Monday, April 2, 2012

Isn't everyday autism awareness day???

Hm, guess not.  It should be.  We are well aware of autism in our household everyday.  ;-)

So today is.. yep.. World Autism Awareness Day.  Everyone is lighting it up blue today.  April is Autism Awareness Month, in case you didn't know that either.

Today the boy got himself up, showered and dressed for school all while I was in the comforts of my own bed sleeping through my annoying alarm clock.  I had planned on putting a blue shirt on him, but somehow he managed to pick one out on his own.  As he's watching Minecraft videos on YouTube, I tell him today is World Autism Awareness Day and it's pretty cool that he's wearing blue.  I tell him I'm wearing a blue shirt in honor of this.  So he stops watching the video and asks me if his school is doing anything to celebrate this.  I tell him no and he says well they should.  I told the boy to ask SpEd teacher lady about it.

After he was off to school and I was done running around there taking care of PTO craziness, I went and mentioned it to principal lady.  We had a nice chat (for once!) about the new statistics recently published.  1 in 88 children is insane.  1 in 54 boys is tragic!  1 in 54.  The boy is 1 in 54.  These new statistics really make me wonder what the new statistic for military kids like the boy will be.  It was 1 in 88 military kids were diagnosed with autism.

Back to principal lady, she told me "well if it's important to the boy, then let's see what we can do about it!" After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I said thank you and came home.

This afternoon I was back at school for more PTO craziness, and lo and behold, there were signs in the hallways mentioning April being Autism Awareness Month.  I love that!  I love SpEd teacher lady and how awesome she is.

So the boy was thrilled because why shouldn't he be celebrated?  He's so much more than a staggering statistic.  He is awesome, funny, smart, amazing, loving, caring, helpful, and an all around wonderful kid.  Yeah, he has his ups and downs like any other Aspie kiddo might, but he's awesome.  The boy is growing into a pretty darn awesome pre-teen and I hope we can keep him doing as well as he's doing right now.

So yes, we celebrated World Autism Awareness Day today, but really, we celebrate it every day.  Autism is a part of our lives now and forever until death do us part.  I didn't ask to be married into this exclusive club.  I didn't ask for my child to have to work ten times harder than his classmates.  I didn't ask to be so defeated it's all I can do to keep from curling up and crying when he's having a meltdown.  But it's what I got and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  The boy has taught me so much and teaches me more and more every day.  I wouldn't change him for anything.. even at our darkest moments.  EVERYTHING we've dealt with so far in his life is what has brought us to the point we are at today.  I'm thankful for everything we've been dealt and can't wait to see what else gets thrown at us!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dear Presidential Candidate...

The Boy's 5th grade class is writing persuasive letters to Presidential Candidates to let them know what issues they think are important.  I am sharing his letter because it's awesome!  The Boy has such difficulty with writing and getting his thoughts out clearly, but he rocked this letter out!  I hope the kids get responses from the candidates from their letters.  They are sending them to Obama and the 3 Republican candidates battling it out right now.  Each student had to research and pick three issues they felt were important to them.  The boy chose Autism Research, Homelessness, and Federal Funding for Charities..

Dear Candidate,

Thanks for your dedication to our country.  I am in the 5th grade at (insert school) in Virginia.  My father is in the Navy.  We are learning about the countless issues you must address in your campaign.  The issues that interest me the most are the need for more money for medical research about Autism because I have it, help for the homeless and loss of federal funding for charities.  I think you should work on these three issues because they are the biggest to me, my family, and my classmates.

First, more money needs to be given for medical research of Autism.  Did you know, 1 out of 110 children are diagnosed with Autism?  The effects of Autism on me are not that bad but it makes life harder.  I have trouble making friends because I do awkward things while doing it or shy away and miss opputunities to make friends.  Even though people with Autism are considered really smart they would have a hard time learning in class because they have a certain way of doing things.  I really want you to give more money to help find a cure for Autism.  It would be nice to me and everyone around the world who has it.

I also believe we need to help the homeless.  We need to make a homeless shelter for the homeless so they have somewhere to live so they won't get cold or die young.  Furthermore, we need to donate more money to homeless shelters so the homeless can have additional stuff to live on and with.  Now once we donate this and they can get a job they can get a place to live.

Finally I am concerned about the federal funding to charity.  It is sad we are losing federal funding to charities that preserve wild life and helping homeless shelters.  If you become President, give them federal funding.

I know you have a tsunami of issues coming your way but I know you can deal with each and every one.  I appreciate your consideration of my issues and know that through your help, that we will make the world a better place for everyone around.

The Boy

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What I did in school today...

Yes, really.. what I did in school today!  

A few days ago, my son's teacher asked if I was available to help out with something this morning.  Of course I said yes because I love being in the classroom with him and his peers.  This week, the story in the reading textbook is about cerebral palsy.  They have been discussing disabilities all week long, including autism.  I arrive this morning with him and she shows me the center I will be working at.  She read them a story about a little boy who has autism and the trip to the park with his sister.  (If I remember the name of the book, I'll share.. lol)  

When she was finished reading, she looked straight at the boy and asked if there was anything he wanted to share.  I silently started to panic for a moment until she said he'd been sharing all week long about autism.  (insert me almost falling over here)  One of his friends said "he had no idea C had autism until this week, but it didn't matter, he's still C and he's my friend".  (again, me almost falling over and wanting to run up to this kid and give him a huge hug!)

She then explained to them that they were going to go to several different centers and learn about what it's like to live with various disabilities.  She had something set up for a speech impediment, deafness, blindness, dyslexia, cerebral palsy and autism.  I got to do one of the centers about autism.  I had to give the students instructions on how to do something and speak in complete gibberish.  I said it normally, softly, loudly, getting more and more frustrated each time and commenting about how I didn't understand why they weren't doing it.  I then drew a picture and they immediately got it.  It was fun watching the light bulb moment for the students.  I answered their questions as best as I could.  They had some tough questions that I couldn't answer, but did as best as I could.  I think it really hit home with them when the teacher said 1 in 88 military kids has autism, because our school is a DODEA school and solely military kids.  

I also got to touch them velcro gloves to teach them about sensory issues.  Everyone hated it, except of course my own child who took the gloves after the lesson and kept touching his arm with it! haha  

We are truly blessed to have this teacher in our lives.  I didn't think we'd ever have another teacher as amazing as this one, after our second grade teacher.  His teacher is truly one of a kind.  As a retired Naval Officer, she runs her classroom with military precision.  This has helped my own child so much throughout the year because he knows up front what the expectations are each day.  But she has fun with the kids and she truly cares about each and every one of them.  She has made every effort possible to form a bond with with C this year and as a result he is once again enjoying school and is thriving in her classroom.  Her incredible patience with him will never be forgotten.   It makes me sad to think the school year is over halfway done and we only have a few months left with her before he's onto middle school.  The world needs more teachers like her without a doubt.