Sunday, October 30, 2011
Presentations and Things
I have been slacking so much on the updating of the blog, and for that I am truly sorry - but we have been SO busy!! Between appointments, school, things for school, dance and everything inbetween, things have been crazy. It is been hard to find the time to sit and just write out all my inner thoughts when it feels like I don't even have the time to think about them.. it sucks, but like I have come to find out, this is the life of a child with special needs. I am not alone.
Owen has been doing wonderful, a rough start to adapting to the full day new school thing.. but doing well. A big thing for Owen, and really any child, is they need a motivator to complete a task. For a lot of typical children, a motivator is the teachers approval in itself, or maybe it is lunch right after, or recess... we had a hard time finding something to help Owen complete his tasks like the other children. I went INSANE when I was told they found one, the computer!!! YAY!!! Owen is using a, "First and Then" board to help him transition at school, so an example would be, "first marbles then toilet". It has really helped him, and thank God for his teaching team, their love and patience has really helped Owen so much.
2 Weeks ago, we also began the process of IEP meetings. This is called an, Indivdual Education Plan, and is for students who are deemed, "exceptional" and require further help while in school. This will give Owen maybe different sets of goals than typical children, and also give him some more support within the school. Our meeting went very well, with the Learning Resource teacher, his JK teacher, and the principal with Ryan and myself. We talked about Owens strengths, like the computer and alphabet and numbers, and Owens weaker issues like social skills, communication, and task completion. The IEP will help Owen, and is a legal document that the school, school board, and Ryan and myself must agree to and sign off on. We recently got the IEP on Friday, so we are currently making some adjustments and sending it back.
I have also been taking our story further than here and Facebook, I have now done 2 presentations about Owen and our life. The first you may remember was the beginning of the year in the spring, I spoke at Westlane Highschool in a Parenting class, and it went really well, this past Monday I spoke in Owens class about his Autism, and how to be a better friend. I can honestly tell you, it was amazing. The children were his age, maybe a yr older, and responded so well to the presentation, how everyone is different and thats ok, and how to talk to Owen better, how to understand certain things he may do - and that he has feelings too. The children are so wonderful to him, and it warmed my heart so much to see the love they have for my son. As a parent with a child with special needs, many of us wonder all the time if our child is being accepted, being bullied, not played with.. I know I wondered all the time if Owen was alone at recess playing by himself.. maybe stimming off the fence.. alone...A horrible feeling, and I am so glad to know it is the total opposite, even as loved as getting 2 love notes sent home from different girls ;)
I will be starting to speak on behalf of Autism Ontario in a month or so, and there program is called, Give Where You Live. It is to spread Awareness and to also raise money for the chapter, to help these children with programming, seminars and etc. I am so honoured to be sharing our story, and hoping people can learn from our mistakes and our accomplishments.
So much happening... but its all for the greater good ;)