Jorge Juan 2,3……..

Jorge Juan went to school today with a new hat, Well it is one that we had always in the closet but he never wore it. Anyhow, he did so because he forgot his hat at school yesterday, the new hat that we just bought for him because his other hat was getting small on him and we only used that hat because he had lost his awesome Spiderman hat at school and that was never to be found. He also started the school year with a monster had with little horns but he left that hat in Ecuador when we took our trip this past November. needless to say this kid has a thing with hats and i do not know what it is. Today I was expecting him to get off the bus with at least a hat but Nope…they both were left at school. I have asked his teachers to please remind him and help him put on his outwear when he goes to get the bus after school. He is only five and needs to be reminded not just because he has special needs but kids in Kindergarten need that extra push to do things and remember things at times especially when it comes to putting on hats, mittens and scarves. I am going to have to write another note to the teacher because I feel he should be encouraged to wear his items in this freezing cold.We always tell him to speak up and ask for help. i try to see things from the teachers’ side as well and I know you can not force a kid. I know they help him with his scarf and he has worn his mittens. It just perplexes me that this happens often.I try to understand the mannerisms of a five year old but we can not keep on buying hats. Disposable hats anyone> lol, gotta laugh, right?

He still has his mittens though. He only lost those about 2 times and they were found at school when he left the scarf. He still has his scarf and one mitten from the original pair.

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My Boy: Part 44

Jorge is at Occupational Therapy today. I decided to take him back because he still foes not have a dominant hand. He uses both. He’s comfortable with both but it seems as though he has more control with his left hand. His writing is neater. So I thought he would benefit from the one on one help from his therapist. He enjoys it and it gets him out of the house to play and socialize with other children while we are waiting.He has been reading and writing and really enjoying cutting too. His grips have gotten so good.

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He likes to do arts and crafts. He’s super excited about the Martin Luther King Jr. Project that we are going to create for school. He’ll get to use glue, stickers and more art supplies to make it unique. He looks forward to creating which makes me proud. We always have arts and crafts on hand.

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Who is this child that doctors diagnosed with autism? The signs are just diminishing and barely viable at times. He has come a long way. It wasn’t always like this. Do not ever lose hope. Ever. I’ll never give up on Jorge Juan
He amazes us everyday. He has been taking Omega 3 chewables and recently just starting taking liquid fish oil. This stuff really is beneficial.it works. Once he’s been taking it long enough I will share mate results. Thanks for reading.

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Teach your child to never say “I can’t”…encourage them to always try and never give up.

Jorge Juan’s Short Story

Jorge Juan is five years old. He is on the Autism Spectrum.
535033_3174082588331_593966042_n He was diagnosed at the age of 3. It was at that time, I was taking the class Teaching the Exceptional Child. I noticed some things that were different about my son that coincided what I was studying at the time. I brought him to the doctor. She diagnosed him upon seeing specialists as well. We followed up without stopping. He was not speaking and was not hearing well. I thought he was deaf. His hearing tests came back with results of 20 percent hearing or something close to that, I do not quite remember but his ears seemed plugged. A second hearing test was needed, so we did it and still the same results. It was a little tricky because he was not sitting still and could not communicate. So after a while we found out he had water in his ear.He has had many ear infections. He could not hear well due to this and we ended up getting tube sin his ears and his adenoids taken out a while after.

Then he visits a neurologist. It was a thorough exam and the doctor places him in the middle of the spectrum. At this time, he could not follow directions, stack blocks, wave, or other typical things that 3 year olds do. We left the office, my husband and I. We did not let that discourage us. We kept going and believed that is just the perception of this doctor. Everything will be fine. After this we visited a speech therapist for an evaluation.

And as you guessed he attended speech therapy. At that time he was not speaking. Maybe a few words here and there but he could not communicate well. It was difficult for him. At the every beginning, he would moan, point, hum and act out to get the attention of the therapist.The week after this he started his first year of pre kindergarten. I was nervous because he did not talk and how would they know, etc.

The teachers were great and they really helped him out. From the first day I told the lead teacher that Jorge has autism and she gave me a number to call for some special education things like evaluations and play group, so we did that.
autism diagnosis He received specialized instruction in class along with a speech therapist and occupational therapist from school.He also has an IEP. This was all declared after he has been evaluated by the board of education.

Little by little, he is doing it. The second year of pre kindergarten, he was talking in some words. He could put some words together and before we knew it he was making sentences here and there. He was receiving private speech therapy outside of school and during school time. the social interactions with teachers and peers opened him up. He needed it. It has helped him out tremendously. He was still in pull ups at the time and eventually was fully potty trained at about 4 and a half or a bit earlier. He was not eating independently either. He needed extra help with many basics but that did not stop us.

We kept going and going and today he is 5 and a half years old. He talks non stop. He never wets the bed and he can feed himself. He is writing and drawing now. he loves school and taking the bus. He looks forward to many things.

indexI almost forgot to mention that before. All the time. He was very figidity. He would hum loudly and pace back and forth, jump in place but most of all flap out of sensory overload.He was even tested for seizures because the neurologist thought something was up as f he stopped breathing or would black out during the time of this great excitement. It was like a blank stare sometimes for thirty seconds as if he was in his own world.

Today he asks a million questions a day and he tells stories. He shares his dreams. He plays and shares. He loves school time and family time. He communicates.

 

 

He is very sympathetic. He is simply amazing.
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My Boy: Part 43

Right now he is jogging around the mats in karate class. Getting some exercise and focusing. This morning he decorated more of his wall with a variety of stickers. He loves it. He was making scenes. He is very creative and was expressing himself. This is important for children to do.

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He still is sensitive to loud noises because as I see now he was covering his ears during the ten step in karate. After he finished he did say it was too loud. He has gotten better though and so much better with that.He has a lot of energy and is using it in a positive way today. He is really trying to work hard towards a red belt. He also has been doing well in school. The only thing is that he keeps losing mitens, hats and scarves and eventually we get them back days or weeks layer. Spiderman is still missing though and that was the coolest hat.

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He really loves this app. He uses it all the time. The colors and sounds enligten him. He really focuses with it too. It helps him with fine motor skills. It is great and is soothing too. It is a go to when a break is needed from homework. By the way he stated taking fish oil yesterday. The liquid kind. We believe it is really going to help him as there are many benefits to it. He has been taking chewable omega 3 and it suits Jim well. I have faith in that. More to come on that at a later time. Right now he will have a day of play and learning in his newly cleaned room. Still has so many toys though. He really likes the tiny ones.

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We got rid of so much and donated to BBBS. Tiny toys are:great for tinkering. They’re wonderful. Children with autism especially love them. I guess he’s typically autistic. That’s fine with me.

My Boy: Part 42

Little toys everywhere. Tiny. Small. Little. Miniscule. They are everywhere. Jorge Juan loves them. Ever since he was a baby. He always has to hold something in his hands preferably tiny figures, army guys and things of that nature particularly squinkies. I mean everywhere. He puts them in socks, not just his but Daddy’s and Mommy’s too. I have found them in the couch and in between the seats of the car, in the bathroom and even looking down the drain. Ever since I could remember and even before we knew he had autism, there were little things in his hands and it made him super happy. He never put anything in his mouth either. I remember one time he carried a tiny button around for days and became upset when he lost it. When he falls asleep he always has something small in his hand and sometimes both hands too. In the middle of the night, when he was younger, if he’d drop them or they’d fall..he would cry until they were found. Meaning at whatever hour in the morning we would wake up and have to help him look in his crib/bed. It would really upset him. It gives him comfort and it is not hurting him do I’m okay with that. I would remember what he had in his hands while he was falling asleep so that way if he’d happen to wake up I know what to look for. This was helpful because he was non verbal until after he was 3 and a half years old almost 4. So this is his thing, ya know. It is what he likes. He brings tiny toys in his coat picket on the bus to kindergarten and he used to bring toys when be was in preschool but he had to hand them back to me at the door. When he was a baby one time he had a total of 5 big stuffed animals that he just had to bring in the car. We were going out to eat and he brought them inside. He cried because they would fall be cause it was such a large amount for his hands..I did not understand at the time. I though to myself the behavior wasn’t typical though. But typical is boring, right?

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Thinking of you, Avonte…

I get to hug and kiss my son before he goes to sleep tonight. I am blessed beyond words. I can not begin to imagine the horrible pain that Avonte’s parents are going through now and ever since he went missing on October 4th, 2013. It is sad and truly heartbreaking to say the least. Not knowing the whereabouts of your son for months. Days and nights searching everywhere. This is a very tragic story. They are very strong parents because I do not know how I would have held it togethjer especially after the news of remains being found and waiting for DNA testing. I did not personally know Avonte but it hits home because my son has autism too.Avonte was unable to speak. I am so blessed that my son can speak. I though waiting almost 4 years was a long time to hear him talk. Anyways…

I have written a few blogs about Avonte in the past in hopes of someone reading and noticing to pass on the information to bring the boy safely home to his family. I have always prayed for him and his family. He has always been on my mind. When I read the news the other day, my heart just ached. I did not want to believe it. I do not want to imagine anyone harming a child especially a child with severe autism that is unable to speak. The thought is horrifying. Children are innocent. As we wait to find out the DNA results, I pray for his family and if it was Avonte that was found, I pray that he did not suffer. I can not imagine. Not at all. As a mom with a son who has autism. I do not want to. I can not help but be affected by this. No parent should have to go through this. Never. Ever.

This was something that could have and SHOULD HAVE been prevented. So many questions..I beleive the school has a lot of explaining to do. It can never bring a child back but they fall on total lack of responsibility. How do you let a child LEAVE the school ALONE, UNATTENDED? How is a child who has severe autism left alone when he is supposed to have care in school and a teacher with him at all time? What was up with those cameras? Really!!?? We all see this baby leaving the school..why??? Why wasn’t he stopped? Why was he left alone?  Ugh!!! God bless Avonte and give his parents strength during this unimaginable time or heartache and pain.

We send our children to school to be taken care of by professional and dedicated people who have the child’s best interests and well being in mind. What has happened here? Why has the system failed this family? I want to know and have a desire to know as a mommy, as a teacher and as a concerned human. These kind of things do not just happen and this is NOT just a mistake that can be brushed off. Yes we are all human and we are wired for being imperfect but this is totally unjust. A school, in New York..and no one, not a soul was there to see this boy leave out the door? What a shame.

Parents, hug and kiss your children tonight and tell them how much you love them.

As a teacher, other people’s worlds are in my hands and care and I promise to love them as my own and protect them from harm. I will be there for them, never to leave them alone. I would want and DO want teachers and therapists to do this for my son and I believe they do. I am blessed to have  a great team supporting my son and his journey.

Avonte, God bless you. I have never met you but I just know you are Awesome. Peace. Love. Awareness. You have touched the lives of many. You did not have to speak, your eyes said it all. Peace and love to your family- especially mommy and daddy. We are all hoping for a safe return home. And, if your home coming has already passed and you are with Our Heavenly Father, please protect and watch over your family sweet angel. But still, there is Hope. Love Wins Always.