Zion has had a pretty amazing first 2 weeks at school! It took about a week to learn some of the kids names, but he has 2 names down solid and we are hoping that he will learn some more. I also had his ARD meeting. In case some of you don’t know, this is his annual meeting to discuss goals, progress, and services that he qualifies for. He still qualifies for speech with the focus on articulation. Although Zion’s speech has improved by leaps and bounds, it is still hard to understand about 40-50% of what he says. Usually we have to say a couple of words (guessing) until he says “yea”, meaning that was the word he was saying. I am sure this can be frustrating for him, especially now that he is getting older. I worry that his peers will look at him funny or not want to talk to him because of his speech. This is a big fear of mine because Zion is very literal, so he may not understand if a child is making fun of him. As he gets older, I worry for Zion. People will say “cut the cord” but being the mother of a child with Autism, that cord may not get cut for a very long time.
We also discussed his behavior at his ARD. He hasn’t had any behavior issues at school and in fact they say that he is a big time rule follower. His teacher told me that Zion is very engaged and loves to learn. I already knew that he loves to learn, but hearing it from his teacher is very reassuring. Zion is high-functioning, and extremely bright. We have to constantly keep his mind moving and engaged, because when it is not, he tends to self-stem, a lot! We have noticed that when he watches his iPad or if he is bored around the house, he does a lot of his self-stemming behaviors. Which honestly, that is ok, but when he is engaged in learning, and doing schoolwork, his stemming decreases by about 75%. His self-stemming is another behavior I worry about while he is in school. Again, other students will look at him and wonder what he is doing. The older he gets the more I worry.
Now that he is in a general education class, my anxiety has gone way up! I am nervous that he will get picked on for the way he speaks, for always repeating the same things over and over again, and because other kids won’t understand his triggers and what can upset him to the point of a meltdown. Everyday I sit and hope that I don’t get a note or a call home telling me that Zion had a meltdown. I now face the same worry and anxiety that all the parents of kids in my classrooms have had to deal with. I know that as long as Zion is focused, he can do anything he wants.
As always, thank you so much for reading and watching. Your support means the world to us. I am thankful that I am not alone in this journey because sometimes you feel like people just don’t understand. They look at my son and say he looks “normal” but they don’t live with him and understand that accommodations that we have to make on a daily basis. Thank you for continuing to follow Zion’s journey! We will see you in 2 weeks.