Independence and inclusion were two of the biggest takeaways during a recent field trip to Mimi’s Drive-In for students in the 12:1:4 special education classroom at the Fulton Junior High School.
Prior to the trip, the students were taught academic, social and emotional management skills needed for the real-world application opportunity at Mimi’s. Tasks such as ordering food at a restaurant, proper public etiquette, calculating tax and tip, and interacting with new people are all opportunities that students in Alicia Ferron’s classroom experienced during the field trip. Ferron praised employee Lorraine Lane for the creation of a special menu with four breakfast and four lunch options, including drinks. She also thanked owner Chris Sachel who graciously hosted the students, aides, assistants and teachers.
“This provides them with an authentic experience and as they get older, they need to prepare themselves to do things more independently,” Ferron said.
Students in her classroom are classified on the Autism spectrum or who have intellectual disabilities, so Ferron said learning social cues, making eye-contact, practicing manners and non-verbal cues have been huge successes. Student Tyler McKinnon ordered pizza, said please and thank you and said he enjoyed his delicious meal alongside his classmates.
Together, students and their in-classroom adult supports work each Friday on learning and practicing life skills. Ferron said the Mimi’s field trip was also a great way to “showcase a positive community business supporting local students.”