Today MJ had an end of the year party at school. I wanted to stop by the party just for a little while since parents were invited to come. When I walked in I saw MJ sitting with his best friend. This was the first time I saw them together in person. They were both happy and waiting for the party to begin. I honestly wanted to cry and had to hold in the tears ( I’m such a sap with things like this)! What was even better was that I met his best friend’s mother. We didn’t speak for long, but we exchanged numbers and had a brief conversation about the boys. I can’t express how overjoyed I am about this. My heart is full. He didn’t need our help with this. They bonded on their own. MJ having friends is one of the number one concerns that we had. Had…feels so good to say that!
MJ’s speech has always been a work in progress. He was about 6 1/2 years old before he spoke in short sentences that we could understand. Other than autism, he has had the label of “speech impaired” or “speech delayed.” His early years were so draining and frustrating because we sometimes did not know what he was asking for or saying…Talk about depressing! Over the years his speech has gotten better. People can now understand most of what MJ says. There is no longer much echolalia, but instead meaningful communication. He gets many of his phrases from the various TV shows that he watches. MJ is 12 years old now and still adores watching Disney’s Clubhouse, Dora The Explorer (God help me. I think I know every single episode of Dora verbatim), and Bubble Guppies to name a few. He uses the phrases in the correct context every time.
Today for the first time in his life he said this:
“Mommy, how was your day today? What did you do?” I was actually stunned and just stared at him for a minute before I answered him. Hearing him say this made me think about all of the other phrases/things that he says all of the time now, such as:
“Mommy, why are you kissing me?”
“How long before you get back?”
“But I always take a shower.” He says this every single day when we tell him to go and shower lol.
“But where’d the sun go?”
“I don’t have all day you know!”
“What’s for dinner?”
“Is it time for ashes to ashes?” I’ll explain this in another post lol.
These are things that may seem simple to the “average” family but to us it means the world. We never really knew if he would ever be able to communicate in sentences like this. We are truly grateful.
I saw this and thought this would be a great teaching tool. It is simple yet informative. Thankyou @theautismvoice!
I recently signed up and ordered a card from a local police department. This particular card is one in which people with autism can carry in order to identify themselves as autistic and communicate clearly with law enforcement. The card even comes with a stress-sensing biometric strip that changes color according to a person’s level of stress. At face value this sounds great! After all, if MJ is ever stopped by an officer he can give them something that will help him interact with them. The question is, “HOW CAN I SAFELY TEACH MJ TO USE THIS CARD WITHOUT GETTING SHOT?” One of the rules on the accompanying brochure says, “As soon as possible, TELL the officer that you have a disability card and ASK if you can show your card.” As it stands right now, MJ would never TELL or ASK an officer anything. He would probably get nervous and reach for the card in his pocket! The thought of that makes me very frightened. I don’t want him to appear threatening at all. We all know that putting your hands in your pockets without informing them why you are doing so, is never a good idea. That being said, I am still glad that we received the card but it may be years before MJ really knows how to use it correctly. However, it is most definitely something that he must learn to use and use wisely.
Ok, the truth is that “mommy guilt” kicked in when I realized that MJ never had an “official” birthday cake and blew out candles. He had cupcakes at both of his parties…Soooooo I bought a little cake today to end his birthday week celebration. Hubby just looked at me and shook his head. He couldn’t believe that I was buying a cake (clearly he doesn’t have mommy guilt). I know it’s sad, but I’m woman enough to admit this lol 😊😊!
Making a wish and blowing out the candles.
And Now the birthday week celebration is over. 😊
This is MJ’s birthday week! I absolutely cannot believe that he is now 12 years old! So far he is having a great week…
Bowling birthday party!
A little air hockey action!
His favorite birthday present (from Auntie)!
Birthday hug from little sis💕
He also had a mini party with all of his friends at school. It’s so great to hear him say things like, “That was a fun bowling party!” Thank you to all of the family and friends that have and still are sending birthday wishes. We really do appreciate it. You have really made this week special for him. 😊
As Mother’s Day approaches, thoughts of my mother always flood my thoughts. My mother passed away in 2005 and it still feels like yesterday. I’m so thankful that she was able to spend time with MJ, babysit for me, attend his christening, and attend his 1 year old birthday party. She’d be so proud of him and she’d be over the moon about my daughter. I do all that I can to keep her memory alive and teach the kids about her. A common phrase around our house is, “Well Norma would’ve done this!” Happy Mother’s Day Mommy. Thank you for being the example of a Godly, hard working, and giving mom. I love you and miss you with all of my heart.
Mommy a few years before she passed away.
When MJ was first diagnosed I used to compare him to other children all of the time! It was almost as though I couldn’t help it! Eventually it made me incredibly depressed and through prayer I finally realized that it was getting me nowhere. I’m so grateful that I learned to never compare, but to celebrate any and every accomplishment/ progress made. It has made a world of difference in my life!
This is the reply you receive:
Thank you for reaching out to us and sharing such a wonderful idea! We will certainly add an awareness day and work on creating an awareness initiative to our calendar for the 2016-2017 school year. We will work with our teachers and provide them with additional information/awareness on the topic of autism.
Have a great day!
You better believe as an autism parent and PTO member I will be involved and inquiring about these activities for next year. This was the first operation year for the school so I wanted to see what/if they had any activities planned. I was saddened that nothing at all was mentioned or planned the entire month. This has to change and it WILL change. I’m going to make sure of it!