Autism Checklist ~ What You Need To Know

  Awareness brings understanding and understanding brings compassion. Originally shared April 16 2012  Source: Autism Checklist ~ What You Need To Know April is Autism Awareness Month and I think its important for friends and family to know what the symptoms of Autism look like to place someone on the autism spectrum. Yes at one…

Tears For Recess

*tissue warning* Last year….. “I feel alone Mommy…..” “Mommy I am not sure I like the south yard anymore. “. Last spring,  Johnny found out that after Grade 2 he would move from the little kids yard to the big kids yard.  He was so exited and this would make his little sister sad and worried…

Riding The Emotional Rollercoaster of Meltdowns and Autism

I have been noticing that many people find my blog as they try to learn more about Autism and particularly  about the differences between meltdowns and tantrums.    I shared a  blog post from  four years ago on March 20 2013 about a moment in one day and how hard it can be:  “There is…

After All Is A Name Important?

  It bothers me that Johnny never had a say in what he should be called at school.  I was told in Johnny’s Junior Kindergarten year that John was easier for him to learn to say, to spell, and for his peers to say but it won’t stick.  I was very uncomfortable with this but I…

“I want to stay here” ~ Time To Go Back

“Mamma I want to stay here. Mamma I want to stay with baby. I done school.” It didn’t sound perfect but I understood what my little 4 year old boy was trying to convey to me.  School was hard.  Kindergarten was hard.  Being non-verbal in kindergarten was hard.  Being not understood at school was hard….

What You See Is What You Get 

          If you are coping are you learning?  So if you are  just sitting in class “attending” to the teacher which means eyes on the teacher,  body facing the teacher,  hands on desk,  feet on floor,  quiet hands,  and appearing to be listening does that mean you are learning?    When…

Pumpkin Patch Treasure Re-dux

  Somethings never change and Johnny’s love for pumpkins other then orange still has not.    Johnny  might say that he doesn’t like the word different but instead of picking orange pumpkins at the pumpkin patch,  he has to be on the lookout for the only green one.  He is a little boy on a mission….

Pumpkin Patch Treasure ~ Look Back

Originally posted on Everything Under the Sun:
? When I picked Johnny up at school after the school kindergarten field trip to the farm,  the EA told me that his backpack was extra heavy because the children were allowed to pick out a pumpkin in the patch and bring one home.  Farm visit post here: http://wp.me/p1KVmo-E0…

She Ignored Me

At the beginning of October Johnny got into a last minute spot into a Social Skills Friendship building group for Autistic children 8-9 years old.  Having friends is a big thing for Johnny so he was eager to do this.   We thought it was important because initiating conversations with his peers seems to be…

Reading the Social Cues

“I don’t think she understands me Mommy.” That was the beginning of an unexpected conversation last night.  Johnny has some friends at school that he’ll play with when he wants to play and usually most of them are girls. So immediately he had my attention when I heard this because of the fact that he was…

Speech Therapist Surprise

    Today I’m speechless.  A speech pathologist from the school board who has accompanied some of my son’s regular Autism SLP visit a number of times commented about how incredible he’s doing and she how she can’t get over the leap he’s made with regards to speech. I am very happy about this but at…

Hiding Autism

    What if you were afraid to let anyone know that your child has Autism?  What if the family doctor says:   “He can speak, he can read really well, he is very smart and intelligent but just flops and has some social skill and sensory issues but otherwise no one would really know…

Math Eruption

In  Grade 2,  Johnny was struggling and didn’t like doing his Math work at school.  He did it but it took a lot of motivating.  He could do Grade 2 geometry and enjoyed measurements, and he enjoyed working on predicting patterns and sequences but the concepts of addition and subtraction were not working out for him.  He…

Meaningful Learning

    The beginning of another school year means preparing for IEP’s again so that Johnny can have a successful year of learning.    We have to think about what that will look like for Johnny and how do we advocate for his needs.   As he goes through the “Grade levels”  in school my…

Pearls of Wisdom

    “We all need people in our lives who raise our standards, remind us of our essential purpose, and challenge us to become the best version of ourselves.”    I think that some of the best advice and news about different programs that I didn’t have any idea about have come from random moments,…

Turtle Trouble

“My turtle is not working.  Fix it Daddy.” Its 1:30am in the middle of the night and Johnny is in our room.  Like most parents the first thing that comes to our minds as parents is he’s having a nightmare or he’s feeling sick. Our minds race as we try to come out of a…

Stop That Lower Lip

      I like to be overly expressive with my facial cues so that Johnny can learn to quickly and correctly identify what I am feeling so that he can do that with friends and family and get better at social situations.  One of things I do is if I’m sad or I am…

He’s got skills or is it the girl?

Yesterday while I was waiting to pick up Johnny  from school I hung out at the back of the classroom.  One of the Education Assistants wanted to share with me how amazing Johnny was today.  There was a Grade 1 student who visited the ASD classroom to see if it was the right fit for her…

IBI Therapy ~ To Be or Not to Be Redux

“I am happy and proud of his progress but disappointed in a system that makes promises about early childhood intervention but has children on wait lists for the therapy and programs that can help him.  ” … Source: IBI Therapy ~ To Be or Not to Be I wrote this 4 years ago after my…

It’s All In The Mess

I have this trick you see.  I know how hard my son has worked at school by the state his clothes or in this case the state of his boots.   When he was younger in kindergarten his hair would have paint or glue in it and his clothes would be stained with every art…

Showing What You Know

Every year I have to attend an official placement review committee (IPRC) meeting regarding Johnny’s status in special education.  Lots of good things were discussed but one thing really bothered me.  I was told that Johnny’s reading level is at around mid-Grade 1 level even though he’s in Grade 3.  I wanted to remind teachers…

Its All About How He Shows It

  What I have learned from my Autistic son from the time that he was a toddler to now (almost 9 and in Grade 3) is its all a matter of “showing what you know.”  It sounds simple doesn’t it?  Its like when you were in school and solving a math question and the teacher…

5 Years Later Autism Spectrum Disorder

Today is World Autism Awareness Day and April is Autism Awareness  Acceptance Month.  It’s been 5 years since Johnny received his diagnosis that he had Autism Spectrum Disorder.  What a learning curve we have all been on.  What is Autism?  I like to think of it as a different way of thinking, being and processing because…

He Knows….

It took him many months to get used to the idea and be okay with it. He thought that if worked harder it would go away

The Boy On The Bus and His Mom Pt 4/4

  So it would have to happen that we would meet. It was an extremely cold night for the parent teacher conferences so I was happy to wait inside for my husband to arrive.  One of the EA’s that I know that works in the Multiple Exceptionality room spots me waiting in the hall.  “Do you…

When Was He Ready? Does He Ever Get To Be Just A Child?

  When was he ready?  That is one of the questions I get asked often from people who have known Johnny for a long time or from others who have heard of the progress he has made.  I like to think that all children develop at their own pace and that any developmental guidelines are…

The Boy, The Bus and Me ~ Pt 3/4

A few weeks ago….. After writing a note to the Principal letting her know what amazing stuff was happening on the bus, I keep having the staff that work in the multiple exceptionality room (special resource or special needs classroom) come up and speak with me.  Yesterday when we were taking Johnny’s class to the…

Visual Schedules and Why They Are Still Important

Last year in Grade 2 Johnny really “went with the flow” and followed along with the routines in the classroom.  He paid attention and watched his peers for clues on what to do next.  Is it recess time?  Is it lineup time? Is it reading time?  The Grade 2 teacher was very proud that he…

Back To School and The Battle of the Distracters

One month into school and things have been going well except for one thing.  Johnny trying to get used to the very busy schedule of Grade 3, the new teacher and classroom, and trying to become more independent. I was on twitter when I saw this great resource posted about BRAIN DISTRACTORS. One of the…