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.
We. Have. A. Lot. Of. Work. To. Do.
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 ❤️.
Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving day!
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!
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.
I have been so busy that I totally forgot to post about our visit to MJ’s new high school! About two weeks ago, Hubby and I went to visit Mj’s high school. The school is huge and has over 2,700 students! As soon as we went into the front office we were greeted by the ESE specialist. I found it so funny that the first thing she mentioned was how safe the kids would be and how they were supervised everywhere they went. She seemed to already know that that is what we were most interested in! She went through explaining the morning drop off and told us that the official tour would start in a few minutes. During the tour, all of the parents and our kids, were able to visit three classrooms and meet all three ESE teachers as well as one of the teacher assistants. We also met one of the speech teachers who seemed to be really warm and friendly. MJ was so happy to see several of his friends from the middle school who had moved on to high school the last two years. MJ commented about how big the school was and I could see that he became more comfortable after seeing familiar faces. The entire visit really has relaxed me a bit as well (Hubby is never worried). MJ has done so well in middle school and though I’m still a bit nervous, I’m also excited to see what the future holds.