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.
We recently went to the movies to see Teen Titans Go. MJ is a bit obsessed with the TV show: He watches and records all of the episodes all day every day, so we knew that he would definitely want to go see this movie. We planned to see it over a month ago when we first saw the previews for it. We have been to a few movies over the years with MJ. This visit however, was different. We have never seen MJ so hyper and excited to see a movie. He basically made a scene at the concession stand because he thought we were going to be late to the movie. He kept yelling, “Hurry up, hurry up we’re going to miss the movie.” (Even though we had plenty of time) Once we got seated he put on his headphones and watched the previews while eating popcorn. The movie started, MJ started talking, and he didn’t stop! He literally talked loudly throughout the entire film…even yelling at some points. Usually he does talk a little bit but this time it was almost as if he couldn’t help himself. I was so relieved that there were only two other families in there with us. At one point MJ was literally jumping up and down and throwing his body from side to side while in his seat (insert shocked face here). I was literally waiting for someone to get up and complain but they never did. All in all the kids had a great time and enjoyed the movie. Hubby was half asleep and I was stressed out throughout the entire movie (sigh). I needed about 2 hours to recover from this outing but am happy that MJ And his sister enjoyed themselves.
Tried to take a decent pic of them before the movie started. It just didn’t work out lol.
Woke up this morning to see this in MJ’s room. It’s been years since I’ve seen him line up his toys. He’s had those toy cars and other objects for years and still loves to have them around while he is watching TV or relaxing. I’m not sure if they are lined up in any specific order but I will be on the look out to see if he does this in the same way again. Oh if I could just get into his beautiful mind ❤️.
For the last few months we have noticed that MJ only watches the TV with the closed captioning on. We have no idea how he knew what that was or how to use it! All of a sudden we realized that every single show he watches now has the closed captioning feature on. What I notice is that he is reading everything as he is watching the show and I believe it helps him understand and process what he’s seeing more easily. The funny thing is that now my daughter is doing the same thing as she watches television. She says, “mommy I like it!” Recently while watching television with my husband, we both looked at each other and said “closed captioning,” because we could not understand what a particular character was saying lol. He now has all of us using that feature so much more. I’m actually glad that he is using it as he seems to be enjoying his favorite television shows even more these days😊.
I’ve been picking out what MJ wears daily since he was born. As he got older and was able to dress himself (around age 8) we began selecting his clothes then laying the items on the bed so that he could dress himself. About 1 year ago Hubby made me realize that at this point I shouldn’t still be picking out his clothes every day. I agreed with him. I’d been doing it for so long that I forgot that this is a life skill that he must learn to do on his own. For MJ, making decisions is difficult. Unless the choice is McDonald’s or Chick Fil A, he really takes several minutes, maybe even up to an hour to decide on anything else, including whattowear. He gets frustrated and says um, um, um, um, um, 1,237,000 times while continuously pointing at his cheek.
We explain to him that he can select shorts and whatever T shirt he would like. I started out by showing him what shirts and shorts he could select from. He still consistently asks us, “but what should I wear, what shirt, what shorts?” There are days when he can’t decide and because time is not on our side, we end up, again, picking out what he should wear. One day last week, I noticed that he did not ask us what to wear! I went to his room to see him already dressed and putting on his shoes! I was in shock! The funny thing is that his clothes did not match at all lol but I was definitely not going to say anything about that. That didn’t matter at all! I was so proud of him. This summer we will continue to work on this so that he feels confident in selecting the right clothes to wear for any occasion.