I saw this post from a friend and it really hit me hard. This is exactly how I feel and exactly my prayer for MJ. I’m not asking for a lot. I just want to make sure that my son is always treated well and shown the same respect as everyone else. Along with that, is the fact that most special-needs parents are concerned about what will happen to their child when they are no longer around. My prayer is that my son is always taken care of and is as peaceful as he is in the picture shown, all the days of his life. I love you MJ.
This. Man. Right. Here 🙌🏽! Since the school year began he has literally been Mj’s teacher during the day. Yes, Mj has his school teacher online but she is so incredibly incompetent that it would take days for me to write everything that has gone on 🤦🏽♀️. Hubby had to basically stop working at home and solely focus on Mj and his school work. Mj has a VERY short attention span and needs LOTS of redirection to stay on task. Hubby was totally dedicated. He made sure Mj stayed on task and took breaks when he needed it. He has truly been amazing and helped to ease the frustration of elearning. #myhusbandisamazing #thankingGodforhim #teamworkmakesthedreamwork #elearningandspecialneedsteen #parentsarethefirstteachers #autisticteen #fatherandson #Ilovethemsomuch #thatsmyman #autismfamily
Since the pandemic started MJ has been making his own breakfast every morning. It’s usually just oatmeal, cream of wheat or grits (microwaveable kind) with a banana. He’s always the first one in the house to wake up and I love the fact that he is now independent enough to do this on his own without waiting on us🙌🏽.
HE LIKES THEM! Well at least he said “I think so” when I asked him if he did lol. Mj HATES trying anything new. I basically had to force him to try these but, as I always say he hates vegetables. The ONLY vegetable he will eat is sweet potato. We’ve tried hiding them in food, making smoothies, etc but he’s like the FBI when it comes to finding vegetables in food! He always notices a difference in texture or taste. We are so grateful that these chewables will allow Mj to incorporate veggies and more fruit into his diet. #theonlyveggieheeatsissweetpotato #thankGodhelikesthese #juiceplus #heneedsit #grateful #autisticteen #autismfamily #hisfacethough😂.
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.
This week started with MJ asking many family members, “what are you thankful for?” Everyone was shocked and happy by his question and it was wonderful to hear how everyone responded. This year I’m thankful to God for all he’s done in my life and for blessing me with wonderful friends and family ❤️.
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.
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!