The New Normal
So I have to be honest, with everything going on right now, Zion has actually been doing really well. He has been doing really well with his distance learning. He meets with his teacher everyday and I write down a small schedule for him so he knows what assignment is next. I know for some this is not easy, but for us, writing a schedule works not only for Zion but myself as well. I am a teacher so I have meetings and a schedule with my own students as well. Putting it on paper for both of us has actually instilled some independence in him because he’s reading his schedule and going onto the next task without being so dependent on me for help. His assignments are not difficult and it is more of a review for him. Zion continues to read on a daily basis and he has now made it to a 4th grade reading level (he is 6 and in 1st grade). I have always been the first to tell people that I have never made Zion sit down and do academics on a daily basis, but he genuinely enjoys school and learning new things.
In great news… we had Zion’s annual ARD recently and his speech therapist said that he is now only going to see Zion 1x every 6 weeks because he has mastered all of his speech goals!!! That is very exciting, especially because I didn’t think he would exit speech services until 3rd or 4th grade. It is crazy to think that when Zion was 3, he was about 90% unintelligible to people that did not know him. And even to those that did, he was about 75% unintelligible. Zion found ways to communicate with us and it was very impressive. As he entered speech service through the school district (he got them through ECI but would refuse to participate) his speech rapidly improved. By the age of 5 we could have a conversation with him. I am forever thankful for the speech services that Zion has received. Now, he will be working more on social skills and conversation starters with his inclusion teacher mainly. Zion tends to not automatically say “hi” or “bye” to people and instead needs to be prompted. He won’t actually carry a conversation unless it is something of interest to him. Zion also lacks empathy.
We have obviously been able to have a lot of family time during this pandemic. We have spent a lot of time working on our flower bed, taking family walks, and honestly just driving around and getting fresh air. My children are used to getting up and going some place every weekend. We were always exploring new places. Parks are still open (not the playgrounds) so we have been going to exploring nature. We painted some rocks, walked along the riverwalk, and just enjoyed the fresh air. I know one day my children will get to play again and do things like we used to, but for now, we are honestly just taking in every moment we can together as a family.
Thank you for reading! Together we will get through this. It is such an odd time in our society and so many things have changed. People don’t realize how much they don’t like change until something dramatic happens. Well unfortunately, in the world of my Autistic child, this is how he feels with the smallest things in life sometimes.
HAPPY AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH
HAPPY MONTH OF THE MILITARY CHILD