It has been a busy month in our household! Between MJ’s life Skills class, Social Skills Group, and my daughter’s activities, we all have pretty much been stretched thin. MJ has now completed the life skills class and for us the biggest accomplishment was that he now independently and consistently ties his shoelaces! That made it totally worth being as tired as we all were. I was so pleased with the class that I will probably sign him up again sometime next year and develop different goals for them to work on with him.
Today marks our official first day of Winter Break! I am so thankful that we will all have time to relax a bit and enjoy the holidays 😁.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving day! The best part of the weekend happened on Thanksgiving night. I went into MJ’s room to tell him goodnight. As I was leaving the room I heard him mumble something. I turned around and asked him to repeat what he said. He looked right at me and said, “Mommy, I’m thankful for my family.” I went to bed just beaming ❤️.
Mj has been taking a life skills class twice a week for the last 3 weeks or so. We were called and offered the opportunity to have him in the program and we decided to take them up on the offer. The coordinator for the class wanted my input on what skills I wanted MJ to work on. I told them he needed extra help with brushing his teeth, washing his face, doing chores, and tying his shoelaces.
Every day that he goes to class, I get a report of the goals that MJ worked on for the day. He is getting better and better with all of his goals. Last week they told me that he tied his shoelaces by himself. I looked at them in disbelief (he has tied them before years ago, but could never do it again) and asked that they record him tying his laces or I would not believe them! Well, this past week I was pleasantly surprised when I picked him up and they showed me a 39 second video of MJ independently tying his shoelaces! It almost brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t believe that he did it in less than a minute.
This week, I am planning on untying every shoe he has, just to be sure that he continues to tie them at home as well! I am so grateful to the Children’s Ability Center and all that they are doing for MJ. He is getting older and I know that some resources may not be available to him in the future. We don’t have any time to waste. He is currently in 3 different activities and this will continue through the end of December. Yes, we are tired, but we will be happily tired if it means MJ being the best that he can be.
We had MJ’s conference a few weeks ago. At the onset, there was a lot of tension in the air. I immediately asked how MJ was doing in class. I wanted to be sure that he was doing everything he was supposed to be doing while at school. She said that Mj was doing well in academics and behavior. I then began discussing the various issues that we were having…completed work not being graded, no communication from her, homework not labeled/no instructions given, etc. The most important issue we addressed was her lack of curriculum. She told me of various websites that she utilizes for resources in her classroom as well as a textbook that she uses for math. All the while I was thinking, “why didn’t she tell me this at Open House (sigh).” I then turned my attention to the ESE specialist and again voiced my frustration about the lack of resources that are offered to our special needs kiddos ( I can talk about this issues for hours because it disgusts me so much). She agreed with my concerns and said that she would “look into it.” I haven’t heard from her since our conference but I will be following up with her in a few weeks. Since the conference, I will admit that things have gotten better. A routine is now established and the homework is no longer overwhelming. Here’s to hoping and praying that the rest of the school year continues to get better!
This made me so happy! We are hoping that this allows him to communicate more with us and make it easier to express things that may be difficult for him.
It all started with MJ’s first high school Open House. I was eager to hear all of the information that the teacher would give us about educating our special needs kiddos. Well, I was extremely disappointed! She greeted us as we entered the classroom and sat down. She then played a video of the administrative team introducing themselves to the parents. After the video, she gave us a sheet that detailed what subject was taught on a specific day (the school operates on a block schedule). She then said, “do you have any questions for me?” I could not believe that she did not tell us anything about what the kids would learn in her class, nothing about projects, nothing about the process at lunchtime, nothing about reading, nothing about math, nothing about social studies, nothing about science, nothing about their electives. SHE TOLD US NOTHING! Well, when she asked the question, I looked around at the other parents to see if anyone was going to begin asking questions…No one did, so I took out my journal and began asking what I believe to be basic questions, that I assumed would have been automatically answered during her open house presentation. What stands out the most is when I asked about what reading and math curriculum she used. Her response was, “I don’t have a curriculum.” I immediately repeated what she said with a scowl on my face. How can she not have a curriculum?! Where is she getting the information to teach my kid?! From that moment I knew that I would have to set up a parent/teacher conference with her to really find out what “curriculum” she uses. I don’t want MJ to be “work-sheeted” to death! I don’t have time for him to be completing meaningless worksheets day after day and not truly learning anything. The conference will be in the next week and I am praying that there is a good outcome to it.
The school year has begun and we are finally getting into a groove. MJ had his 9th grade orientation the day before school started. Instead of touring the school and taking his ID picture like I had hoped, we ended up spending the morning in the ESE Specialist’s office working out a transportation issue that should have never happened. After a few tears, several emails and phone calls, the issue was finally resolved and I was a little bit more relaxed about his first day of school. Needless to say, we all went to bed late due to the “summer schedule” that we were on. In the morning, MJ could barely get out of bed and get dressed. We managed to make it out of the house on time and got to his school early! As I pulled up to the front of the school and walked him to the teacher’s assistant, I couldn’t help but stare at him. My son is 14 years old, almost as tall as his dad and an official high schooler. I thought back to the early years of the screaming, kicking, crying, fighting, and hiding in the closets on the first day of school. Oh how my stomach would be in knots all day long! My, how he has come a long way. I wish those teachers could see him now-as cool and calm as a Spring day. I couldn’t wait to get off of work and pick him up. Thankfully, MJ is able to remain in the same after care that he was a part of in middle school. He will be able to utilize them throughout high school. I basically ran in the room to pick him up and asked him how his day was. “My day was good mommy!” That was the response I was hoping for. MJ was happy and all was right in the world. Now let’s just see what this school year has to offer.