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…

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…

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…

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…

Social Communication Gap

When I started this journey with Johnny and Autism,  I was so wrapped up in the whole getting him to talk and to play with toys “properly”  that I think I put the social communication piece on the back burner.  I think I felt that if we could get talking started then the interactions would start….

Making New Visual Schedules To Promote Independence

One of my big goals is to help my son become more independent.  I make lists all the time on Evernote to keep track of things to do this month, this week or for that day.  I feel better if I have check lists especially if there are so many little things I need to…

Flashback 4 Years…Autism Symptoms Then

Since its  officially Autism Awareness month and there might be parents reading my blog who are either beginning their journey raising an Autistic child or they are curious and want more information, I thought I’d share this resource material.  Just like every child is born different and are individuals, its is the same for people that…

The Mountain Just Got Higher

  I am sad right now.  I am feeling discouraged right now.  The mountain is always in front of us but we climb anyway.  Advocacy for access to the curriculum despite a disability as a human right continues for our son.  We chip away and stand our ground as our son due to his own determination…

Celebrating Completing 100 Days of School

“When I Am A Hundred Years Old” I head into the school for another “Parent Teacher’s Night” to discuss Johnny and Princess’s recent report cards and their progress.  I am a few minutes early for the first teacher, so I stand outside the classroom and see if I can find any of Johnny’s Grade 2 work displayed…

Grade Two Visual Schedules

I thought I’d share what Johnny’s visuals look like at school to help him move through the Grade 2 program each day as well as move back and forth between two academic classrooms, gym and music classes and recess.   Johnny to this day likes his days to be structured and if there is no…

Adamant About Math

I received an email from Johnny’s Special Education teacher yesterday who teaches him in the Autism ISP room. “Yesterday for Math,  Johnny was ADAMANT that he wanted to stay in Mrs. ********’s class for Math.  Her and I looked at each other and she said to Johnny that if he was quiet, listened and participated he…

If You Can’t Talk Do You Understand? If You Don’t Talk….

  Is speaking words by using your mouth a true measure of our  level of understanding?  If we have challenges doing oral reading does it mean we cannot read?  If we only answer questions with yes or no responses or with three word sentences does it mean we are not capable of more?  If it takes…

Grade 2 Begins With Change

  A new school year is always filled with change as students start a new grade and get to know new teachers, but this year has a special beginning. Princess, Johnny’s little sister began Junior Kindergarten this September. She is now in full time all day kindergarten and rides the school bus with her brother…

Pinning Down Autism

  I think sometimes it’s hard pinning down what Autism looks like.   I remember when Johnny was two and he had lost the few words he could say and we were beginning to panic inside,  our family doctor kept saying we will have to get him evaluated for speech delay in a few months but don’t panic….

A New Teacher = Time To Start Again

Spring Break is over so its back to the normal routine and the beginning of the last part of Grade 1.   I opened Johnny’s bag and found two notes in his bag.  Today’s news is that one teacher is saying good bye while another begins her time at Johnny’s school.  We knew that Johnny’s…

Introduction To the New Teacher

At then end of Johnny’s Senior Kindergarten year we were preparing for the transition to Grade 1.  One of the things we wanted to do was to have him meet his Grade 1 teacher.  Unfortunately the Principal hadn’t finalized that decision yet so we would have to wait for late August when the school re-opens…

Transition to Grade 1

After two years of kindergarten, where are we now with Johnny? We decided to change Johnny’s status from Regular Classroom with Indirect Support to a Special Education Class With Partial Integration. Why the change?  The designation doesn’t really give the complete picture.  Johnny is registered as being in an ISP Autism Classroom for kids Grade…

Pondering What To Share

I have been invited to participate in parents panel workshop regarding the transition from preschool to Kindergarten specifically when you have a child that is Autistic.  35 parents have registered to attend and they’re all very nervous about navigating the next step.  I remember how it felt for me and my husband leaving the cocoon…

Johnny has come a long way….

Originally posted on Everything Under the Sun:
  ~ originally written August 2011 It’s been a long time since I wrote an update on our journey with Johnny. Special Pre-school: Johnny really enjoyed his time at the preschool we sent him to. They had volunteers working with him one on one everyday in a happy,…

Two Years Ago

Originally posted on Everything Under the Sun:
Originally written on January 11 2011~ It’s funny how in life how three little words can change your life forever. “I love you” “It’s a boy!” or “Autism Spectrum Disorder”. We received the diagnosis last Tuesday and our lives have been a whirlwind ever since. Why did this…

Tears For School

A week ago I am talking on the phone with my in-laws about the impending snow storm that was suppose to begin Thursday afternoon and continue overnight Friday. It sounded pretty bad so we could count on the school bus to be cancelled for the day but is the school going to be closed? We…

A Misstep in the Dark

I was going back and forth wondering if I should write about this but then I thought about the other special needs children that are in kindergarten at my son’s school and their parents. As parents we put a lot of trust in schools when our children begin their education. As parents of a special…

Stumbling In the Dark

  A lot of times we find we are in the dark and looking for scraps of information about what is happening in Johnny’s life when he is not at home or with his family.  Last night it would have have been nice to have been able to have the same experience as other parents….

IEP meeting and the unexpected

  We had our IEP meeting nearly two weeks ago and we left with the realization that our work has only just begun and it is onging. Johnny is doing well being integrated into a regular Senior Kindergarten classroom.  He transitions well between activities, follows the lead of the other children, tries to do all…

IEP or let’s see where the magic happens

It’s IEP time of year. For the uninitiated that is “Individual Education Plan” where the teacher and support staff along with input from parents come up with goals and accommodations so that the student can meet those goals.  We are having a meeting on Monday with the Autism team, classroom teacher and Principal to discuss…