He loves it!

Marcus has been participating in yoga and music classes since last week. These classes are not from the school board, but from an organization that I have him signed up for. I am so grateful that he’s able to do these classes online and for free. He is really enjoying them😊. God is so good.

#onlinemusicclass #onlineyogaclass #goMj #greatjobson# #autism #autisticteen #onlinelearning #autismfamily #socialdistancinglife #autismmom #momblogger

Calling Dr. Youtube

Mj receives 90 minutes of speech/ language therapy every week at school. It’s a combination of one-on-one and group sessions. We have been blessed to have wonderful therapists in the past and I truly hate that he’s going to miss it for these coming weeks. I am going to Dr. YouTube, Dr. Google, Dr. Jesus, and a few therapists that I know, to ask for resources that I can use for Mj until this time is over.

#speechandlanguagetherapyathome #DrYoutube #DrGoogle #DrJesus #Ihavetodoit #Iknowican #mjdeservesit #autism #autismmom #autismfamily #momblogger #socialdistancing2020 #schoolsclosed #meansnotherapy

Well That Wasn’t Supposed to Happen🥺

I went into the IEP meeting ready to “lay down the law!”  I had all of my notes, questions, email print-outs, and work samples with me.  The first thing we discussed was a recent issue that happened in the cafeteria with a student taking some of Mj’s lunch.  We already had an issue with this a year ago and I was told that there would be “more supervision.”  They seem to think that just because Mj can open his own milk carton and feed himself that he doesn’t need as much supervision as some of the other students.  Anyway, I digress…We began going through the IEP and I insisted that they add a goal for his social communication.  The goal that they had was something about him raising his hand in class?!  That was definitely not a strong goal so I had them add one regarding Mj initiating conversation with his peers. We then discussed some issues that we had regarding HW that was being sent home that was way above his comprehension level.  All it serves to do is frustrate MJ, which then frustrates me, which then frustrates my husband…and so on and so on. The ESE specialist and his teacher, agreed that it would not happen again. Due to MJ’s age, they began to talk about his transition out of high school.  They started talking about a possible vocational/job training program and that’s when it happened.  I felt the tears coming on and said, “Oh my God, I think I’m gonna cry.”  By the time I said it, the tears were already flowing.  I was not prepared to hear about any of the programs and to think about what Mj’s life would look like after high school.  I thought I had another year before they would begin discussing these things.  I tried to wipe my tears, get myself together and continue looking at my notes but it didn’t help.  The entire meeting from that moment on was me listening as they talked about the various programs that may be a good fit for MJ.  I listened intently and took as many notes as I could about each and every program.  Then they mentioned the need for my husband and me to get a lawyer to begin looking up guardianship.  She followed that with a statement about how expensive it was to get that done.  It was all just too much.  I managed to ask additional questions and read through the IEP but all I could think about was… What is going to happen to MJ after high school? What are we going to do?  Will he transition well? Will he get into any of these programs? Will transportation be safe?  What job is right for MJ? The questions in my mind have not stopped since this meeting.

We. Have. A. Lot. Of. Work. To. Do.

#Thisisoverwhelming

#Ididntexpecttocry

#Jesusyouhavetotakethewheel

 

This Meeting May Be Combative.

MJ’s IEP meeting is coming up in a few weeks. Now that he’s 15, the IEP meetings are different and he can now be included during the actual meeting. Nothing much has changed in terms of his current teacher.

She still does not communicate.

She still sends home homework that she neither looks at or grades.

She still sends homework that is completely inappropriate for his comprehension level and oftentimes has no clear instructions😡.

She is one of three teachers at his high school that teach the special needs kids that are in a self-contained classroom. I tried getting him switched to another room at the beginning of the school year and was told, “we tried, but that room is the best placement for him because he is considered higher functioning etc.” Still, Mj is happy and enjoys going to school. He has many friends in that classroom and most of them travel with him to the same aftercare. I really don’t want to take him away from his friends and familiarity of his school and environment.  I am both dreading and looking forward to this meeting. All of these issues must be readdressed and resolved.

MJ deserves better than what he is currently receiving academically. 

I will post an update after his meeting.

Thanks for reading.

Not Again! / MJ Update

IT HAPPENED AGAIN😡. Today in my classroom there was another incident of a student calling another student autistic, in a negative way. I had to stop the class and educate them on autism, my son, and the fact that behavior like that is derogatory and will not be tolerated. To some of my students, autistic means dumb! I had to let them know how wrong they were in their thinking. It’s so unfortunate that this is happening more and more. We cannot stop the advocacy. Just think of how many other kids and adults that probably think this same way.

Mj’s Update:

We are 5 weeks into the school year and so far MJ is doing great! He has been handling his homework well and still enjoys going to school. This school year he has art as an elective and so far he really seems to be enjoying that class. Soon he will begin his social skills class again as well as Swim Buddies! I will update again soon.

Here We Go!

Well, our summer has officially come to an end. The kids started school today. MJ is now in the 10th grade and Morgan is now a seventh grader! Today’s morning drop off was great. Both kids were super excited and I know for a fact that my daughter didn’t sleep too well! When I got to the front of the school to drop off Mj, I was relieved to see his friends, all of the aides, and the ESE specialist waiting to greet all of the students! Though I’m not totally happy with Mjs current teacher, I am being optimistic about this school year. Here we go!

#Growth

On the left my son is almost 15 years old. However, I still see him as the little boy on the right🤷🏽‍♀️. Yes, it’s unrealistic, but there’s something about my Scoompy that makes me want and need to protect him forever. I’m so grateful to God for every milestone he has reached and every obstacle he has overcome.  We were once told that he would never speak clearly and didn’t know if his writing would ever be legible.  MJ continues to learn and grow. And through the process, I continue to do the same.

#myboymyjoy

#Awareness&Acceptanceeverymonthoftheyear

1st High School IEP Meeting

Well we had MJ’s IEP meeting recently and it went “as expected.” They went over how he was doing on his current goals and added in some new ones for next school year. I was thrilled that I didn’t have to fight with them on his speech therapy. He will continue to have 90 minutes of speech therapy per week. However, I did agree that the occupational therapy was no longer needed. MJ has come such a long way with his hand writing and it is completely legible. What I found, was that the OT given at his high school was mainly to improve a child’s handwriting and nothing more. It was funny to see their facial expressions when I immediately agreed that OT was not needed. They assumed that I was going to put up a fight about it. I did have to mention a situation to the ESE specialist in regards to another child taking MJ’s lunch. It was an issue that I was able to figure out after a few weeks of questioning MJ. To make a long story short, one of his classmates was asking him for his food every day and MJ was actually giving the child his food! The teacher and the aides had no idea that this was happening because they were off to the side assisting the kids that needed the most help. Once I made them aware that something was going on, they spoke to the child as well as everyone in the classroom to make sure that it wouldn’t happen again. Initially I was furious about the situation but right now I’m just thankful that I was able to figure it out. Lately, I’m being really selective with the battles I choose to fight. I know God’s got my back and MJ’s back, no matter what.

Meeting Coming Up

We are now in the second half of the school year. Though I’m still not completely happy with MJ’s teacher, he seems to like going to school and she actually has great teacher’s assistants in the room. There’s not as much homework anymore so it’s a little easier going at home. I recently received a letter regarding his upcoming IEP meeting. Now that he’s older, he’s invited to attend the meeting. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. Needless to say, I already have a list of items that I will be discussing at his meeting. Until then, I am going to continue taking it one day at a time.

Busy Busy Busy

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 😁.