Jorge Juan was very busy today…So here it goes; he just said he wanted to help me with the keys,. So, the following is straight from him.
ghhghhgmtoycar – Here he was figuring out where the letters are and looking to spell words. So, here we have toy and car. He is so excited about this.
jorge loor juan – Here he typed his name all by himself. Cute, first, last, middle but he is quickly learning to locate the keys, which is awesome.
fast cat loor dadgog hog gungum -He was excited about typing some words here. He already memorized the space bar and backspace keys. He finds this enjoyable and he is learning. It is really awesome to watch him do so. The lap top is very different from his tablet. He likes the feels of the keys. It is a really neat experience that should happen more often especially since we are in a technology mode everywhere we go.
As he was looking and searching the keyboard, he was sounding out the letters. I bet he is going to ask again tomorrow to type some more. That is great thought. He is understanding more now that I am sharing his story and telling you all about him. well in his mind, he is on the internet and I put him on a website : ) Too cute!!!
Yesterday, Jorge Juan went to karate. He did fairly well despite the fact that he did not receive the reward lollipop. I understand that but he did do better than the last several times. We went shopping at a few stores and he only had a mild tantrum because he wanted to go in the dollar store. He lived. He got over that after the fact that my mom took him while I was grocery shopping. All was well in his world because he met up with me with his plastic bag filled with a book, a box of fruit snacks and a fishing game. Well, 5 out of 6 packs of Angry Birds fruit snacks were eaten before we got home and the fishing game is missing in action, unopened. The book, he put the stickers in last night and that was that.
He watched some cartoons today and paled a lot. he also did his own little project with sand and water, he loves sensory and hands on play. He also practiced writing and read 2 short stories. He was active all day but went to bet a few minutes earlier than usual after a nice bath. Sometimes this little dud gives me a run for my money but I would never change him for the world. He is unique. He does not like tags on clothes or on any stuffed animal or toy at all. He stims from excitement and runs back and forth. He is repetitive with his questions. Lately, he has been keeping us on our toes. He has been over stimulated but all in all, he is an empathic, loving child with a heart of gold.He is on the autism spectrum and he is mine. Thank You God.
I am coming to the end of week 4 for this module. It is the very last class, EDU 699. My Capstone Project class. I am working on my thesis/project. It is a lot of work and dedication but it will be so worth it. It will all pay off. I am going back and forth, doing different things that correlate with my project, this is so that I do not get overwhelmed. I have created a site, as a part of my project. It is called http://www.constructivekinder.weebly.com and as of now, the site is in its very early stages. I am figuring everything out. I also have to put together my Kindergarten curriculum and write a paper about it. So in all I have to design my product. I also have to present it and that would be in the written form. That is how I chose to do it. Also, I am going to showcase it using the website in which I am creating. It is a long process but everything is coming together. I have the printed syllabus with me as a guide. Also in EDU 698, I had written a whole plan on my project where I researched my subject and followed a time line. There is about 4 weeks left until graduation. It is getting exciting because I will get to present my work for others to see. My chosen subject is a great passion of mine. I love early childhood education. It is great. I am developing a Kindergarten curriculum that is based on the constructivist theory of education. All about more hands on activities and integration of play into academics.It is awesome. I can not wait to share it with you all soon. My plan alone was about 16 pages, just to give you an idea of what I am in for : ). It is helpful because it is used as a guide. I also am creating and collecting artifacts. This has to be top notch. It is my very last class. One day, maybe I will go for my Phd or EdD…hmm do not want to think about that yet. Surviving a Masters curriculum is a constant learning experience to say the least. I am doing it for me, for the future of education. I have learned so very much this past year. Education is imperative. Education is diverse. It is something that we all need. I thrive on it. If it was too easy, it would not be as worth it. My concentration is in teaching and learning. I have gained a lot of respect for the many different teaching styles as well as learning styles that exist. I want to be in the evolution of education.
I am so proud of JJ. He now has an orange belt in Tang Soo Do Karate. He is advancing and doing very well. He was very excited to receive his promotion. But one thing, he has been acting out quite a bit lately. He has been having a negative attitude when returning from school and in the morning when he first wakes up. Usually he is very good when waking up and happy to be home after getting off the bus. We are thinking that he is taking on the behavior from another child/children in his class. Not sure about that. Some of the words he uses as well do not seem like his own either. Also in therapy while waiting for his OT, he copied the bahavior of another child who entered the room screaming and then proceeds to pick up a plastic child size chair and throw it. I saw how JJ watched him and studied what the other child was doing. He then went and did the same thing. The mother noticed and apologized to me. I tole her no worries. I know how children can be at times. Sometimes it was easier for me to have a classroom of 22 five year olds than to manage my son even though my background and undergraduate degree is in Child Studies. Could it be a mother’s weakness? Sometimes I have been puzzled because I try hard to understand autism. I try not to be over protected. I want him to feel as any other child would and have the choices as a typical child may have. I do not feel sorry for my son. He is strong and a blessing from God. I know that he will always be protected from up above. i try not to worry how the world would perceive him in the future because I have faith in his abilities. I have faith is people’s awareness of others on the spectrum and most of all I have faith that God works wonders and makes no mistakes, ever. He is a really good child. I am just guessing that this is a little road bump and that is all. That is what I believe to be true. I am also thinking it could be over stimulation as well. He has been covering his ears a lot lately. He gets scared when the music is too loud at karate or when all the kids are screaming and kicking and punching. If it continues I will have to take him to the ENT. Also because he wants the volume higher than usual when watching TV. I pray that his tubes served him well and nothing more is needed. Overall, I thank God that he is healthy and is able to walk, talk and see. beyond blessed. Autism come sin many packages and can change from day to day.
I am working together with his teacher and speech therapist at this time to make a visual activity chart for him. The reason is because he asks the same questions over and over about what is going to happen next and what will happen after that etc. Also, he always asks, over and over again, where are we going, after that where, and after that and so on.. She believes it stems from the anxiety of not knowing what will happen next and the need to know exactly what will happen next. She has given me some tips and clues which is awesome because her degree is in ASD/special education. I will let you know how that goes.
We made it from Connecticut to Florida and back driving. We took a road trip to Disney World for Spring break. It was a 22 hour trip but really did not seem that long. Jorge Juan was awesome. He did very well. I was so surprised at how well he maintained himself. He slept. He kept busy. He played. He watched out the window. I was really proud of him. He made the trip easier. It is a long way for anyone especially a child and one who is on the spectrum at that. We stopped plenty of times to eat and take a break. Jorge Juan enjoyed it all along the way. He brought along his backpack of toys but did not need to take them all out. He was good with a few of them. He never once complained but did cry to sit all the way in the back. He did not want to sit in the middle. He insisted on being all the way back. So once he sat there, he was fine. Very surprised he lasted that ling. It still amazes me. I would have never imagined bringing him on a road trio a couple years ago. Even now we did not know what to expect but everything worked out because we had faith in it.
So we made it to Disney. We all loved it. By the end of the day we were super exhausted. Jorge lasted all day. We were there for about 11 hours walking around and such. He walked the entire time. Of course taking sitting breaks on the trolley and train but other than that Jorge Juan walked and walked without crying or complaining. We were so blessed. It was amazing. Not even once did we need to think of tenting a stroller. The excitement took over him. It was great. Very tiring but all worth it. I forgot, as many times I do, that my son is on the autism spectrum. It amazes me. There are days I do not even think about autism. There’s always a bright side to it all. I wouldn’t change my son for the world. What a difference early intervention and therapies make along with unwavering faith and determination. We will succeed.
So he got to meet Woody and Jessie. Mickey!! We saw him too along with others. It was a very memorable experience that I wish all children can have. He asked a million questions there and back, lined up his toys at the vacation home, flapped here and there but that’s just him. He is a boy first, autism is secondary and nothing will stop him. Going back a few years, I remember hearing silence. He wasn’t soeaking yet. So, these questions upon questions are blessings in disguise and are very welcome even when we do not have the answers.
I love my piece of the puzzle. Everyday is a new experience and we learn so many valuable things from him. We do not know what we would do without Jorge Juan. We have seen many challenging days in the past. We have seen many appointments. We have seen many therapies, sessions, meetings, IEPs, sleepless nights, fidgeting, flapping, stunning and so on. But we made it through. As I look back, it made us stronger. When Jorge was not speaking, I did not know when he would be able to or if he would be able to properly but I just knew I had to hear his voice. As always, I will still be his voice. Spreading autism awareness. There’s no discrimination. It is a whole spectrum. It is diverse. Education is key.
Forget what you hear about Autism Every child on the spectrum is different. Forget the autism myths. Ask questions. Open doors. It is not a disability but a super ability. It does not have a certain “look”. If you saw my son, would you know?
JJ has been super excited and very happy because his little cousin from Ecuador has been here to visit. They have been playing and having fun. They have been learning so much from one another. It is so sweet. They love each other and are more like brother and sister. JJteaches her English and she talks to Jorge Juan in Spanish. He is developing and socializing, which is awesome. He has company. I feel awesome because he always asks me and my husband for a brother and sister. Always. And..by always I mean every day.
He is very affectionate and loving. We have him out of school for this week and he has still been learning and exploring so much. He has his school work packet from his teachers. Can’t wait to share with you all what we have been up to this past week. Lots of great things. We are blessed. Autism will never stop JJ..never.
I want to take this time to thank all of you who read and follow my blog. It really means a lot. Not only do I want to share Jorge Juan’s autism journey but I want to spread awareness and give hope to everyone out there who has a child or children who are on the autism spectrum. As always, faith and patience. Love and hope. It gets better. It is about the journey not just the destination. Those days days make us stronger and appreciate the good days more. Never give up. Ever.
Any questions or comments? Please feel free to contact me.
Dany Loor B.S. Child Studies , M.Ed.
It is OK with me if Jorge Juan wants to wear the same T-shirt for a couple days in a row and also if he wants to wear miss-matched socks. It is a part of having an opinion and say in things. It is OK with me if Jorge Juan wants to jump on his bed and put stickers all over his wall, it is a part of self expression. It is OK if Jorge Juan does not eat all of his dinner because he loves to drink water and he lets us know when he is hungry. No one wants to be forced to eat, so it is OK. It is OK for Jorge Juan to want long hair, therefore we will not force hi to cut it. This is also a part of his identity and self expression which is very important to children. It is OK if Jorge Juan wants to wear clothes that do not match because he is getting the opportunity to make a choice based on his likenesses. It is OK for Jorge Juan to have fun, play and make a big mess. It is important not to stop the learning and playing process. That is a child’s work. It is OK for him to also help clean and have responsibilities. It is OK if he wants to write his name like this, JoRge because he is writing well and has advanced well in his fine motor skills. It is OK for Jorge Juan to get dirty, after all that is what soap is for. He can dig for worms, play outside, run, make a mess of his clothes because he is healthy enough to do so and that is also what being a child is about. It is OK if he does not want to complete his homework all at one sitting. Children need breaks, mentally, physically and emotionally just as we do. It is OK if Jorge Juan watches TV because he can learn a lot from quality programming and also because he loves to read, a lot. It is OK for Jorge Juan to not take a bath every single night, he is a kid but he does know the importance of brushing his teeth and going to the dentist. It is OK for Jorge Juan to play game son his tablet and also to play in a kitchen area holding a doll baby if he so chooses to. It is all about imagination and the learning of life skills. It is OK for him to voice his opinion and feelings as they need to be validated as any other person’s. It is OK for him to eat candy and pop corn because he loves to eat fish (I do not, my husband does) and eats lots of raw fruits and vegetables. It is OK for Jorge Juan to color minions red and the Hulk black if he chooses to. It is creativity and thinking outside the box. It is OK for him to pretend play using figures, blocks, spoons, sticks, cups or anything else that is not a traditional “toy”. This is where great learning happens. It is OK for him to slide down the stairs, after all it is beneficial for children to engage in risky play. It is OK for Jorge Juan to be friends with all types of children despite gender, race or religion. It is OK for him to say that he does not want to go to school. We all have our days where we are just tired and want to stay in bed. It is OK for him to watch the same movie time after time because he made the choice to do so. It is OK if he stims in public, burps or farts, as long a she holds his manners and says excuse me, for the latter 2 of course. He shall never have to be made ashamed for stimming and people see him as I will never try and stop him.
And it is OK that he is on the autism spectrum because look at all he can do. It is a blessing. He just does not have special needs, he has all the needs and desires of typical children everywhere.
Jorge Juan has to know everything that we are going to do when we are going to do it. Not only that, he has to know what we are doing after that and then he will ask after that what is going to happen. Also, he likes to ask the steps of things like what the first step is to making dough. When I tell him, he wants to know the second and other steps. He now always asks when there is school sndvwhen there is not and also why. Jorge Juan also likes to know what things are made of and why. He asks hundreds of questions a day. Countless questions, really. He is super inquisitive and has a need to know the way things work and are. He always needs confirmation by saying “right mommy” and even when I say yes, he asks my husband “right daddy?”. If we do not say it loud enough, he will ask until we say it again. I wouldn’t change a thing. I thank God that he can speak. I remember the days of waiting for him to even day his own name. He has come a long way. Hope. Faith. Love. Determination. Dedication. That’s what it takes. Treating autism as a blessing in disguise because from diagnosis and even before, it is a learning experience and a journey that can only be measured in love.
Jorge Juan is very excited that our family is here from Ecuador. He is super happy that he has his cousin, who is 7, to play with. They get along very well. Both of them have been taking good care of Jorge’s guinea pigs. Jorge Juan is an only child so to have another kid in the house makes him excited. he has been flapping here and there and continuously jumping out of happiness. he almost had a sensory overload. He is becoming sensitive to sounds again. Loud yells and screams at karate class, he covers his ears. When flusing the toilet, he covers his ears. Now he has not been doing that for a very long time and it started up once again. When I use the Vitamix in the morning to make juice, he has to covers his ears and runs to the living room. Thank God he has not had any ear infections or any problems with his ears ever since he had the tubes put in his ears. Since then, they have fallen out. So far so good.
He had a trip to the dentist the other day. Words cannot describe how proud my husband and I are. There are really no words to describe it. Jorge did an amazing job. Smiling and laughing the whole way through. He even wanted to get x rays of his teeth. he did not need them so the hygienist took an x ray of his finger. he loved it so much. At the end, he got not one, but three toys for doing an amazing job. It was his first real dental cleaning and it was a true success. We are really blessed. He cannot wait to go back again. That day, he had a great day the whole way through and it started from him picking out his clothes for school since he did not have to wear his uniform. He was happy about that and even stated that he was different.
Days like that I forget that he has autism. Usually I do not even think of it any more. To me he is just a kid. He is my child and he is the best he can be in my eyes and i would never want to change hi for the world. Autism is a blessing in disguise. It was not always so but I thank God for Jorge Juan every day. He can see, hear, walk, play and is healthy. What more can I ask for?
Wow!! 50, I can not believe it. I never would have thought to be sharing Jorge Juan’s journey in so many parts. I never thought I would have a blog in the first place either. It is amazing for all of the support. Thank you for reading. It really means a lot.
Jorge Juan was so tired this morning and he did not want to go to school. We woke up 20 minutes late but got ready in time for the school bus to pick hi up. All the while he was saying he wanted to sleep and rest. Usually he is sleeping by 8:30 but he stayed up later than that last night. there was supposed to be a huge snow storm, so I thought no school and he could stay up later to pig out on some frozen pops we made at home (shared on http://www.facebook.com/loorducation) as well as popcorn all while watching The Lion King. Although he fell asleep halfway into the movie, he was sleepy and needed more rest in the morning. He had a long day yesterday playing, moving and shaking the whole day through while having fun. He did not want to go to school but I can say that I am blessed because he is a morning person after all and did not give too much trouble at all getting ready. He cheerfully greeted his bus driver and was excited that the bis monitor was finally back from maternity leave.He got to wear red and white today to honor Dr. Seuss and is excited for tomorrow which is crazy hat day.
He did his homework very well today. I can see that his fine motor skills have developed a lot. His coloring is getting so much better along with his writing. He is doing it with ease now as before it would be frustrating for him. He is showing great interest in homework. He loves to read his take home book and impressed me today after he completed a book. He was able to retell the whole story to me, in his own words using great details. He is enjoying making up his own sentences as he practices his letter board words. This makes me very happy and proud. I love that he is developing such a great love for learning. His vocabulary is expanding and when he speaks, he uses such descriptive language that leaves me in awe. He is a great kid. He loves life so much. We can learn a lot from him. He gives some lessons that are harder than any EDU class. Every step is worth it. With love, hope, dedication and faith, my child is progressing and so can yours. Never, ever give up. Give anything, but up!! You can do it, look at Jorge Juan, he is doing it. Greater days are coming. Thank God for today.
Autism is a journey and not a life sentence. Many, many days I “forget” that Jorge Juan has autism. I see him stim, I smile. the day goes on.