It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update; just thought I would take some time off. Jake’s been doing great! We had a great summer with lots of swimming and a little bit of therapy. It was really nice and relaxing!
One of the best things that Jake has learned over the summer is how to dress himself with no help from me! Oh my, how I’ve waited for this day! Up until about 4 weeks ago I had to help him with his clothes. I was getting frustrated thinking, he’s 8 he should be able to do this now. But like everything else it takes time. One day after swimming I told him we needed to get changed and he said “I think I can do it by myself”. He ran upstairs and was up there about 20 minutes. The look on his face when he came out of his room was priceless…he yells “I DID IT!!!”. This was HUGE!! We’ve been working on this skill since he was 3; that’s 5 years! It is SO nice for him to be able to dress himself! Now I can send him upstairs and in about 5 minutes he’s dressed and ready for school!
Jake also learned to swim! He was very reluctant at first and I didn’t think he would do it this year. We took swim lessons at the beginning of summer and let’s just say it was trying for his swim instructor. She showed him the basics but he wouldn’t really even try with her. When we would go swimming Jake wouldn’t put his face in the water, he cried when I tried to help him swim and wouldn’t jump in the pool. About two weeks after his lessons he started working on his own and then overnight, he was swimming, going under water and jumping in the pool.
Jake started 3rd grade two weeks ago and for the most part it’s been going well. He’s had to adjust to a lot of changes which has been the hardest part for him (and me). Going from the lazy days of summer to a stricter routine and then having two teachers instead of one as well as getting to know new kids in his class, is a lot for Jake. In my opinion, the hardest part of the new school year is more is expected from him. He’s older now and as many of us know or may remember third grade is difficult for most any child and having autism makes things a bit more difficult. But Jake’s learning the new rules, mostly the hard way. He has learned not to write that his teacher is mean, not to cheat on a test, not to yell no to his teacher and is learning how to work with a team. He’s adjusting as best he can but it’s a struggle. It’s been a struggle for me as well, I pray every day that he is a good listener and is following the rules. We are fortunate to have two outstanding teachers this year that are challenging him and working with him to find his strengths and help him with the areas of weakness. I really do believe it will be a great year for our boy!
Currently, Jake is interested in logos for things like NBC and comparing them to their original logo and telling me how and when it originated and then showing me what the logo looks like today. I honestly never cared and never thought about different television logos or movie logos or toy logos but now I find it interesting. The best part is Jake is initiating conversations. He has found something he enjoys researching and wants to share it with me. And I love this!!
We’ve walked this autism journey for a little over 6 years now. The biggest and smallest tasks take a lot of time. Much of the time I want to rush it but it always backfires on me when I do this with him! As he gets older things change and I am constantly trying to figure what will work this time to help things click. I can go from feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and angry to feeling great pride all within a minute, at times. But it’s all worth it to see him succeed! And he’s doing just that. He’s growing and learning and talking with us more and more each day.