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Spring 99 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

Making a Difference

By Lu Cleere, VI Consultant, Region 18 Education Service Center, Midland, Texas

In January, after the football season was over, the spotlights were pleasant memories, and the equipment and uniforms were all put away, two boys found themselves digging through boxes to find their uniforms. These two boys were suiting up in their uniforms for a trip across town for a special appearance at an elementary school classroom. What made this so special? Well, they were going to see a very special little boy.

Aaron is a six-year-old boy in a communication enhancement classroom. Even though Aaron has difficulty communicating some of his basic needs, you can easily understand him when he says, "Go Broncho." Also, Aaron can not match his colors or ABCs, but he can match trading cards of professional football players.

So Aaron's classroom teacher, Mrs. Becky Bilyeu, used his fascination with football to facilitate progress on his toileting skills IEP goal. Early in the year, Mrs. Bilyue started telling Aaron that "Broncho football players go potty in the toilet, not in their pants." Aaron's grandmother even made him some "Big Boy" underwear out of material featuring footballs. By the end of football season, Aaron had started making progress on his toileting IEP goal.

So as a reward, the two star football players suited up in their football shirts and went to the Elementary School to see Aaron. These "big guys" on the high school football field took the time to talk to Aaron about how glad they were that he was pottying in the toilet. Then they gave Aaron a football.

Now as the end of the year is approaching, Aaron has made enough progress on this IEP goal that he has put away his Pull-ups training pants. Aaron is even finding the teacher, Mom, or sometimes Dad, to tell them "I go potty." So, with this classroom teacher's willingness to throw out her textbook strategies on toileting skills and use the interests of this child, this teacher made a difference.

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Last Revision: September 4, 2003