know what he is telling you. If you have any question or concern please page me. I’ll be working. Thanks—Diane

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Thank you for the note. Your information is always very helpful. Dan did share his experience about the doctor with us. He even wrote about it in his journal. Dan was very well behaved today. He didn’t complain about any of the side effects that you mentioned. Dan remembered to keep his hands to himself and for the most part, was very cooperative. Dan and I are working on The Berenstain Bears Visit The Dentist. I won’t send it home tonight because we are still reading it. I’ll send it home tomorrow. I’d like Dan to think about his dental experiences. Tomorrow I will ask him to write a few sentences about it for Friday. Ms. Sives asked me if you responded about the cassette report she sent home. I think she’d like to hear your feedback. I told her I’d mention it to you. Have a good night. Sincerely, Maureen

P.S. Dan was our meteorologist in science today. Ask him about his weather report. (He told us that it was cold and that the temperature was about 30.

Dear Maureen and Roe,
Dan did a lot of good homework. We worked for a long time with real money (Will was helping so Dan worked longer). We talked about the dentist and just so you know what we talked about so he can tell you—“My dentist cleans my teeth.” “The dentist pulled my teeth” “The dentist put braces on my teeth” (These are three different dentists so I told him to say the dentist to be less confusing. We are sending the tape in but I don’t know how often we will be taping. We don’t have enough time at night as it is so I don’t know if it is realistic. We struggle to get the speech homework done but we will try to fit it in when we can. However, we do think it a great idea and hope Sheila continues so we know what is happening. Hope you have a nice day. Diane

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi, thank you for the note. Dan had a good day today. We continued with money. Dan gets very confused with dimes and nickels often. He is, however, very motivated to keep trying. I’m sending a page home for homework. If he does it with real coins he should be okay. If it is too hard I’ll redo it with him tomorrow. We also started The Berenstain Bears Visit The Dentist. I would like Dan to write about 5 sentences about his experiences in his notebook. He can hand it in on Friday. Have a good night! Sincerely, Maureen

I couldn’t find a library book in the house from last week. Was Dan’s library book at school or should I start searching more at home? Also, Dan’s speech folder is missing! Would you check or remind Dan to look at school. Dan struggled and resisted with homework yesterday. I like working with him but I’m worried that all my time is spent with him and Emily and Will are neglected. They both are basically independent with homework but have questions and I would like them to feel I am available for them as well. If I stop for them Mr. demanding Dan has a fit and yells and is impatient. Then I feel bad because I don’t want to loose him (concentration, I suppose is just another Dan dilemma!). I hope Dan has a decent day. Have a good one! Diane
P.S. I think the idea of a team meeting is great—all I need is to find the time to schedule. Thanks or all your support and concern.

1/23/97 TH
Mr. and Mrs. D.
Thanks for your taped feedback. Listen for mine today. For some odd reason you could still hear Mrs. O talking in the background as we taped over his comments from yesterday. Weird! I’ve also encouraged Roe and Maureen to use this tape since so much more can be shared in less time. Take care and keep on talking whenever possible! Sheila

Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Dan had a rough day. He hit Bridget and Alicia today. We had cupcakes today at snack and Dan had chocolate all over his hands. I went to open the bathroom door for him and he was angry (I guess he wanted to open it) so he gave me the finger. I told Dan how angry I was at him. I removed his desk from his friends and told him that he will spend recess with me tomorrow. He has also been ignoring me when I ask him to do work at times.
We are still working with money. It seems to be difficult for him. Next week, I’ll concentrate on pennies only, and then take it from there. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Sincerely, Maureen

Dear Maureen and Roe,
I know how hard that is when Dan is abusive. It is a toss up. When you respond strongly to his using the “finger” or calling you “jackass” he is getting the response he wants. However, if you don’t respond, then he is allowed to behave inappropriately. You have to realize, he has no clue what “the finger” means. He just knows how powerful it is. So, I guess, he’s pretty smart. He’s chosen to use the symbols that evoke the strongest response. Sometimes lately, I just act like I didn’t hear or see him use those symbols. It deemphasizes them. The problem is when he uses them in front of other people.
Enclosed is an envelope from North Penn School District concerning The Special Olympics on Apr 24. Would you or Ms. Yavorski or Mr. Price be interested in participating in this for Dan and any other kids that qualify and are interested? Dan has done it for several years and absolutely loves it! Last year he participated with his old school. Call me if you have any questions. If you aren’t interested, please let me know soon so I can register him separately. Have a great weekend! Ned

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
We would appreciate any information from your doctors regarding ODD. We realize Dan has started this medicine but he still is showing a stubborn sometimes “fresh” demeanor to other students, teachers, and ourselves. We are meeting with other professionals to see what we can do. We want to research this and do the best job we can. We have noticed since Xmas, Dan’s change in behavior. If it means a whole knew routine in the sense of rules, etc. we will do it. We will definitely be firmer with his behavioral infractions. We have to be. Unfortunately, today he could not be at the party. We wanted him to be but his behavior did not warrant this reward. He stayed with Mrs. Gill and completed his assignments he was supposed to do. Bear with us. We must follow our instincts. He is ignoring teacher directions especially with Ms. Haegele. This is all of a newer way. We’ll be in touch. Roe Overcash

Dear Roe and Maureen,
Thank you for all your concern, interest, and input regarding Dan’s behavior. Also, we appreciate your telling us about behavior on Fri. I agree that he should not have gone to the party. However, when I spoke sternly to him about the day and party and Mrs. Gill room he said, “So, Mrs. Gill fun!” Believe me we can never win with Dan—he needs the control. I felt bad because he talked most of last week about “Friday, party—100 marbles, we were good.”
The plan is to wait 2-3 weeks (amount of time it takes for medication to take effect) and then if the med is effective, we will begin with a therapist to work on behavior management. In the mean time, Reward good behavior in the present, immediately as much as possible. Ned and I believe strongly in rewarding good behavior, ignoring some poor behavior and giving natural consequences for poor behavior that cannot be ignored or is important. Natural consequences would be if Daniel refuses to put his blocks away he loses the privilege of playing with his blocks for 1 or more days. This sounds simple and great and has generally worked for William and Emily but Dan is in his own league. We are constantly walking on eggs with him! We do know that usually longer-term rewards or consequences do not work well for him (and other children with ODD/ADHD).
For us at home, Daniel’s behavior is not new. Last year he had great difficulty (defiant and uncooperative) especially on the bus. As you know, he required a van. He has had this personality problem since as long as we remember but has escalated. Perhaps age is part of it. Also, he sees, hears, and learns some undesirable behavior at school and on the bus/van. However, we must work towards helping him behave more appropriately and not be accepting of his current behavior. Sometimes he is great—helpful, cooperative, and aiming to please but in a second can change and become combative, angry, etc. I am also working on helping him to express his anger more appropriately. I tell him rather than hitting, throwing, calling us names or using his finger he can yell “I’m mad” and stomp his foot. I try to remind him of this after an incident.
I am praying that the medication will be helpful to help him work on all these issues and give us an edge. We shall see! I think he is smart, frustrated most of the time and really struggling. It breaks our hearts. Well, sorry so long. I will make copies of the literature we have from the Seashore House. Have a nice day. Diane.

P.S. Dan went to TJ’s birthday party at Dave and Buster’s on Saturday night. Then they went to Friendly’s. AS far as we can tell Dan was great and appropriate all night. Maybe you could ask TJ about it. I know Dan wants to talk about it! Ned

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Just to let you know, I think Dan did not enjoy the stay at Mrs. Gill’s. He did not finish the work so he had to go back today and tomorrow. I will be having a team meeting to discuss Dan’s situation. I contacted each specialist to inform them and hear their feedback. We will be monitoring his behavior very aggressively so he knows there is no room for nonsense. He has enough work—more than enough. I am pleased with his progress. For homework, we will ask you to review words with the short a sound. Have Dan find 5 pictures in a magazine which would contain short a sound words. Also—Sell things in the house—with only pennies. Charge him 6 cents for a fork, etc… make it a game for review. Mrs. O and Ms. H

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Dan’s day was much better today! I have charts on his desk to help him self-monitor his behavior. We’re hoping he can earn a reward on Friday. We are concentrating on pennies in math. We also made a short ‘a’ book. Did he tell you about it? He did great with it. I feel that one of Dan’s weaknesses in reading is his vowel sounds. I think these books he makes will help him. I’m sending sponge die home for Dan’s math homework. Just have him practice his basic addition facts with them. He may use manipulatives if he needs to. He doesn’t have to write anything unless you think he should. He enjoys this game. We played a little this morning. Have a good night. Maureen

Dear Maureen and roe,
I think the chart in school is a good idea and I hope it works. Sometimes I wish I could devote all my time to only Dan but that probably wouldn’t work either. Anyway, Dan’s siblings are not without their needs. Last week William had a partial bowel obstruction. He was having a lot of abdominal pain and looked to be in agony. He asked me if it was time yet to go to the hospital and I told him “Not yet, but we may, in fact need to do so”. He said, “It’s okay, mom, I don’t mind.” I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh with him. Then Emily had an ear infection, bronchitis, and asthma (Sat night while Will was sick) and she said, “Well mom, I’m sick too!” She is supposed to see and allergy and a pulmonology doctor. I’m sure she will be fine.
Dan had a decent afternoon/evening at home. I broke his homework up and then we had a catch. Math and 1/2 speech then we played knock hockey. He then got to watch TV and play with his blocks with his sister. Also would you please give Shiela the book to read—we didn’t have time to do the tape. Also, would you mind relaying the stories about TJ’s party, the flat tire we had on the way to the orchestra concert and about David Fleming’s grandfather getting hit by a car after the concert and the ambulance and police cars in CES parking lot. Dan has enough material to talk about! I sent the tape if Sheila wants to use it. Have a nice day and I hope Dan behaves. Diane

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Dan’s days are getting a little better. I think the charts are helping. His behavior was pretty good but he needs to remember not to give people the finger. He did it a couple of times. I removed stickers from his chart. We reviewed pennies in math. Next week we will concentrate on nickels. Dan talked about how he beat you with his math homework. I’d like him to make some problem with the dice tonight. Have him subtract the numbers tonight. We worked on this today.
Dan did well with Ms. Sives. He earned a three for behavior. She made a tape for you. I will ask Dan to share his stories with the class during Language Arts today. Have a good night! Maureen

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Sorry about the book yesterday—Dan left it on his desk. Dan is doing well. He is still responding to the behavior charts. Could you please send the Macarena. That is his reward tomorrow for good behavior. Dan had a great day in speech. He also met with Ms. Swetkowski for the mentor program. Have a good night. Maureen
P.S. I started a daily reflection with Dan. He writes two sentences at he end of each day explaining what he did well and what he should not have done. We review it the next morning to help Dan focus on the behavior he should change. Apparently, during integrated arts today, Dan unzipped his pants and was ready to pull them down, but one of the other kids stopped him. He also is lifting his shirt up. Roe and I talked to him and told him that he is not to do that in school.

1/30/97 7:00pm
Dan had a much better morning before school and a great afternoon and evening up til now. It’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde! Yesterday he had 8 altercations in the morning before leaving for school. I was shaking (and cheering) when he left. Today was a treat. Yesterday, due to the morning he had lost his tv show privilege and went to bed early (didn’t fall asleep any earlier but was in his bed one hour earlier). I’m always trying to figure out what effects his behavior but I think I just make myself crazy doing that. The daily reflection is an excellent intervention. Also, the L/A’s homework regarding feelings was great. We often forget that aspect of his life and I loved him having to express himself. He resisted but did do it. I really appreciate your perseverance and creativity. Diane

January 31, 1997
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! Dan’s week was much better. He achieved his behavioral goal. We will all do the Macarena after gym class. We will continue to work on the vowel sounds. This will help him in reading. I’m glad you liked writing about Dan’s feelings. It should help him express himself. I had to remind Dan about giving the finger to people today. I think this may take a while to extinguish. We’ll get it though. Have a good weekend! Maureen

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! I hope you had a nice weekend. Dan was a little off today. He was very slow completing his work today. He wasn’t very focused for some reason. Roe was absent. He did look tired. Dan had a little trouble during indoor recess. He gave Mr. Sigafoos and Dave Curran the finger. Mr. Sigafoos handled it; I’m not sure what he said to Dan.
Dan and I are still reinforcing vowel sounds. I had him spell a lot of words with short “a” sounds today. He did great! Will you review short “i” tonight and have him write 3 sentences using short “i” words? He can write them in his L/Arts notebook.
Ms. Yavorski wanted to ask you if she could borrow Be Good To Eddie Lee for tomorrow. Have a good night. Maureen

Dear Maureen,
Daniel was tired yesterday. We let him stay up later on Fri nights and Sat night Dan wouldn’t cooperate going to bed so it was later than we wanted when he went to bed. Dan was asleep on the van after school yesterday! Regarding “the finger” we continue to tell Dan it is not something nice people do and I’m not sure about “time out” or not because I think due to Dan’s lack of communication and control in his world this “the finger” is meaningful to him because he gets such a response from everyone and feels powerful in doing so. Dan was very resistant with homework yesterday. Hopefully today will be better all around. P.S. Any Interest in the Special Olympics at North Penn H.S.? Ned

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! Dan had a rough day. He refused to do a lot of his work again. He was in for recess because he punched Paul as he was leaving for the van yesterday. His afternoon was better though. For social studies, we started with neighborhood and communities. We talked a lot about things Dan sees in the neighborhood. Please have Dan write 2 sentences tonight for homework about his neighborhood. We continued with nickels and pennies in math. I’m sending a paper to review for homework. Have a good night. Sincerely, Maureen

Dear Maureen,
Last night my husband was cooking hamburgers (I was working) and the smoke alarm which is extra loud went off. Dan wants to tell everyone about it. Dan would not go to sleep last night. Will wasn’t home—he went to PW’s Bball game and maybe this was a factor for Dan—that Will wasn’t in his bed. Anyway, I went upstairs (for about the 3rd time) to check on Dan and I couldn’t find him. His room was dark and so was mine. He was laying under my bed in the dark holding a ball! He said he wanted to see us. I was shocked. Please, please pursue the Track and Field Special Olympics (this April). This is a wonderful opportunity for Dan to compete and feel successful. His self-esteem could use it! It must be taken care of now and must be done through a school. Last year we managed to send him through Gladwyn Elementary (his old school) but that is not appropriate. Please ask Michelle Yavorski to call me—I have some questions. Diane

February 5, 1997
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Dan had a wonderful morning. He earned a 3 in speech. He met with Ms. Swetkowski for the mentor program. She said he was excellent. We also did some finger painting with Ms. Yavorski’s room to celebrate the 100th day of school. Dan earned a lot of stickers. His goal is 22 stickers this week. His reward will be “The Chicken Dance”. I hope you have that song!!
Dan was so excited when he told his friends about the alarm going off (burning hamburgers). He was able to tell it in sentences with a little prompting. Dan stomped in a puddle during recess today. That’s why he is wearing a different pair. He handled it well. I wrote Michelle Yavorski a note about the Special Olympics and IEP meeting. You should hear from her soon! Have a good night. Sincerely, Maureen

Enclosed is literature from the psychologist at CSH. Please give one copy to Michelle—she asked me for it also. Today is Will’s turn at CHOP—he has appointments with his gastroenterologist and surgeon. Last night Emily was at the pediatrician. I’m beginning to think my career is visiting doctors instead of my own patients! We have not seen any change or improvement with Daniel’s behavior since 2 weeks of the medication. I will be speaking with his doctor soon. I hope today goes well. Good luck. Sincerely, Diane

February 6, 1997
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! Thank you for the literature on ADHD I’m sure it will be helpful. I gave a copy to Ms. Yavorski, but she was absent today. Dan had a good day. We accomplished a lot. Money is still difficult but we are still working on it. We also have a new social studies book. It is a big book and Dan is very motivated to read it. He read about neighborhoods and neighbors today and Dan kept saying “No help, Haegele”. He really does well when he puts his mind to it. We are still insisting that Dan uses at least three words when he speaks. He’s doing well. Have a great night! Sincerely, Maureen

P.S. Just to let you know I made a sign for Dan which represents “No finger”. He had done it 1 time this morning—I sat down with him and reviewed the meaning. I told him that the finger meant “I hate you”. I felt it needed a “meaning” for him to understand. Unfortunately everything was fine until 2:50 he did it again. I placed him outside of my room and told him he was not allowed back in and he wants to come back in. I had to give him a serious consequence. I think Will could jump in now perhaps explain that he doesn’t do it, etc. He had been doing great the past 2 days. We have a reward all set for Friday. I feel bad about this. Could you make a sign too and tell him he will not be allowed in my room if he does it again? Thanks—Mrs. O

Good Morning!
We are quite concerned about such a dramatic consequence about the finger problem. We have survived many similar problems with Dan and we are confident that this too shall pass. We think there are several reasons Dan is using the finger. He tells us over and over again that his friends do it. WE tell Dan over and over that we do not communicate that way. We have spoken to him as a family and individually, Will and Emily included many times. It is not that simple for Dan. As I said a few days ago, Daniel’s lack of communication skills is a factor. He does not get to express himself like those around him. Much is going on in his head but he is often alone with his thoughts and feelings. Now Dan has discovered a quick and easy way to communicate something and he certainly gets everyone’s attention so it reinforces the behavior for him. Daniel is very frustrated and we have been advised that long term punishment is not helpful nor does it work. In no way would we want to communicate to Daniel that he was bad. The behavior itself is inappropriate and unacceptable for us but we can speak clearly and express ourselves. Daniel almost can’t help himself from using his finger but the incidence has decreased.
At home we have been paying little to no attention to Dan when he does it. It is not easy because we think it is revolting but of course we cannot take it personally or literally. Obviously Dan has no clue about it. It would be better and is advised that Daniel be praised for appropriate behavior. We know it is difficult—believe me, we know—but it is helping at home and he has not been doing it much at all. To us the hitting is more of a concern. Anyway, please remember that it is not like someone else using this form of communication. If you do not agree, have concerns or questions please call us. Thanks! Diane

P.S. Dan and I have been working on alternative ways of expressing himself instead of using the finger. He likes a jerking motion with his thumb and the phrase “get out of town”. The only problem is that he smiles when he says it which doesn’t convey the right message. Brainstorm with Dan and some other kids about expression that Dan can use. If he has acceptable ways of expressing his fear, anger, frustration, he is less likely to use the unacceptable ones. Ned

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
I apologize if in any way you felt we were harsh or too severe on Dan. We would never do anything to hurt Dan’s progress. When we stand back and look and watch Dan, we are so proud of him and his many accomplishments. The class is wonderful with him. He is doing so well academically—and other behaviors are tremendous like—raising his hand, really working hard on 3 words in a sentence, using manners, etc. I could go on and on. Yesterday—everything was going well. I guess it’s different when it is in school, then when it’s just you “guys” at home. When you have many children coming up to you telling us that Dan gave them the finger we had to do something. Trust me—he was out of the room for 10 minutes. It was just to show him that we do not want inappropriate behavior. As far as appropriate behavior we have a behavior management plan that every time he exhibits appropriate behavior follows decisions first time given raises his hand, etc… he gets stars and a goal is reached and he is rewarded. For example—last week, Macarena, this week, the chicken dance. We allow him to select the reward. Also—we reward him in other ways—special computer programs. Mrs. Swetkowski and the mentor program. Extra time, etc…
Please don’t worry about this. I am sorry if I sent a wrong message to you. Today I spoke to the class about Dan and the finger. I told them just to tell him “No, Dan” and to ignore him. I also had a meeting with Mrs. Sigafoos regarding this so he could relay it to all of the lunch aids. (They are coming up to us all the time about this). When Dan shows inappropriate behavior etc—we remove a sticker from his chart. This usually works well. We had done that many times before we asked him to leave the room. That was like the “final” request. With your wonderful cooperation at home and our “team work” here in class, I know things will work out. Please know we are trying our best and wanting to do only the best job for Dan. He deserves nothing but the best. Ms. Haegele and I believe in that with our whole hearts. Dan had a GREAT DAY TODAY! He did give someone the finger today and he said he was sorry. He’s trying—thinking—and doing a great job. His sentences are improving. The students and other teachers have commented. Again—thank you so much for your support and communication. Again I apologize for any miscommunication I might have sent you. Roe Overcash

Dear Maureen and Roe,
On Saturday night we all went to hear Ladysmith Black Mambazo at Penn. They are an a capella vocal group from South Africa and they have sung with Paul Simon on “Graceland” and they’ve been on Sesame Street and some commercials. They were fantastic and we really enjoyed the show. They dance and kick their legs up high and they make all sorts of funny noises as part of the songs. Dan, Will, and Emily moved up next to the stage near the end so they could see better. All of a sudden, the leader of the group pulled Will up on to the s tage to show him how to do the dance they were doing! Will joined right in. After Will sat down, the leader pulled Dan onto the stage! He looked really frightened at first and we thought he was going to cry but he too joined in with the dancing and he had on a great big smile! He really did a great job. He said later that the bright lights hurt his eyes. Then Emily went on stage, too! When we were walking out of the auditorium more than a few people told the kids how good they were. I have a CD of the group so I’ll have to tape one of the songs for Dan to bring in as a reward. Please remind Dan to bring home speech homework—we haven’t seen any since he handed in last week’s. Dan had a soar throat Monday and went to the doctor’s and orthodontist. His teeth might be sore. He wants to play a tape of Ladysmith Black Mambazo and show you how they danced. I told him he could if he cooperated and didn’t give the finger all week. P.P.S. What about Valentines Day? Please tell us if they are exchanging anonymous(?) cards or with names. Send class list.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Dan had a great day. He did all his work. We had a substitute Aide Mrs. Wasser who knew Dan. He liked her and felt great that he knew her. He was very cooperative—he did a great job at speech, too! I’m sooo proud of him. Mrs. O

P.S. His sentences are improving. He was very enthusiastic with all that he did today!!

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! Dan has a class list in his Friday folder on the back of Mrs. Overcash’s newsletter. Dan’s day was alright. He had some problems with Ms. Sives today. I’m sure she explained on the tape. Dan also gave a few people (including a teacher) the finger today. We tried to ignore it as much as possible, but I did talk to him at one point. Dan seems to be grasping identification and value of the penny and nickel. I think the constant repetition is helping. We are still reviewing the short “a” and “i” sounds. Dan is doing well with it and his progress is shown through his oral reading. Have a good night. Maureen

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! Dan had a good day. He worked very hard. He had a good day in speech behavior wise, however he received a 1 because he forgot some fork. At lunch, recess someone pushed Dan. I’m not sure of the circumstances but we are investigating. Sincerely, Maureen

P.S. I’m sending The Snowy Day home with Dan. He enjoyed it. I thought if you had had time, you may want to reread it with him. Please send it back tomorrow.

Dear Maureen,
Hi! As far as speech goes my motto is “one thing at a time”. Although, building responsibility is important, right now I could care less about it! Dan has immense pressure on him regarding his behavior and he knows it. If his behavior is good—reward, praise, etc—forget the little things (or at least ignore them for now). Let’s communicate clearly to Dan that good behavior is the ticket—the rest is easy after that. Please direct this to Sheila.
Regarding recess—Dan told me about getting pushed down and said he did not know the kid who was involved. Hopefully it was not an unkind child—no big deal though. We reread The Snowy Day and it was super. Dan seems to be very impatient writing anymore. Also, he mixes up “R”s and “L”s. Have you noticed this at school? Diane

Good morning! What a weekend at our house. Emily was sick starting on Wednesday and Dan started on Friday night. He had fevers, lethargy, vomiting, upper respiratory—the works. I wasn’t sure about sending Dan to school or keeping him home. He didn’t have a fever yesterday (or today) but yesterday his behavior brok all records. It was the most difficult time I’ve ever had with him. I wondered if he just felt lousy and that was contributing to his behavior. Today he says he is fine and wants to go to school. If there is any concern, please call me and I will come and get him. I hope he is OK and behaves better today. Diane

Good Morning! Daniel seemed to really turn the corner yesterday and is rearing to go today. I think he is fine for school—the antibiotics finally kicked in and worked. However, if he doesn’t seem right or gets real tired let me know and I’ll come get him. If you wouldn’t mind it would help if Dan didn’t get homework. Then he can just watch TV and rest a little after school. Thanks—Diane

Dear Mrs. And Mrs. Drinker,
Hi! Dan had a great day! He was crying a little this morning because his throat hurt. After his trip to the nurse, he was much better! He did a lot of work today. He worked very diligently. We are working on the short “e” sound now in reading. We are still working with neighborhoods in social studies. He really enjoys this. Dan’s behavior was great today. He was very cooperative. Have a great night. Sincerely, Maureen

Dear Maureen and Roe,
Thank you so much for all of your time, work and love towards Dan’s IEP. We are very grateful to you and Dan is so fortunate to have such gifted people working with him. Thank you so much! Dan’s speech tape has 3 songs taped “YMCA”, “Limbo Rock”, “Macarena”. Have fun. And, have a nice weekend. Diane

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Drinker
Thank you for your continued support and cooperation due to your undying concern. I know Dan will do fine. We, as a staff, care greatly for Dan and want to ensure everything, which would lead to his success academically, socially, and emotionally. Dan did well today overall. He did seem a bit tired though. We made “gak” in science today. Dan will show it to you. He loves it. E. Hoffman told me that the 5th grade has been testing all week so there isn’t any homework for Will. Have a great weekend! Maureen and Roe

Dear Maureen and Roe,
Dan was sick over the weekend with vomiting and diarrhea. We felt so bad for him. Yesterday he was fine—no fever, ate OK. He had 1 episode of diarrhea last night but that was it. Dan’s behavior has been good but today he is Mr. “No”. He may be resuming his old ways—I hope not. Anyway, I’m hoping it is just a bad morning. Have a great day.