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
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.
A Different Trip to the Movies 🎥
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.
Closed Captioning For The Win
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😊.
Music Therapy Wednesdays 🎶
I wanted to give you all a short video of MJ at Music Therapy 🎶. I love that he truly enjoys going and I never have to force him out of the house 😁. This children’s ability Center has been amazing!
While rummaging through old files, I found this old picture of MJ. I had to gather paperwork in order to take him to the intake meeting at the new facility. My heart jumped when I came across the paperwork for Mj’s first evaluation at three years old. It brought back so many memories of how I felt at that time. I was scared, confused, angry, overwhelmed and lonely. At that same time I was hopeful and I just knew I loved and wanted to help my little boy. I call it a “hurricane of emotions.” My feelings were like a whirlwind, tossing back-and-forth and around. I sat for a moment- sitting, thinking, reflecting, about the years that have gone by. I am still on a mission to continue helping my son. At times I am still scared and even overwhelmed, but I am so thankful for how far MJ has come. So thankful that he is a happy child. So thankful that he has friends. So thankful that I see him becoming a little more independent as time passes. The intake meeting went very well. They described all of the clubs and activities that they had to offer, as well as offerings for my daughter! As for today, there is no “hurricane of emotions.” I am hopeful…let’s see what’s in store.
Due to the Social Skills group that MJ is attending, I found out about additional activities that I could sign MJ up for through another company. I already know one parent who has her son there and she absolutely loves it. The awesome thing is that it’s literally 10 minutes away from my home ( look at God)! I decided to go to a parent meeting/tour to check out the facility. The director literally said everything any special needs parent would want to hear. All the parents there looked like kids in a candy store! We were hanging on her every word. She spoke about the fact that our kids will always be accepted there. She emphasized the training that all of the therapists and employees have. She talked about the fact that they have sleepovers for our kids, birthday parties for our kids, girls and boys night out (basically everything our kids are usually not invited to or just don’t have the opportunities to do). They have art classes, lego clubs, drama classes, and music therapy among many other things! I was really impressed with the huge playground they had and the on-site house for teaching life skills. My next step is to complete the intake with MJ. I am hoping to do that within the next two weeks! I am hopeful and totally looking forward to this.
How Do We Teach Him To Use This?
I recently signed up and ordered a card from a local police department. This particular card is one in which people with autism can carry in order to identify themselves as autistic and communicate clearly with law enforcement. The card even comes with a stress-sensing biometric strip that changes color according to a person’s level of stress. At face value this sounds great! After all, if MJ is ever stopped by an officer he can give them something that will help him interact with them. The question is, “HOW CAN I SAFELY TEACH MJ TO USE THIS CARD WITHOUT GETTING SHOT?” One of the rules on the accompanying brochure says, “As soon as possible, TELL the officer that you have a disability card and ASK if you can show your card.” As it stands right now, MJ would never TELL or ASK an officer anything. He would probably get nervous and reach for the card in his pocket! The thought of that makes me very frightened. I don’t want him to appear threatening at all. We all know that putting your hands in your pockets without informing them why you are doing so, is never a good idea. That being said, I am still glad that we received the card but it may be years before MJ really knows how to use it correctly. However, it is most definitely something that he must learn to use and use wisely.
Thought For The Day💕
Joy In The Middle Of The Day
I have written before about how important it is to consistently communicate with your child’s teachers. For us it is imperative because otherwise we would never know what is going on during the school day. We always ask, “MJ how was your day today,” or “Can you tell us one activity that you did in school today?” Sometimes we get a response of “good” or “I had a good day today” but that is where it ends.
Today I opened up my work email to see a short email from MJ’s P.E. teacher: “Hi, just letting you know that not only is MJ doing well in basketball, he has become a lot more vocal while we are playing. He is doing Great!” Coach
That email put the biggest smile on my face. It is so comforting to know that he is enjoying other aspects of his school day. He is engaged and communicating more as well. I needed this email today. Thanks Coach!