Here's the shakeman! Eight years old and growing fast. I am already getting our t-shirts and socks mixed up in the laundry! Things are going very well for my special guy. Second grade has been fantastic. His special ed class has been a tremendous blessing. The teacher is amazing...so well-trained and gears her classroom to the needs of kids with Asperger's Syndrome. It is regular 2nd grade curriculum, but focusing a lot more on social skills and communication with the kids.
J. goes in with all the other second graders for lunch, recess, computers, science, library, gym, etc. I am happy that he has made some good buddies and excels in math and science.
This spring's activities include gymnastics, Cub Scouts, a bowling league and we promised to let him try horseback riding at the farm up the street! We'll see how it goes.
Also, we found an agency which is helping us work on appropriate behavior. It is all paid for by the Commonwealth of PA since Asperger's Syndrome is considered a disability! And they come to my house! It is great...a woman named Toby is our Behavior Specialist and she comes once a week to observe and make suggestions. I like her a lot.. It is helpful to have someone see J. in his environment and interacting with the rest of the family (instead of a more sterile office setting).
Toby helps me see what is reasonable to expect of Jake. Sometimes when he misbehaves, I get paralyzed by my own thoughts. Does he not understand? Can he not control himself because of the ADHD? Is he jealous because Em can do something he can't? ETC And then I lose my "motherpower"! It is good to be reminded that even though he does have issues...J still lives in the world with the rest of us and has to live by the rules too.
Also, once a week Joe (our mobile therapist) comes to do play therapy and socialization with J-man. Joe is from Nigeria and speaks with a very strong accent, but the kids think he is great! ("He's my first friend with black skin!") We have just started with all this...but we'll see how it goes.
We've come a long way, baby....