Friday, September 23, 2011

Zoya Talks about Her Day at School

Zoya FINALLY made it back to school today!! She has a little bit of a cough, but feeling MUCH better and was so very excited when she heard she was going to school! Shawn took her and he said she ran over to one of her teachers and acted like she couldn't care less about saying goodbye to him! haha.She was so happy to see "B" and "Nana" and all her friends! 

This video was taken when Zoya got home from school. We started a little communication page that her teacher fills out so I know a little about her day. It's so nice to be able to talk to her about her day and know what she did.  So this is after I read her page to see how her morning went.  She had been out of school since last Friday, so I expected her to have a little trouble following directions. Overall she did fabulous today, except her very first school time-out...which whipped her right into shape! She was not listening well so her teacher needed to use time out to send her a little message, and it worked :) I love that her teacher has high expectations for her and doesn't let her "Down Syndrome" be an excuse for poor choices.
She knows Zoya is capable of behaving well and she holds her to that expectation.  It makes me laugh seeing the way she looks away when I ask her about time out.  Then she says her version of "uh oh."

You can also hear her counting a little in the video. One of her favorite things to do at school is be the calendar helper and count the numbers.

We have noticed positive changes since Zoya has been in school and she is so happy when she comes home. It's almost like she is proud to be going to school....we can see that it makes her feel like a big kid and she thinks she is so cool! (She is :) ) Her speech is improving since being around typical peers, and she is interested in trying new activities with less anxiety. So proud of our big girl and all she has accomplished!!

A little info on our "time out technique"

We use our own version of "1-2-3 Magic" which is a behavior technique (and her teacher is using the same form at school). Basically if you give a directive that isn't being followed or your child is not listening/making a poor choice, you start counting 1-2-3. If you get to 3 they have to take a time out. The wording the technique uses is "1-2-3, take 5." We adapt it for Zoya and give a little more time in between each count and might look something like this:

"Zoya come here" (and then wait for 3 seconds)
(and if she doesn't comply) "Zoya, that's 1, please come here." (wait)
(still not complying) "Zoya, that's 2, you will have to go to time out if you don't listen, please come here." (wait)
"Zoya 3, go to time out."
(the funny part is she always complies when i say go to time out! haha)

I love it because it takes the frustration/emotion out of it and she always knows to expect the same consequence. It also gives her two choices: listen or go to time out. We use it a lot, and she responds VERY well and maybe only 1/20 times needs to go to time out. Her teacher has been using it at school and says Zoya responds very well to it and today was her first trip to time out (the first time the teacher actually got to 3). Zoya listens very well IF she knows she can't get away with her little tricks and IF others have high expectations for her.

The actual technique says children should go to their room for time out, but we don't do that. We do a time "in" where she can still see us but we are not interacting with her and she is missing whatever activity was going on. She sits for 2 minutes (we use the bottom stair for her time out place) and then apologizes and always a hug/kiss and a reminder why she had to go to time out.


  1. Oh My Gosh - I love her saying "seven" - it is the BEST!!!!! And her sweet eyes when you asked if she went to time out - too much!!!!! Love that girl of yours!!!!

  2. Love the video...great counting Zoya :)

  3. Ohhhh, she is SO precious!!! Loved this video!

    Glad she's feeling better! Those communications pages that the teachers send home are sooooo important. We've been very fortunate to have great teachers that take the time to involve us like that, too.

    Sammi's time outs are very similar - sitting on the bottom step, not interacting with us. And boy do they work! We don't do the 1, 2, 3 thing, though, but we'll tell her "last chance." Fortunately, time outs have become much, much fewer and further between as she gets older. :-)

  4. We use this similar technique. I agree with the "time in" sometimes it is more of a punishment to see what they are missing.

    I love the video!

  5. OMG - what an adorable video. Her comprehension is clearly getting better and better. Way to go, Zoya!

  6. That video is precious!!! She is a superstar!!!

  7. She is just soooo precious--loved her counting! What a smart girl you've got and so glad she is feeling better! TY for sharing!

  8. Agree with Summer, her "Seven" is so stinkin' precious! She is speaking so clearly!


  9. She sounds AWESOME! and I third what Brooke and Summer said, that seven was articulated beautifully! Go Zoya go!