February 28, 2012

Reed looks up from the water table where he has been busy pouring and measuring, and "making ice cream" with his friend Angela. He is a studier, holding a gaze with his big brown eyes. What a difference from last year, when he enrolled in SouthSide's toddler room. He had little vocabulary and, like his brother, struggled with emotions, frequently crying or withdrawing into a corner. Now he socializes with his peers, converses with teachers and visitors, and has the words he needs to talk about his feelings.

Miss Jenny and Mr. Phil note that when he arrives in the morning, Reed signs in (we take every opportunity for language development and early literacy!), and finds his "feeling picture," the facial expression on a laminated card that represents how he's feeling. This is the essential first building block in social-emotional development - learning to identify feelings allows moving on to deal with them.

This morning Reed picked "happy."