He is so sweet. Jorge Juan did not want to leave me alone in the house this morning because Daddy was not home from work yet. We went outside to wait for the school bus. He was happy. He got on the bus anyway. I told him I was going to be fine. He quickly shoved a small Buzz Lightyear into his jacket pocket and was ready to go. He has a friend on the bus that always waves to me. Today, I thought this little boy was waving but when I got a closer look, I realized that he was stimming and I looked and a tear began to fall. I understand it. I have seen it in my home. I see it in my home and wherever my son feels excited. I understand what this boy was doing but I still teared up. It is because I understand him and others who see him may not. they may make fun of him and judge him. My heart ached and when I told my husband, I was crying. I thought that it is not fair, people and children may not understand and they ay pick on him or whatever. It hit close to home because Jorge Juan is on the spectrum. He is my heart and if someone saw him stimming, what would they say/ What would they think? I just pray that when my husband and I are not around him that there are people around him who love and care for him. People that understand and respect him and will make him feel comfortable.
All children deserve to be comfortable and valued. My son does not have a disability, he has a super ability. I would not want to change his journey. I would rather change the world for him than change him for this world. I am his advocate, always. It is more than autism awareness, it is autism acceptance. I thank God for where my son is today because it has not always been that way. I have never prayed for a cure because he is an intelligent, loving, caring, sweet boy- there is nothing “wrong”. I have faith that things will get better because they have not just because of therapies, etc. No, it is faith and love , first and always. There are breakthroughs, yes I believe. But if autism has made my son the boy he is today, then we are here to stay.
This is his journey. Thank you for being a part of it.
Jorge Juan lost his first tooth!!! Exciting time, yes it has been. The tooth was MIA for a day but we got it back in a ziploc bag! Awesome, we were waiting for it. For several weeks, Jorge’s front bottom tooth has been wiggly. Every single day I would have to check his wiggly tooth (only after measuring his muscles and height, and yes this was an everyday thing). So, the tooth was super wiggly but I thought it would be at least another week or so before it popped out. So, the tooth came out two days ago at school. He came speeding off the bus exclaiming that his tooth came out. Wow, it was awesome to see him excited. He said the tooth was in his folder, but we could not find it anywhere. My husband even called his teacher. Mr. G said he would look for it on the playground but he told me Ms. P had the tooth. Anyway, Jorge told us he lost the tooth because he bit into his apple then he pulled it out and the other version was that he was on the playground and bumped something and his tooth fell out. Jorge gave the tooth to the aide…OK, so he came home that day with no tooth, kind of upset because he thought it was in his folder and he wanted to put it under the pillow so the tooth fairy could come and give hi some money. At first, he only wanted coins but that quickly changed. Anyway, Jorge came home with his missing tooth inside of a ziploc bag yesterday, it was in his folder. His teacher wrote a note saying that somehow it made its way out but anyhow yay!!! the tooth is here.
So we talk about the tooth fairy. He was excited and we even made up a song to sing so the tooth fairy would arrive while he was sleeping. We put the tooth under the pillow. We left it in the bag and taped the bag to his mattress so there would be no chance of him losing it another time, lol. So he said he wanted paper money. He quickly and eagerly went to bed and slept on his pillow. The Tooth Fairy snuck in his room, grabbed his tooth and put a 20 dollar bill in the bag. The Tooth Fairy was going to give him 10 but I guess there was no time to go to the bank. Phew, we made it. I believe we were just as excited as him about this. So..Jorge Juan wakes up at 6;30 n the morning calling me. So my husband and I jump out of bed, we knew what it was. He was so happy telling us that the tooth fairy had left him a dollar. Yes, he still thinks it is a dollar only because it is a single bill. It is too cute. So, while waiting for the bus, Jorge Juan told me that the Tooth Fairy looked like Cinderella with wings. Ahh..just as I imagined. And she even talked to him as he noted she told him he was being good and listening so he gets one cent. Too funny. So, the case of the missing tooth has been solved. And now it is n safe keeping.
Now, if I did not tell you, would you know my son has autism?
Children are innocent. Their innocence is priceless, magical. It needs no other labels. A “typical” experience for a “non typical” child. I love my indigo!! To be a child..To find happiness in every little thing. It is pure magic. They have so much to teach us. My best professor yet and I always get an “A” .
It is the middle of the week. Only a few days left of class. My last class. My very last class, EDU699. I am down to the bare wire. I sit here in Barnes and Noble because I cannot seem to focus at home. Things have come together with my project theses last days. I have gotten a lot done, but there is still more. I have to do more. I have to work on my report part of the project and it is not bad at all, it is just to get the words on paper, that is it. A lot has gone into my Capstone Project, a lot. A lot of time, energy, research, just to name a few things but I know it will pay off. Anything worth having takes a lot of passion and energy. I know that I put Love into it so I know that Love must come out of it. The anxiety tends to rise but at the same time there is peace because I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have come a long way. It is becoming real. There is a tremendous amount of pressure. I am not sure if it is because of time restraints or knowing and expecting for my work/project it has to be achieved on a Master Level. I want to really earn my degree. i just do not want to complete the last project just to have it done. I want to put all I have and all I can into it. That is what I have been doing. I know I will make it. The last days, especially on this level, are the busiest. I will let my passion drive me. It is worth it. It is all worth it when things are created with passion. It takes a lot out of you when you put a lot in but the rewards are going to be Ah-mazing!! And..as crazy as it is I would not have it any other way at all. Good in..Good out. I am happy and excited that I would be getting the chance to share my project with all of you. I started Loorducation from scratch, from a blank slate on every level. I had an idea (or a million) and I am running with them. I am creating from the heart. Check out part of the journey on http://www.facebook.com/loorducation. It is great sharing my experiences with you all hoping that I am able to inspire on different levels. I want to make a difference, not just in my world but in the world around me.
Remember- Peace , Love and Education.
Thank you for reading and being a part of something dear to my heart and soul.
Give anything, but up!!! I will run with my only 2 speeds in life, Give FORWARD and pay BACK.
I always say my son or when it is “needed” I say my son has autism or is autistic. Many times I do not have to or need to and just at sometimes I feel the need to specify that my son is indeed on the spectrum. I am very thankful that he is high functioning but when I use the term autism I do not have the need or desire to specify that he is high functioning. I just thank God everyday that Jorge Juan has made so many advances as well he continues to strive and shows progress in many areas. Other than being on the spectrum, he is a “typical” five year old. He loves to play in the dirt, ride his bike, watch cartoons, go to the park and do many things as any child would do. Sometimes, he just does it in a special way, in his own way. That is OK by me. I believe in him. I believe in his abilities in which no label will ever stop him from achieving his dreams and goals. I am proud that he is on the spectrum and proud that he advanced along the spectrum considering when he was initially diagnosed – he did not speak, and was “somewhere towards the middle or beyond” on the scale. He surprised the exact neurologist that defined him at three years old. Last year, he stated Jorge Juan was not showing many symptoms at all of autism and if he did not know any better he would say no to autism. Where did it go? Where did the autism go? Does not matter because my son is happy and healthy and I thank God all the time that we never subjected to medicating him by any means (as once suggested by the neuro due to a melt down in his office). So here I am with a 5 year old Kindergarten boy who loves taking the bus to school and making new friends, a boy who loves to eat snacks and do projects, a boy who shows an appreciation and love for learning and oh yeah, he happens to have autism. No need to specify that he is HF, none at all. Parents of typical children do not state that their children are typical or low functioning typical or whatever- too many labels.
This was back in December when Jorge Juan received his first Tiny Tiger promotion for Tang Soo Do Karate. Since then, Jorge has received a 2nd promotion. He is now a Tiny Tiger Orange Belt.
Autism. Autism. Autism.
I know what it is in my home. I know how it affects my child. I am an expert of autism, but only for my son. I am not an expert for others. I am an advocate for my son. I am an advocate for others as well. I am educated and professional but I am not an expert on autism around the globe but rather only in my home. My part of the spectrum. The world we live in. Autism is different in every child. It is a wide spectrum with varying degrees. I know what autism is like in our home. I know what a melt down is. I know what a sensory over load is. I know what may provoke stimming, in my home. Yes, there may be many characteristics that autistic children share such as lining up toys and objects, flapping etc.That is only the tip of the iceberg. Autism is a puzzle. Where does it come from? Where is it going? Autism is a word, it is not a sentence. It changes lives. It brings new perspectives. Autistic children can teach us so much if we let them and we should. I am very lucky to have first hand experience with autism, that is not anything that I could ever learn in school. My undergraduate degree is Child Studies and I had a course on Teaching the Exceptional Child but it is nothing like living with autism all day every day. I know children. I know autism but I am only an expert with my ASD son. I can give advice. I can get to to the right sources and feel confident in doing so. You know your child, you are the expert on autism in your home. Do not let a doctor tell you differently. We can share autism stories and find out we have many similarities but our children are unique, our gift from God.Jorge Juan is my piece to the autism puzzle and I would not have it any other way.
An autism diagnosis is just that. It is what we do right after that,that counts.It is moving forward with hope.Do not let anyone stop you. I am my son’s advocate, his voice. I will use my voice until I no longer can to stand up for his rights. I hope you do the same and never let anyone make you think twice about the capabilities that your child may possess.Remember you are the expert for your child, not a doctor. Never let a doctor convince you that your child needs to be place don medication just from their brief visit with them. Never. I remember when the neuro wanted to put my son on meds because my son was having a meltdown in his office. Not one type but two!1 I said no way, never. I will explain my child to the world if need be. Ask me questions, do not ignore him, do not stare. Yes, he flaps, stims, repeats, etc and the whole nine yards. So what!! You know what else he does? He wakes us up saying I love you Mommy, I love you Daddy. He tells us he love us all day randomly. He loves to cuddle, snuggle and he loves and believes in God. That is what counts, autism does not.
An autism diagnosis is not the end of the world, it is just the beginning of a whole new world waiting to be explored. Go for it, you will be glad you did. Never let an autism diagnosis kill your hopes and dreams for your child, I know I did not and never will. He already wants to be a cowboy, astronaut and whatever else his heart desires. My little puzzle piece fits wherever he believes that he belongs.
Less than 2 weeks!! I can not believe how time has flown by. In just a blink of an eye it seems, sometimes. Other times, it seems like it takes forever. I do not wish to rush time or wish that I would hurry up and finish this ASAP because once I am done, I will miss it. I will miss being in class and doing homework. I believe that to be true. Since this is my very last course, EDU699, it is bittersweet. It seems like forever that I have been in school studying and working. It is what I know, what I love, no matter how complicated it may seem and get. I love being in school and at the same time I am ready to be done, not rushing it, but ready. I am not sure if or when I will ever go for a PhD or another type of doctorate. I may need a brain break for now and much needed time to expand professionally. There is a lot that goes into trying to be successful and it is not for the weak. At this time last year, I started my Masters in Education program. Almost a whole year has come on by. I have been so busy to realize the time, maybe that is such a great thing because along the way my family and I went to Ecuador and a few weeks ago we went to Disney World for Spring Break. I am very blessed. I have been feeling quite anxious because of the time and how much that I still need to do. I just have to stop and breathe and realize how far I have come. It is all worth it. Anything in life worth having takes effort, commitment, discipline, work and faith. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to obtain my degree and I will pay it forward. My only speeds in life are give BACK and pay it FORWARD. I will always try my best to do both. My husband and son are such inspirations and I thank God everyday for them.
Giving up is easy..going forward may not be so easy but it WILL be worth it.
Thank you all for reading,
Time to keep on going and get a move on it. Success is waiting and it is always around the corner.
One day there are going to be some people saying they are autistic or that their child is or may be on the spectrum because it is “cool”. No one knows where autism comes from yet the rates of autism are increasing drastically over time. As of today, the numbers seem to be 1 in 68 children. Autism is not a disability. To me, it is a different ability. An ability so intense that it has yet to be understood. An ability so complex, the origin has yet to be found. My son has autism. Yes, he is autistic. I would not trade it for the world. I would much have my son be a kind hearted gentle soul than a rude and selfish neuro typical child. My son is an indigo child as many children on the spectrum. Autism is not a bad word. It is something we live with everyday. I am an advocate for my son and other children on the spectrum. I am my son’s voice although he is now able to speak. I will push for what is right and just for him. I will make sure he is respected and cared for.I will educate people on his world and likenesses.
I will always stand up for his rights. I will always speak up for him and be his voice. He is meant to shine and I will never hide him from the world.
Yes, he is more than autism, so much more.
Jorge Juan usually takes the bus to school. It never showed up today. His regular driver had the day off so I am guessing the sub got lost because at 8:10, the bus still was MIA. So, I called the bus company and they asked for my son’s name, I told them and their response was Special Ed? I was taken back a little but I replied with a yes. I was calling them to cancel because I did not want my son to be picked up by a stranger. Anyways, getting back to the special ed part..I do not like the way that sounds at all. I never really have. It just does not fit well with me but I guess they still use that term. As for me, I prefer specialized instruction. That is what it is. He is receiving an education with specialized instruction. Yes, indeed my child is special in every positive way but that term special ed irks me and I realized how much it does today when the guy said “special ed” after I told him my son’s name. He has an IEP. He is an intelligent 5 year old who is eager to learn with the rest of his peers. I felt as though he was just labeled as that. He is not “that”. He is a boy who loves to read. He loves to dance, sing and play. He is a boy who has autism. Autism does not have my boy. He is a child first, being on the spectrum is last. He is a boy with autism and I want all to know that it is not the other way around. There is no autism with the boy because autism cannot survive without him.
I want people to see past the autism because that is when you truly will see an amazing child with so much to offer this world. It is more than awareness, it is acceptance. After all, my son does not like labels of any kind. I rip them off of his clothes and toys and I will continue to rip them off of him when people try to put one on him.