Friday, October 29, 2021

Painting Pumpkins

One of the projects for last week for the class at the adult transition center was to paint pumpkins. 

We had the Nightmare Before Christmas fan: 

The student that likes purple: 

And Natalie did a paint pour technique: 

But the issue was with this one: 

This was Doris' pumpkin. 

Doris is non-verbal. She uses signs and her iPad to communicate with us. And she remains outside as she does not wear a mask. (I am unsure if she's incapable or if she just won't leave it on.) 

The day before the pumpkin project, she had a meltdown (read: screaming and hitting and throwing things around) after not being allowed into a chair someone else had brought outside for their use. She's adult-sized, so these tantrums can be dangerous to staff and students. 

On pumpkin painting day, she was called over to put her thumb prints on the pumpkin. (I filled in the ghost faces later.) And... She did not like this. At all. 

She reluctantly complied, but once she was released from painting, she started throwing equipment around (treadmills, elliptical machines). 

It was almost lunch time (so the other classes would need to be in the area so the students could eat), and Doris wasn't calming down. We were afraid she was going to hurt someone. So, we had to send her home. 

What we can't figure out, though, is what set her off. I thought it was a cute project. 

22 comments:

  1. That assignment (yours, not the pumpkins) sounds very difficult for you, more so than dealing with teenagers.

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  2. I never painted a pumpkin.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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  3. Students like Doris are a real challenge.

    The project is cute, though,

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    1. Yup. And they all seem to be in this class at this school.

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  4. Not being a teacher but having some experience with someone with sensory issues as a family member, I wonder if Doris should have been permitted to decline this particular project (or if that would have led to even worse disciplinary issues). The person I'm thinking of could not tolerate the feel of finger paint on his hands. I shudder to think of the strain of having Doris in your life (her family and teachers) especially once she leaves the educational system.

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    1. Perhaps. The idea to use the paint on her thumb came from one of the aides who presumably knows the students. I would hope the aides would be aware of the things that would definitely set the students off.

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  5. I suppose she was having a bad day.

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  6. it's a shame she did not enjoy the project - it does look like fun! I hope she got to take it home with her even if she did have to go home early to be safe and not injure others.

    Hope that you are having a wonderful weekend :) We had a beach day yesterday!

    Away From The Blue

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    1. She got to take it home today. I expect her parents will enjoy it more than she did.

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  7. It sounds like she was having an episode - maybe she needs medication. Pity really, pumpkins are fun. I've made one to light up with a candle.

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  8. Maybe she wanted to do something different, or was enjoying it and didn't want to stop, or maybe it was sensory... I think that's the problem. With kids like this you'll never know.

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  9. Thank goodness it was not carving pumpkins like we used to do in grade school. Now, I guess they wouldn’t dare allow that. Was this a special ed type class? I am so trying to be saying the correct words. It sounds like she needs to be in another class geared to what her needs are.

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    1. We could have carved them, but we didn't really want to. Yes, they're special ed. This was the class for these types of students.

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  10. People like Doris are quite a challenge. I guess they perceive everything rather differently. Not quite sure. Probably.

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  11. This is such a cute project and painted pumpkins look very nice.

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    1. Thanks. I hadn't ever thought of doing that before. I like it.

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  12. She seems to have frightening strength on top of unpredictable emotions. I can't imagine facing such behavior. Stay safe!

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    1. Yes, she's fairly tall. It's hard when their understanding is so child-like.

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