As I walked by one of the preschool structured autism classrooms at my school I heard someone yell my direction, “She said no!” Confused, I backed up and peeked into the classroom wondering what that could be about and one of the classroom aides was looking my way with a big smile repeating, “She said no!, Sarah* said no!”
The casual observer probably would have found the interaction strange but it made my day. Here was a classroom aide who is in a classroom that is bursting at the seams with students who all have very significant needs and she took the time to recognize a major communication breakthrough for one of her students. I felt like throwing a party!
I give the teachers and aides I work with lots of tips on eliciting communication and noticing subtle communication improvements but it’s hard to tell if I am having a positive effect or just adding one more thing to their already full plates. It turns out I should have given them more credit!