Friday, October 15, 2010


My son’s school sends home a “point sheet” every day that shows how his behavior was during school. Kai is scored on ten criteria which include things like follows direction, stays on task, accepts feedback, and respect for adults, peers and property. During each of his ten periods at school, he can earn one point for each of the ten criteria he does well. So, the highest possible score for a day is 100.

We’re pretty happy if he scores 90 or more. He’s seldom gotten more than 95 because he often loses points for not staying on task or not following directions. When he has a major incident that involves unsafe behavior such as biting or hitting, his scores are usually much lower as he loses points in a lot of different areas, particularly those involving respect for others.

Last week, my wife promised Kai that if he got a 100, he would get a “special prize.” Kai was really excited about the thought of a special prize and set himself a goal to get it. I was glad to see him motivated, though I did not think that he would be able to get 100 points, at least not for now.

I was wrong.

On Wednesday of last week, he was bursting with excitement when he got home from school. He could not wait for us to open his backpack and look at the point sheet. We took it out and, there it was, all 10s every period with a total score of 100. We could hardly believe our eyes. 100! He stayed on task and followed directions every period, and had safe behaviors all day. Hurray! That fact that it happened on a Wednesday, the day where he has to go last for lunch and PE, made it all the more impressive. We gave him huge hugs and many high fives. The look on his face was priceless, as he was beaming with pride.

Of course, he asked for his special prize. Mom brought out an inexpensive little game that you would find at a dollar store. It teaches kids about different coins and how to count money. Most of it was way too easy for him so it didn’t hold his interest for too long. But, he didn’t seem disappointed. I think it’s because he knew that his real prize was in knowing that he did really well and accomplished his goal to get a 100.

I could end here, but there is more. He followed up his 100 last Wednesday with a 98.5 on Thursday. Then, this week, after the 3-day weekend, he got another 100 to start the school week on Tuesday. That earned him another prize, this time a computer game that teaches kids how to type. (My wife found it for just $4 at a store that sells used books and software.) To top it all off, yesterday, he got his third 100. That makes three 100s and a 98.5 in the last six school days.

It was just over a week ago that I thought getting a 100 was not possible. Now, he’s gotten three of them. At this rate, my wife will soon be all out of cheap prizes. We may have to raise the bar on his prizes.

My son has amazed me once again. And that is the best prize of all.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I stubbled across your blog, and as shocked as I read on. I too have a son named Kai.. and my Kai, like yours also happens to have Autism!
    I have added you to my list of blogs to follow and hope to continue to read about your Kai's journay.. and watch him grow


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