A Connecticut K-5 school. I’m on a three-day assignment in Special Ed. Several one-on-ones with students who have a schedule of tiered RTI pull-outs from their regular classes. A little pre-schooler I won’t name of course comes every day for a morning hour and an additional afternoon on Fridays. I have him Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. They’ve tagged him as nonverbal and on watch for mutism. I was asked to write down any grunt or giggle I might hear if possible. Even if it’s just positive response to something I’ve said or done and you almost hear a snortle or something.
First two mornings there was nothing, but he was very cheery and happy to comply with each and every change in structured play. Each day in between tasks I sang a capella to him or got my guitar and played him an instrumental flamenco piece. Each morning I read him a cardboard book entitled, “Five Little Monkeys” and he really seemed to like that.
So Friday morning I made up a song about the 5 little monkeys book before reading it to him and asked if he wanted us to read it together and he looked at me plain as day and said, “monk!” Yes, I nearly jumped out of my own skin.
I said, “Wait, did you just say “monkeys?” and he didn’t say another word, just grinned and puffed out his chest.
Then I read him the book and he smiled the whole time.
Then I had one more hour in the afternoon and it turned out it was after his class had a music special. He walked in, waved goodbye to his para professional and pointed at the boom box on the floor. So I turned it on and he sat on the floor repeating “wheels on the bus” and “heads shoulders knees and toes” over and over for most of the hour.