Morning greetings make a big difference. Every morning I greet my students with a happy eye👀level “Good morning _____.” They have to return a morning salutation to me in their best way😃. Yesterday morning me, my team, and all of our parents gasped😮 when our little sweetie returned a morning greeting. Well, it wasn't an average greeting 👍 it was an exceptionally strong💪, direct spoken sound to me. My mouth and everyone's mouth dropped😮. You could hear a unison sound of our chest being punched with amazement👊. She caught us all off guard, like boom 🔥“I’m here!” Those weren't her exact words but she looked 👀 at me and clearly tried to say “Goodmmmmm”. I almost lost it!!!❤!!!❤ We went on to breakfast. We had some lows, many highs, and the school day was over. “I see 👀 a difference in my child already!😄” These were the words her mother spoke to me and my team after school. She went on to say how her child is spending more time with the family eating at the table🍨, interacting in family activities🎉, and watching videos with them👀. She explained how happy her daughter seems now and how well she is learning to express herself at home. She still explores the home but doesn't run away from the family. Her family is amazed with her progress🎉🎉🎉. I remember her mom and dad telling me on open house night that she is a picky eater and doesn't play with toys. Now she plays with toys and is quite an eater. Well, she required a prompt this morning to eat her breakfast but me and my team were like, nah we wouldn't try to eat it either😂😂😂. So she chose the fruit cup😂 and ate it like a big girl. This is the same sweetie who for the first week and half of school only cried😢, screamed😭, and bit herself😬😱. Now she's a relaxed butterfly✨and we've only been in school for 3 weeks a 2 days.
As I watch 👀my little ones walk in line to join their families at the end of the day, I am filled with joy because I can't wait to tell them the magnificent 🌟things their child has learned and said that day. The parents stand patiently waiting for our team to speak with them to provide details, new PECS pictures (vocabulary) to add to their books, and reenact the learning experience for them (I like this part because I can get very animated😂). This is a pivotal role for our team👍. Parents of children with special needs desire so much to hear 👂the positives of their children. I can remember the personal frustrations🔥I had waiting for the positives about my son from his teachers when he was in kindergarten. Yeah, I already knew the negatives👎. I would say to myself, “Please tell me something good😯.”I needed to hear about the break through, the strategies, and manipulatives I needed to build on the greatness he had inside✨. However, my son had a great prek teacher. Her inspiration for her students has empowered me to always supply that feeling of joy to my students’ parents, as well😀. Parents need that feeling👍. Help don't hurt. Respect don't shun. Be understanding of others and respond with kindness. You don't know how many tears those parents have shed for their child. We teach them for only a short period of the day so try to inspire ongoing progress within that time. It is a battle🔥but it is worth it💝
Example: Jackson did not throw the toy cars. He replaced that behavior with rolling them.😂😀
My son ❤ loves using his phone 📞 to take selfies with his siblings. Its so hard to believe how much I mourned 😫 the loss of him when I realized that he was on the spectrum. I watched him transform into a child that I didn't know. All I wanted was my baby back. Being a special educator 😉 for 7 years before his birth did not make his diagnosis any easier for us 😒. We thought that we were ready to face it. And yet, we still weren't prepared. A wonderful autism parent @thenatashabarber 😍 sent out a post yesterday. This post rocked me to the core of my being. It read, “You might be an Autism Parent if one of your biggest fears is...” I couldn't respond because I know that I can't make myself think💡 about my fears. Me and my family have learned to be focused not fearful. Our worries for today are enough. I spent all of his toddler years on my knees 🙏 that I forgot to stand up and live. God was giving me the answer but I was so stuck on my fears that I became blind to our reality. Reaching and pleading for the support of the world like the woman with an issue of blood, I was spiritually bleeding and no one could heal my wounds. But then one day, I returned to faith over fear. I got off my knees and began to live. Therefore, I stopped being concerned about gossip, confusion, and unwarranted advice. I tuned out the naysayers. Now our focus, not our fear, is to make sure that we provide a strong foundation for all of our children. It is not easy for any parent especially parents of a child with special needs but we're doing it! We're handling it one day at a time. Don't get me wrong, we do plan for their future, we just don't spend time worrying about it the way we used to.
Linc has taken it upon himself to hide under a blanket whenever we are in the car now. Cause tornadoes in Missouri have scarred him for life and now he gets worried at even the sight of a cloud. He made me giggle this morning. ☺️
Once every few months it hits me so hard it knocks the breath out of me. The stress of being strong for so long, reaches its threshold and overflows in tears. Sadly, it's usually provoked on days when he is exceptional. The words flow so easily and clearly from him, no forced social communication. I can see who he is when his autism doesn't restrict him. It's beautiful and a bittersweet reminder as autism takes him away again. Special needs parents are often told they are strong. That "I can't imagine having to do that." But we are not superhuman. We feel and we cry when no one is watching (sometimes when everyone is watching) and it is so damn hard. And so damn easy. Because the tears are not regret or resentment. It is love pouring from our souls, carrying us on to continue giving our all for our children. All of me loves all of you Linc. 💙 #autismmom#specialneedsmom
Since Fidget Spinners are all the rage, I figured I should hop on board. They are supposed to be stress relieving tools and help people with autism, ADHD, etc focus more easily.
Gotta say, I tried it and I totally get why it became so popular. It's the same kinda feeling you get pop bubble wrap. ☺️ Either way, let's give it up for spreading more #autismawareness . 💙
I rarely get to go shopping alone with the big kid. When he was little, taking him out was nearly impossible and now it's something that brings me joy. Especially when a girl from school recognizes him and says hi to him. Autism life can be hard, but it really makes you appreciate the little things. 💙
Words will never do this moment justice. My sweet boy, who until this school, struggled to sit in any assembly, sang and danced in the Spring concert with the other 2nd graders. As an autism mom, this is one of those moments that I have worked so hard to help Lincoln achieve, but was prepared for the very real likelihood that it may never happen. I ugly cried. Hard. This school, his teachers, aides, everyone who has ever loved on him, worked with him and helped bring him to this place. You'll never know how grateful my heart is to you all. #autism#scaalltheway
"Mommy can you scratch my arm?"
One of the best techniques to help calm Linc that Occupational Therapy taught us. If he ever gets really upset or anxious, you'll likely see me give him a "squeeze hug" and scratch his arms, back, head and legs. 💙 #worldautismawarenessday
One of the first books Lincoln became obsessed with reading was The Very Hungry Caterpillar. From there, his love of cocoons and the caterpillar metamorphosis grew. I find the ideal of this change from caterpillar to butterfly poetic with Lincoln's journey he goes through with autism. He is just a caterpillar waiting for his wings to grow.
Artistry by the amazing @xbenstubbsx