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…

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…

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 ~ 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…

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…

I Am An Actress

I am an actress.  I never set out to being one.   I somehow fell into it.  It was a way to protect myself,  my family, and most especially my son.   My Autistic son who for half of his life was nonverbal.  How is Johnny doing? I think that when you are a parent of…

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,…

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…

How Do You Know If I Can Read?  REDUX

  or….The Argument For More Motor Speech Therapy.   Last year when Johnny was in Grade 2,  I wrote about how important it was for him to get more specialized speech therapy so that he can learn to read orally. How could he sound out letters orally if his motor speech delay literally made it…

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…

When I Just Wanted To Play Has Many More Meanings

That in a nutshell is how we help Johnny to move forward and for us as parents to be able to handle any challenges as we all move forward as a family.  We accept that he learns differently and sees the world from a different perspective and if we want to help him forward we…

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…

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…

More Boy On the Bus ~ Pt 2/4

Previously on “The Boy On the Bus,”….. Another morning getting on the school bus and another bright spot to start the day.  Johnny got on the bus first like he always does and greets his buddy Michael and heads to his seat.  But this morning,  John decided to reach out and grab my daughter Princess’s hand…

The Boy On the Bus ~ Pt 1/4

At the beginning of January after Christmas holidays,  an amazing thing happened on the morning school bus that I want to share. Its a story about never giving up on hope,  that all kids move forward and progress in their own way.  The following tale is very different from what happened 2 years ago on…

Ash Wednesday Redux

  “Johnny wants to read this on February 18th for Ash Wednesday in front of the school.   Can you practice with him till he has it down to a fine art please?” This is the text I received from Johnny’s teacher last year.  I was so surprised but immensely proud that he has decided to…

What Do You Feel Like? 

After the big Christmas school concert, we were collecting the kids and saying our good byes.  Johnny’s teachers and EA’s were there and getting him organized to go.  Johnny wanted to know what we were doing now and I said we needed to get some dinner for Daddy because he came straight from work to…

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….

1-100 Totally Unassisted

When I opened up Johnny’s back pack this is what I found tucked inside. His EA (classroom support worker or para) had written across the bottom “totally unassisted.”  He wrote the numbers in sequential order from one to hundred all by himself in the tiny boxes that his teacher provided all by himself.  We were…

Dear Teachers….

  Dear Grade 3 Teachers, We wanted to let you know that Johnny is having a really hard time right now. He is experiencing a lot of anxiety and is very negative about going to school and just wants to stay home. We were expecting some of this the first week back but it’s continued…

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…