i am his voice

advocacy

Advocate: one that pleads the cause of another; one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal; one that supports or promotes the interest of another

Being an advocate is not the first thing that comes to mind when describing who I am. I usually don’t tend to say what I am thinking. I often feel as if my point of view is probably not correct or I figure others know more than I do. I will also try and justify my thoughts by thinking, why should put myself in a situation where I might be ridiculed if I am wrong.

Honestly, my self-esteem is adequate; meaning I don’t have a super low or super high self-esteem. I don’t always keep my thoughts and opinions to myself but when it comes to “important” matters I tend to be more cautious and take the back seat. When it is time for me to be the voice of Jake, I struggle. I struggle to get the words out of my mouth that need to be said, I struggle to get my point across and I often find myself getting side-tracked and at times my words get jumbled and I end up looking like a babbling idiot. Words come out better if I can write them down. I can process my thoughts more accurately and express myself in ways my spoken words cannot. So you can see why this whole advocacy thing has been extremely difficult for me.

When I am faced with the choice of speaking up or backing down I remember something a former boss said to me one day. I was on the phone for him and was getting the run around. After I got off the phone my boss called me into his office and said in his thick Iranian accent, “Laurie, you have a back bone…use it!” He always encouraged me and taught me how to speak up for myself. He showed me that there are ways of getting what I want or need without coming across as a bitch or a wimpy woman. I honestly can still hear his voice in my head anytime I need to do something that is uncomfortable. And it truly does help me when my heart is pounding and I am praying to God to give me the kindest words and tone possible to get my point across. I smile thinking about my boss and that situation; who knew it would help me ten years later!

This whole advocacy thing is hard. Seriously, the hardest thing I have ever done and I struggle with it daily.

Being honest and forthcoming here…these are some of the thoughts that roll around in my head during meetings for Jake. I am not proud of my distracted thoughts and it is something that I constantly work on but seriously, this is where my brain is at times:

did I say that nicely? was my tone too harsh? did they understand what I just said? oh my gosh, I was babbling! what was I saying? okay, now I look like I have no clue what I am talking about…why are they starting at me, is there food in my teeth? wow, I love her necklace. okay, get back on track, Laur. geez my brain needs a nap. do they like me? do they think I am “that” parent and will avoid me for the rest of the year?!?!  was that my stomach? what will I eat for lunch? maybe I should have brought snacks for everyone. did i cover all of my notes, I think so but what if I forgot something…oh boy the meeting is ending what if….what if….what if….

Advocating for Jake can be tricky at times. I know what I want and better yet, I know what Jake needs. But trying to get these wants and needs to come out of my mouth can be oh so difficult. Oh and if the person I am speaking too is “hard-core” and not wanting to back down I find myself second guessing the points I want to get across. Then the thought that then goes through my head is they must know what they are talking about — what do I know?

Seriously folks, it is insane all of the thoughts, the insecurities and emotions that I feel. I then question am I the right person to do this? Am I helping or hindering Jake?!?! 

At the end of the day, I know I am the right person to do this. I know I am helping him. At the end of the day, I know that my voice is Jake’s and for the time being, I am all he has when it comes to speaking up for him and in getting him the best education, the best therapy and giving him the best life possible. Fortunately for me, I can usually get my point across, I can say what needs to be said. I usually get what Jake needs. 

I know I am not alone in any of this. I have my friends, family and others who are walking a similar journey to mine. But more than anything I know I have God and am thankful for that!

I will persevere and it will all work out, I am sure of it. But when I am in the middle of it all it seems never ending!

As I took a break from writing I checked my email and a devotion from Proverbs 31 Ministries was waiting for me. I read it and couldn’t believe how much it applied to me and what I am writing about. It is titled Unshakable Confidence. Click on the link for a quick read. Was this a coincidence? I don’t think so…so as I wrap up this post I will leave it with this verse:

Hebrews 10:35-36, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (NIV)

Yep…perseverance + confidence = reward!!

The reward will come and I will be SO glad when it does 🙂

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Maggie May

This past Monday our sweet dog, Maggie, had to be put to sleep as she was suffering from pancreatic cancer. Overall she didn’t seem sick but as I think back over the past several weeks I guess she was but didn’t know. She was acting more like a puppy; getting into the garbage, having accidents in the house and tearing up things she hasn’t tried to tear up in years. On Sunday she wouldn’t eat and as much as I loved on her and tried to coax her to eat she wouldn’t. By Monday morning she was so lethargic she couldn’t stand on her own. We had Maggie for 9 years and she was just 6 weeks old when we got her. She was a registered Cocker Spaniel and her official name, given by Allie at age 7,was Princess Maggie May. Our home is eerily quiet without her. She was more my dog than anyone else’s and I miss her so so much!!

You may be wondering how Jake responded to all of this….he hasn’t mentioned her but once. He hasn’t talked about her or even shown signs that he notices she is not in our home. When I took Maggie to the vet last Monday I had to take Jake with me, Maggie couldn’t walk and I had to carry her. Jake didn’t seem to notice. We left Maggie at the vet for them to run some tests and on the ride to school it was like any other day for Jake. When we picked Jake up from school and came home to the quiet he didn’t seem to notice. Over the next few days we removed Maggie’s kennel and food dish and I thought for sure Jake would finally say something but he didn’t. It wasn’t until yesterday (Saturday) that I went out to my car and Jake told John “mommy, be right back she took Maggie outside”. I came back in and Jake looked at me and said “you took…you went to the car?”. He stopped himself before saying Maggie’s name. I felt I needed to ask him at this point about where he thought Maggie was, I asked him “where do you think Maggie is?” he didn’t respond. I asked him again and he continued playing as if he didn’t hear me. I didn’t ask him again.

I am not sure what to think about all of this. One one hand, it makes it easier that I don’t have to explain Maggie’s death to Jake. But on the other hand I find it totally strange that Jake doesn’t seem phased by the fact that Maggie isn’t here. I could sit and list all of the reasons as to why this is good or why this could be bad. I get that autism is playing a huge part in all of this but it is still strange to me. This past June Grandpa came for a visit; this was the first visit without Grandma. Jake didn’t ask where Grandma was or even seem to acknowledge that she wasn’t with Grandpa. I thought it may be that we only saw them a couple of times a year and Jake might have thought she stayed home. But now with Maggie being gone and the fact that she was a part of our day-to-day life it just makes me wonder why. Is it a part of autism and it being processing disorder that he can’t process the fact that Maggie is gone? Does Jake understand? Maybe he doesn’t have the vocabulary to tell us what he thinks. I don’t know.

I hope that one day Jake will be able to tell me what he thinks or feels.

Maggie and Jake were not close. As a matter of fact, Maggie didn’t like Jake except when Jake had food. Maggie would trail behind him hoping for a cheerio drop to the floor.

John and I had talked about finding another home for Maggie not because we were afraid that Maggie might do something to Jake but we felt it might be better for Maggie to be the center of attention again. We also wanted a dog for Jake, one that might help him and one that he could be “friends” with and to play with him. This was a hard decision because Maggie was our baby for the longest time and the thought of giving her away broke my heart. God’s plans are always perfect, so I guess one could say it all worked out for the best. Maggie isn’t suffering and we don’t have to give her away.

We hope to get a dog for Jake one day. One that he can be friends with and one that might even help Jake. There has been a lot of research with dogs and autistic children. One article I found shows how a family dog can help a child with autism. The researcher said:

Dogs can help children with autism by acting as a social lubricant,” Carlisle explained. “For example, children with autism may find it difficult to interact with other neighborhood children. If the children with autism invite their peers to play with their dogs, then the dogs can serve as bridges that help the children with autism communicate with their peers.” author Gretchen Carlisle, a research fellow at the university’s Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction

This past summer Jake attended a social playgroup at a local therapy center; they have a therapy dog named Teddy. Teddy is a cock-a-poo and so sweet and quiet. When we first met Teddy I wasn’t sure how Jake would react. Jake had always stayed away from Maggie and would cry if Maggie came too close. But the day we met Teddy Jake was attracted to him. Jake would smile at Teddy and watch what he was doing or where he went. At one point Teddy was lying on the floor and Jake laid down near him until they were practically nose to nose and he talked to Teddy. I knew at that time we needed a dog like this for Jake.

Our hope is to find the perfect pet for Jake. A dog that will love, protect and help Jake and a dog that Jake will love wholeheartedly!!

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Jake & Maggie, October 2009 (Jake was 8 months old)

 

 

 

“hope in front of me”

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I am looking at a boy, his eyes are searching mine. He is seeking safety and comfort and yet I can’t touch him. I try to touch him; he tells me “no!” His eyes are filled with tears as panic flows across his sweet innocent face. I talk softly to him but that intensifies his panic and he tells me “no talking!” I sit next to him and am rubbing my own legs because my touch is not welcomed to the little boy who is hurting. I don’t understand why he is panicked. We sit side by side until I can’t take it any more and squeeze him as tight as I can. He finally falls into me and allows me to wrap my arms around him and squeeze him with all my strength. He allows me to sing softly as I hangNot sure how Hake is going to be today…especially during present time. He doesn’t quite understand that the gifts are for Ella and not Jake. Just wanted you to know 🙂 on to this boy who does not want to feel this way. His eyes still searching mine as I say words I often say in times like this “mommy’s got you, you are safe, I am here, I love you”. I smile at him in hopes he returns the smile but he is still staring at the train. He covers his ears and won’t budge. His little heart is beating so fast that I can feel it without touching him. I pray to God to take this panic away. I tell God he doesn’t need this, he doesn’t deserve this, he is only 5! Give it all to me, I know how to handle it; he doesn’t. I hate this! My eyes fill with tears but I don’t let Jake see. My heart starts racing and as we are standing there and I can’t help but ask the question why? How can a boy who loves most everything about trains be so afraid of a real one. I don’t understand, I don’t get it and wonder if I ever will. What lasted maybe 10 minutes felt like hours. I turn Jake away from the train and tell him “don’t look at it look at me, I am here and I won’t let anything happen to you.” I tell him it will all be okay and I sing as softly as I can. We walk away and it is gone. The anxiety that I thought would hold my boy for the rest of the day disappeared and he was off running laughing and playing. Every once in a while he would glance over at the train and tell me “it is broken down and won’t go, it needs to go to the Steam Works, right mommy?” I say “yes, baby. It won’t go and it is broken it won’t be loud or move.” He looks at me then back to the train then back at me and runs around chanting it is “it is broken and cannot move”. His little smile has returned and that anxious little boy is nowhere to be seen, Thank GOD!

Moments like these happen more often than I would like. Unexpected loud noises, many loud noises in general and most recently the sound of the tires as we drive down the highway send him into panic mode. It is hard because I can’t reach him. As his mom I want to hold him, stroke his hair, wrap him in my arms and whisper that it is all going to be okay. I cannot do any of these things if he isn’t ready. I have to sit and wait for him to tell me or show signs that I can touch him. I’ve learned this the hard way. The result, if he isn’t ready, leads to him screaming, running  and escaping the situation. I’ve tried to force myself on him, trying to hug out the anxiety or fear that he is feeling. That doesn’t work so well. I tell myself over and over ‘let him be, don’t touch him, don’t talk to him, he will let me know when he is ready’. It is best to be near him but not to touch him. This, my friends, has got to be one of the hardest aspects of this disorder! I am a touchy feely kinda person. If I see any of my children hurting I want to hug them and comfort them. When I see a friend or family member I want to hug them, I might touch their arm or just put my arm around them. By not being able to reach out to Jake in this way is really really hard for me! Instinct tells me to hug, to touch, to kiss, to talk but the reality of the situation tells me to hold back and wait on Jake. Wait for him to give me the go ahead that he can handle my closeness.

This is all a part of Jake’s Sensory Processing Disorder as well as Autism. They sort of overlap here, in my opinion. And at times I don’t know which is which and I just don’t understand. I am having to let the “understanding” the situation go. I need to not try to understand why Jake sees a train and is scared and accept it for what it is right now. What it is, I don’t get but what I do understand, now after much practice, is what to do when situations arise that are out of my understanding or control. I need to let Jake direct me, I need to let Jake show me what he needs from me at that moment in time. If I stop trying to “think it through” and watch his body language and search his eyes for what he needs this makes it a bit easier on me which in turns makes it easier for Jake.

BUT (I’ve said this before) there is HOPE! And this is what I have starting thinking about during those struggles that I can’t fix. Hope that one day he will be able to tell me exactly what is hurting him at that point and time. Hope that he will be able to tolerate me holding him and comforting him. Hope that the anxiety attacks will disappear from him to never been seen again. But most of all there is the Hope that even if the things I want don’t happen there is that hope that I will get through it and my natural instincts will be to do exactly what Jake needs or wants.

I am constantly learning who Jake is. He surprises me each and every day. His surprises come in strange and unexpected ways but I love them! One day he may read a HUGE word that I didn’t even know he knew, the next day he may spit because he is mad.

Autism is a way of life for us and what I am learning is how to accept it but more than anything how to embrace it! How do you embrace something that is so very confusing? How do you accept a disorder like autism?

The answer is really quite simple! You love the person, or in my case the child. There it is. When you love someone so deeply you do anything for him! I read other parents stories similar to my own to gain knowledge as to what worked for them. It might or might not work for me but it is worth trying. I do whatever it takes to “relearn” my role as his mom. Parenting Jake is different. But as I am writing this I am thinking parenting every child is different. What Nathan needed when he was 5 was totally different from what Anthony or Allie needed. So I really don’t need to relearn my role as Jake’s mom I just need to meet him where is he is at any point and time.

I am doing the best I can each and every day. I make mistakes, just ask Allie or John ~ ha! This job that God has given me is one of the hardest I have ever been given. But I am glad this is my job. There are parts of it I might want to change but overall I wouldn’t have it any other way!

And again the word Hope comes to my mind!

There’s hope in front of me
There’s a light, I still see it
There’s a hand still holding me
Even when I don’t believe it
I might be down but I’m not dead
There’s better days still up ahead
Even after all I’ve seen
There’s hope in front of me

Danny Gokey “Hope In Front of Me”

Editor’s note : For those that know me know I love music! I remember lyrics to most songs I hear; it has become a game at times. My friends will throw out a song name and I can sing some or most of the lyrics to most songs. Music has always inspired me and helped me through different periods of my life. I love it! I post a lot of song lyrics but each song speaks to me and brings me comfort in the most unexpected ways. If you get a chance Google the video of  Danny’s song…it is really beautiful!

Hope

 

A little change will do you good

I would like a little bit of continuity. It isn’t too much to ask, is it? I like the definition I found, “the unbroken and consistent existence or operation of something over a period of time.” Our life isn’t like this; there is little consistency when it comes to Jake. One day he might respond in a way that is appropriate then the very next day not so much. Continuity is a foreign word these says and in case you haven’t read my other blog posts; I really don’t like the constant changes. I truly never feel settled or at ease because yesterday what might have worked doesn’t mean it will work today. While change can be good there are times when it proves to be difficult for me as well as Jake. I am working on my way of thinking and desperately trying to go with the flow but my God, it’s hard. And that is what I pray…God, this is too hard. I am not the person that is cut out for this, why did you pick me to be Jake’s mom? 

But you know what? I am SO SO glad that He picked me to be Jake’s mom. I wouldn’t trade it for a second! When the changes are too difficult or I feel like I am at my wit’s end all I have to do is look at this sweet boys face and I feel blessed and am thankful this is my job! I pick myself up and forge ahead.

With Jake starting Kindergarten the transitions for me have been tough. I find myself worrying about the smallest of things and I can go downhill pretty quickly. That is when I stop and take a look at where we are and how far we have come. Jake is attending Kindergarten! He is able to be in a typical class (with the help of an aide) with typical peers and he seems to truly love this change. This past week Jake has shown us all that even though changes can be really scary we can overcome them and be rock stars!

This past Thursday we had an IEP meeting for Jake. These always make me nervous, anxious and at times can cause me to second guess myself…you name it I’m probably feeling it! While talking with another parent she said she felt the same way; I was relieved that I am not the only one with these feelings! In all honesty, there really is no need to be nervous; my team is fabulous! I’ve never (thank God) had a bad or difficult experience but the anxiety is there nonetheless! I want to make sure everything is covered that Jake is getting what he needs and that my team understands my wants for Jake. Fortunately for me, they do. Jake’s team doesn’t mince words or try to tell me what I want to hear. They are straight forward and work hard to meet Jake’s needs as well as mine. It may not always be easy but they do the very best they can. They go above and beyond what is asked of them and I couldn’t be more pleased!

Jake’s IEP team has many new faces. Some I know well and others I was meeting for the first time. And even though I knew most faces on our team it was still nerve-wracking.  Again, the changes are constant. New faces, new goals, higher expectations and higher demands. The uneasiness creeps in if I dwell on this too much.

It was a pretty brief IEP, it only lasted 1 1/2 hours but it was informative. At the end of the meeting I felt really good about the plan that is in place for Jake.

Jake went to school 3 1/2 days this past week (he would have gone all 5 days had he not caught a cold) and he did great! His aide worked alongside him. She is someone neither of us have met before and is brand new to our school. In the past Jake has not responded well to new people but he seemed comfortable with her right away. That was a huge first step and the fact that she was able to interact and figure Jake out quickly was something I had prayed about. I was overjoyed to see those prayers answered. Jake seemed to like her and she was able to interact with him with no issues. She could tell when he needed a break, she could tell when she could push him a little bit more. My anxiety diminished a little! Another new face was his kindergarten teacher. I truly feel like this will be a good fit for Jake; she is understanding but strict. Jake needs this. He needs that loving heart but someone who will be able to push him in the right direction. Anxiety decreased a little more. Jake’s resource teacher is another new face and new to our school. Again, I was nervous as to how Jake would mesh with her. I mean 3 brand new faces working with Jake, pushing Jake and setting higher limits for him made me apprehensive. As I said before, it can be tricky when Jake meets new people; but Jake seemed to like her immediately and I must say she is fabulous. She already understands Jake’s abilities and where he needs the most help. I could tell she has read all of the information presented to her, listened to me and understands what Jake needs each day. My anxiety was replaced with a peace of mind. The assistant principal checks in on Jake as well so that she is aware of how he is doing and what can be done differently, if not better, to meet his needs. By meet his needs I mean where to push him, where to give him a break; basically how to reach him where he is at that point and time. A quote I truly love is

If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.

Not all kids learn in the same way; the trick is finding out what works for that child and teaching them accordingly. This not only applies to special needs kids but to all kids in general.

Jake needs a little bit of extra time for his brain to process what is being taught. He might get some things right away while other things take him longer. Jake’s teacher’s and aid understand this and promise to work with him in this manner. I know it becomes tiring; constant repeating, constant gaining his attention with a firm but loving voice. I know, I do this every day with so many things. It is tiring but if it helps Jake then it is worth it in the end. Jake’s teachers see this and from what I have seen will be wonderful in reaching this little boy and helping him succeed.

I truly feel we have a remarkable team working to help Jake. Working to encourage him and show him change is good. Showing him he can do anything and that there are no limitations. Jake just needs to be given the chance to prove that he is able to succeed. And in my heart of hearts; he will! Daily he knocks our socks off with new knowledge that he is demonstrating, new words he is using in sentences and he is maturing!

Changes can be good and from my experience they usually turn out to be great!

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I jut love this picture, it says so many things! Jake is always in awe of the sun. To me it seems he is looking forward and moving ahead, unafraid and ready for the challenges that await!

 

Psalms 34:17 “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”

Quick Recap on Jake’s first day of Kindergarten

Jake was too excited to be going to school yesterday morning! When he woke up his first words were “yeah, it’s Monday. First Kindergarten then Target, okaaayyyy?”  Not sure where he got Target from but hey, he was happy so we just went with it!

John and I were both able to take him to school which made for an easier walk (we had to park forever away). Jake chose to wear his headphones because the crowd was too much for him and I could see the anxiety in his eyes (but he chose to wear them; that is huge in itself!!). When we got to the door we were met by his resource teacher and aide; Jake smiled at them and didn’t hide his face (once again this was huge!). Jake didn’t cry or try to run away. We walked to his room and he did fantastic, thank goodness for the noise reduction headphones! We met Jake’s kindergarten teacher and she seemed really nice and Jake just sort of stood there and took everything in. He played Lego’s and seemed really happy! As John and I left he waved goodbye and smiled! We couldn’t have asked for a better drop off!

Allie and I went to pick Jake up from school and he had the biggest smile on his face! He said he loved kindergarten and wanted to go back! Overall, Jake had a great day and stayed in the kindergarten classroom most of the day. He ate in the cafeteria for the first time and his aide said he did well. After school we went to Target and Jake bought a train to go with his other Thomas trains he said “I’m a big boy kindergartner and need a new train”. I couldn’t argue with that! He was so happy and full of smiles!

Very thankful for the great first day. Very thankful there were no tears, screaming or running away. And very thankful for your prayers, kind words and support!

Praying today is just as good as yesterday 🙂

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Kindergarten Here We Come!!

Tomorrow is the big day for Jake; KINDERGARTEN! Just saying that makes my heart race a little. First of all I can’t believe he is old enough to start school and second of all, where has the time gone?!?!

Seems like just yesterday we brought the big boy home from the hospital; seems like yesterday we found out he was autistic; seems like yesterday he started preschool for the first time!

Jake seems excited about going back to school and smiles every time I tell him he will be a big boy kindergartener.

Last week Jake and I went to his school for registration. It took me about 30 minutes just to get him to the door. Even though it was a familiar place, there were so many people that he had a difficult time understanding and it was all a little overwhelming. He wanted to run back to the car and go home. He told me he was all done. Although he has been to this school a million times he doesn’t understand and wants to flee. I had talked to him about how we would see Ms. Julie and maybe see some friends; this didn’t relieve his anxiety. This is where it gets tough; I don’t understand. I don’t know how to explain any more clearly. I do my best and try to have patience but it is hard; so hard!

Jake spotted his familiar playground and I asked him if he wanted to play to which he smiled and said “YES”. Anything to keep him from going in the building. I let Jake play for about 15 minutes and then we headed for the school at which time Jake hid behind me and covered his ears. Once inside and we were down a quieter hallway he was able to walk alone; he started smiling at the familiar surroundings. I asked him if he could take me to the library; he smiled and said “yes, let’s go” and took me straight to the library. I was impressed that he remembered where it was! I thought it would be smooth sailing from there but one look through the window of the library he froze and wouldn’t go inside. He saw Ms. Julie but he covered his ears and cried. This is not something new. I’ve learned to expect this behavior and what works best for him is when I just push him through the door. Finally after getting the door open and me dragging Jake into the room with his eyes closed and hands over his ears we were where we were supposed to be; I sat down and felt drained! That had to have been the longest 40 minutes of my life! But when Jake opened his eyes that famous smile of his stretched across his face and he was off to look at books while I filled out the millions of paperwork (again). I shake my head, smile and am thankful that he is able to see he is in a safe familiar place. One of Jake’s friends came in and he even looked at his friend and said “Do you want to read with me?”. That was huge! Something he has learned through his social playgroup! Relief was evident on Jake’s face as well as mine 🙂

While at registration we met Jake’s new resource teacher, Ms. P. She has a calming presence and was super nice. As I sat filling out the stack of papers I watched Ms. P. from the corner of my eye as she tried to interact with Jake. He didn’t want any part of it but Ms. P. was sweet and let him “run the show” and by the time we were getting ready to leave Jake was answering some of Ms. P’s questions. It took a while; but like everything else if you give enough time and have patience he will become engaged and amaze whomever he is in contact with at that moment.

Many have asked me what the plan is for Jake and Kindergarten. Well, as I’ve said before we are SO blessed to be a part of this fabulous school. We are SO blessed that they already know Jake, they know what his capabilities are and they know what he can do and where he needs the most help. That is a HUGE weight off of my shoulder’s!

Usually kindergartener’s have staggered enrollment which means they go only one day for the first week of school. The assistant principal had a great suggestion; she suggested we allow Jake to go every day so he can learn the routine and get to know his new teacher in a smaller setting. This will give Jake some extra time in a less overwhelming environment. Jake has a hard time with new things and transitions are incredibly hard for him so I was thankful that the school made this accommodation for Jake.

Jake will go to his Kindergarten classroom each morning with his personal aide. She will help Jake learn what is expected of him and help him when things get to be a little too much. We want to allow Jake to sort of dictate to us what he can and can’t handle. We feel that by allowing him to start, from the beginning, in the typical kindergarten classroom with typical peers he will make better progress towards our goal of being in a typical classroom full-time without an aide. Whenever Jake is in the kindergarten class he will have an aide; when things get to be too much for him his aide will take him to the resource class where he can have sensory breaks and then he will go back to his class. The first few weeks his teachers and aide will take notes and see what Jake can do alone and where he needs the additional help. Around mid-August we will meet to update his IEP and goals.

I am feeling pretty good about the plan we have in place and I feel really comfortable with the staff that will be working with Jake. From my conversations, I can tell they truly want to see Jake succeed. They want to bring out the very best in him and see that progression. He is not just another special needs kid, he is a person who happens to have a disorder where he needs extra help. They see this; they get it and they are willing to work with me to make sure he receives the best education he can possibly receive. I can’t ask for anything more.

If I could ask you one thing; please keep Jake (and me) in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow. There will be a lot of anxiety for both of us but in my heart I know he will have a great day and if he doesn’t there is always the next day 🙂

 

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First day of Kindergarten picture will be posted tomorrow on my Facebook page “Our Journey with Jake”