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.
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.
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!
MJ just had his first airplane ride since he was a baby! Needless to say, I had been a little worried about how it would go for a few weeks now. To prepare him, I used a calendar to let him see exactly when we would be leaving and returning. I also used several social stories about flying on an airplane. I then found a great YouTube video that showed a step-by-step process of what happens while you are at the airport. He was very reluctant to watch the video, but I made sure he watched it anyhow. I downloaded a few of his favorite shows onto his tablet, made sure he had his headphones, and had a few of his favorite snacks as well. The TSA check in was a little frustrating but that was pretty normal. He waited patiently to board, and once on the flight, he was excited to see that Delta had plenty of entertainment options for him. He looked at what his sister was doing and plugged in his headphones and decided to browse through all of the movies that he could watch. He was so excited when he saw the Charlie Brown movie, the Teen Titans movie, and Finding Nemo. He happily chose Finding Nemo and started watching the movie even before the flight took off! This helped to distract him from the noise of the plane after it took off. While in the air he complained a few times, but I am happy to report that he was calm and fell asleep during the flight!
This was the first time that my family was on an airplane together. As I sat on the plane and looked at them, I had to hold back tears. This is something that so many families take for granted and it is something that I have wanted to do for years, but I knew that MJ just was not ready. This experience will now open up other opportunities for us to travel together as a family by plane. I’m. So Grateful.
We spent a wonderful weekend celebrating Mjs’s birthday as well as Mother’s Day! We started out by trying something different with him-We took him fishing! Most of the time, we don’t know how he is going to respond to certain activities so we were attentively watching him during the process. He ended up really enjoying it and I am so pleased that we now have another activity that he can be involved in. He also went to his favorite restaurant and we ended off his celebration at the beach, which is his favorite place to be 😁.
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.
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.
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 ❤️.
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.
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.
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😊.