Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A suggestion for parents transitioning their child to a new school...

I wrote about what I did lately when we attended Owen's transition meeting with Cherrywood Acres school, and how much I believe it helped the staff understand Owen a bit more, and also allowed me to advocate and give them information they may other wise not know or know to ask.

My mother in law read the letter I wrote, and gave me such a wonderful compliment to put the letter I wrote on this blog. I completely recommend that every parent do this, the staff were very appreciative and I got to brag a bit :)

Here it is my friends :)

10 Things That Make Owen Unique and Amazing

1) Owen loves the ABC's, he looks for everyday objects just to find a letter of the alphabet. He loves to count everything and anything, forwards or backwards, from 1-30. He also enjoys shapes, finding shapes and labeling them.

2) Owen has many sensory issues, so if he is in an area that is too noisy, he will cover his ears to let you know he is not happy. He loves to visually stimulate to almost any object, up and down, looking through holes, holding it up to the light in just the right way. He enjoys high fives, and playing tag, and holding hands, but beyond that is give or take and will take time. He is very sensitive to textures, using touch for a craft as an example, or what he is eating. This makes crafts usually hand over hand if messy, and meals times tricky. Owen will need prompting to finish his lunch or snack.

3) Owen still has limited communication, but its growing. He has echolalia, so what you say to him he will repeat back but not understand it. He will use signs sometimes to communicate, "more", "different", and "help". Owen is capable to say, "I want ___", so try and prompt him to start a sentence. Pointing to your eye when you say, "I" will encourage Owen to say, "I want ___"

4)When Owen is having a tantrum or a meltdown, he is not aggressive or destructive. He will scream and cry, but not hit or throw anything. We have found ignoring the behaviour entirely will calm his faster, as Owen is an attention seeker. This way of dealing with Owen works at home, at Brick By Brick, and at his preschool.

5) Owen will look to others to learn in social situations like any child, he loves to imitate and see others having fun, then he will have fun.

6) Embrace Owen's growing independence, he will try to get you to do his work/activity for him, but he is more than capable, just may require a little prompting.

7) Owen loves to sing and dance. His favourite songs are songs that have actions to go along with them like, "Itsy Bitsy, Spider".

8) Owen is toilet trained, and is able to go on his own. He still needs assistance to clean himself, and prompting to wash his hands. He may give you a hard time about the hand washing, but in a short time he will be fine.

9} Owen, like most 4 year old children, have trouble with patience, specifically waiting in lines. Putting Owen near the front of the line with a number seems to help ease his frustration.

10) Lastly, Owen is a caring, loving, happy little boy who is eager to learn new things and to be challenged. He loves a structured environment and being around other children.

Thank you, and we look forward to having a close relationship and communication from you all, for Owen to do his best during elementary school at Cherrywood Acres.

Ryan and Vanessa Coens

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