The Start of a Virtual Journey…

My Boy: part 1
Originally Posted on September 19, 2013 by danyloor

This was my FaceBook status a few days ago…..

2 years ago, the neurologist placed my son in the middle of the autism spectrum and yesterday, the same neurologist, said if he did not know any better he would say that my son does not have ASD as his symptoms are going away….

I received 30 likes and over 20 comments on this. I am so grateful that people took the time out to say some nice encouraging words for my son. It means a lot and is very much appreciated. For everyone that wished us well, a few seconds out of your day sending words of encouragement gives people more hope. We realize that we are all in this together.

My son was diagnosed with autism on August 9, 2011. This was a few weeks after his third birthday. He was going in for his yearly check up but this time I just knew something…..

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You see, at the time I was taking my Teaching the Exceptional Child course for my B.S. and we were focusing on Autism Spectrum Disorders. As I was learning the signs and symptoms I realized that my son was a match for nearly all of them. He was not talking. He may have said a few words here and there but that was it. He would have to hold onto toys and would get anxiety if one happened to fall out of his hands. He was afraid of loud noises and would cover his ears. Actually, my husband and I used to think he was deaf because he would not respond to us calling his name. I would literally scream out his name and he would not even budge. He would line up toys and other objects…I thought this was so cute being this was our first child and we just had no idea. He would play with toys but in some sort of way that did not seem natural, but yet again I just thought that was okay. He never really waved bye bye and when he did he would have his hands towards himself, as if he was saying bye bye to himself. I loved that so much, my baby saying bye bye. I did not know but as I was studying, I gained the knowledge I needed to bring my questions and diagnosis to the doctor.

Oh yeah, this too – he would run back and forth and would not stop, at the same time he was flapping his hands. I still did not know but all of this was coming back to me when I was studying ASD and it triggered my memory. I love my son so much and everyone would ask why he did not talk and that he should be talking and I just thought it is because he is bilingual and it just takes longer for children with two languages to process the information. In the back of my mind I would ask myself why isn’t my son talking. Here I see children younger than he is talking in complete sentences. That is my baby boy and I love him, he will talk.

So my son is not talking yet and when he wants something he will just point- only sometimes. Usually, he would just grab my hand and utter some sounds as I would see what he needed. Usually it was a snack, kids love snacks and boy did I know he wanted that cookie because that smile was worth a thousand words even though he could not tell me.

He would grasp little things and hold onto them with intensity. I just looked at him in awe. I love my son and look how engrossed he is with a tiny button, pen cap, a part to a toy- whatever it was, no matter how tiny, he was focused and wanted it. He had to hold it. That thing needed to be in his hands and if he lost it, he would have anxiety that was until we could find it again..

So, he was not hitting benchmarks and he could not hold a fork or spoon properly to feed himself but that is my son and I so love him. By the way, he said birthday cake after seeing a decoration at his party, I was amazed. That cute little pause between those words..amazing. I felt so proud of my boy. He would hum really loudly for more than 30 seconds at a time sometimes and he would run and spin in circles. He was not afraid of danger or falling.

Going back to August 9, 2011, my father in law and I brought him to the doctor and that is when…… My son IS on the spectrum…

An Ode to J.Lo…On the 6

So, do you listen to J.Lo? Remember, she popped onto the music scene about 15 years ago, and ‘On the 6’ was Jennifer Lopez’s debut album? She was on the cover of the CD, sitting on a white couch and dressed in off white. She had long brown hair and was showing off her mid drift.Some songs were good. I listened to the CD at times. Anyhow this post has NOTHING to do with her at all. Actually, this post is dedicated to my son, JJ (JLo) for his 6th birthday, which is today!!! And THAT is why I entitled this post (An Ode to J.Lo…On the 6). I figured this was the perfect fit for a day like today. A very special day. An amazing day. My son’s 6th birthday is today. Wow, time has flown on by. Today my big boy is 6 years old. So, On the 6, I want to dedicated this to my JLo, JJ. : )

Mommy and Daddy are so blessed to have a wonderful son like you.
You are amazing beyond words. You are intelligent, peaceful and loving. You make life very special. You are talented and gifted. You have so much to offer the world. To the world you may be one person, but to Mommy and Daddy, you are the world and we love you more than we can ever say. God bless you everyday and in every way.
Happy 6th Birthday JJ!!!

JJ woke up today in a great mood. He was excited for his birthday. He was happy that he got to wear his favorite Phineas and Ferb shirt and his best lobster shorts. He was surprised that Mommy and Daddy showed up at school with cupcakes and Yoohoo boxes for him and his classmates. He was thrilled that everyone sang Happy Birthday to him. He had some fun with friends and was happy for a poster board card that I made for him with puffy letter stickers and a variety of animal stickers, all in groups of 6. He called it his animal collection. He took the bus home. He was so happy to see several helium balloons all over the living room and one Spider-man balloon tied to the porch. After we ate we went out for ice cream then onto the store so he can pick out his gifts. We hit the jackpot at Toys R Us after we have been to two other stores. Anyhow, they made him feel very special there. they gave him a birthday crown, a birthday balloon and also announced his birthday over the loud speaker. It was super cool. He picked out a stuffed Pokemon backpack, a Mario Bros. Figure set and a Mario Bros. lunch bag- which he wanted to pack with food tonight. He had a tiny piece of pound cake with fresh strawberries. I gave him a nice shower after he got to relax, play with his new toys and watch some TV. He is all snuggled up in bed now tightly hugging his Pickachu after a good night kiss and prayers. He had an amazing birthday. Thank You God, he is blessed, therefore our family is blessed. thank You!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JJ, you are loved!!!
Thank you everyone for reading. We appreciate your support.

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xxoo
Dany

My Boy: Part 80..Answering Friends’ Questions

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Hello everyone!! A few of our friends sent some questions for JJ to answer. I copied his answers exactly how he replied. He sure had fun with this. he enjoyed being asked questions. He said he wanted it all day. I asked him the questions a few at a time not to overwhelm him. I will leave it up to him to be the question king. So here is goes…

The Following questions come from Dawn. Dawn is a great friend over at http://www.facebook.com/loorducation. She has an awesome page called Hardlybored.

Do you like to draw, is so what?
yes, pictures

Do you like to paint, if so what?
uh huh, pictures

Do you like to play with clay?
uh huh

Do you have a favorite story, if so what?
Yes, my favorite story is…Uh, I don’t know what my favorite story is. My favorite story is Beauty and the Beast.

Do you have any chores?
yes

Thank you Dawn. I hope you enjoy JJ’s answers. Those were good questions. Not sure why he answered Beauty and the Beast, but he did lol. We do not have that book. Maybe he read it at school. We do not own the DVD either. Maybe he picked it up somewhere. He does love to draw, paint and play with clay. Lots of sensory. His chores are to clean up, put toys away, etc. Not that he always does it : )
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The next questions come from Danielle Lewis, another friend from Facebook

Do you like to play outside? yes

What is your favorite song? My favorite song is Phineas and Ferb Birthday

Do you like to dance? yes

Thank you Danielle!! He sure does love to play outside and get dirty. He is always clowning around and dancing. As for his favorite song, I am thinking he means the theme song to that certain cartoon, just because he was about to take a break and watch it. 🙂

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This next questions come from Lisa, a very good friend of mine. She has an awesome page on Facebook called SLAP aka Strong Loving Autism Parents. You should check it out. Great page.

Do you like music? yes

What’s your favorite piece of clothing? Phineas and Ferb Mission Marvel

Do you want to go on an airplane? Yes….to Ecuador

Thank you Lisa!! Jorge loves music a whole lot, just like his daddy. He has his own hand made guitar and loves using the mic and other instruments. His fave tee is that shirt that he stated. He always wants to wear it and never take it off. He LOVES airplanes.He is always talking about going back to Ecuador all the time.

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The next questions come from a good friend of Loorducation. She has a page called Em’s Journey and she has written a book with her daughter, who like JJ, is on the spectrum.

What do you want to do when you grow up?
I want to build robots.

Tell me about your best friend. What makes them your best friend?
I don’t know..the panda on the car.

Do you like books/stories? What’s your favorite story and why?
(shakes head yes 🙂 )
Beauty and the Beast. I like the beats because he is a powerful monster.

Thank you Jen!!! He sure does loves robots. They are one of his obsessions. Always talks about them too, so I really do think he wants to build some. As for his best friend..not sure but he loves pandas and today’s thing of the day was a panda magnet that we stuck on the car. He answered Beauty and the Beast…I am going to have to get that book for him. : )

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The following set of questions come from Catherine Monroe Luther,a friend on facebook who supports our journey and page.

Who is your favorite cartoon character? Why? Phineas and Ferb, it’s Ferb. Ferb’s a cool builder. He builds robots and puts Candace in jail.

Do you love cats or dogs more? Why? I like cats and dogs and parakeets. I like hawks and pigeons and falcons. I don’t know, Mommy.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Chocolate, I like it in a cone with a cherry on top.

What is your favorite thing about Mommy?
We like taking care of you…(who?) Daddy and me : ) aww..

What is your favorite thing about Daddy?
I like playing games with him.

What makes a good friend?
Uh, I like playing games with them.

What is your favorite season? Why? Winter. Because I like playing in the snow.

Thank you Catherine!! He currently loves that character Ferb and he loves all animals, a lot. This week it is birds, all kinds, all types. All species. He will let you know the difference as well. He always says he love staking care of me and loves to be with daddy to play games. he loves all kids and babies too.

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Thank you all for reading. We appreciate the support!!!

xxoo
Dany

My Boy: Part 79 – The Interview…

Since JJ is always asking us so many questions day in and day out, I thought I would ask him some questions in an interview style. I told him that I would be sharing this all with you. He is excited about that. All of the questions that I have typed up, I have asked him. I typed his actual responses below each question. Let us know if you have a specific question that you would like JJ to answer. So here it goes…

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My interview with JJ

1. What is your favorite animal?
A Hawk

2. What is your favorite color?
BLACK and BLUE

3. What is your favorite food to eat?
Fries and Mickey Mouse Nuggets

4. What is your favorite T.V. Show?
WILD KRATTS
`Why do you like that show so much?
I like when the WIld Kratts say the features about porcupines.
`Why do you like porcupines?
I like porcupines because they have sharp quills.

5. What is your favorite thing about school?
I like eating breakfast and playing.
`What do you like to play at school?
I like to play with the dinosaurs at school

6. What do you like to do at home?
I like to play at home.
`What do you play at home?
Super Mario kart 8 (side note , we really do not have Super Mario kart 8 : )

&. What is your favorite part about a falcon?
I like when it goes fast.
A falcon is a wild bird.

9. What is your favorite book?
About the tree Frogs

10. What is your favorite place to go?
I like to go to Wendy’s.
I like to go to Costco
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11. What is your favorite snack?
Cheetos

12. What is 5 + 5?
Equals 10

13. Who is your best friend?
You (pointing to me : ) Insert AWWWWW here : )

14.What does Daddy do for a job?
Put gas in his car
`But what does he do for a job?
He goes to work.
`Where?
To work.
`Where’s work?
Far away

15. What does Mommy do?
You put gas in the car
`But what does Mommy do for a job?
You go to school for a job.

16. What is autism?
Autism awareness is about college studying.

17. Do you have autism?
yes
`What does that mean to you?
Autism means to me that I like studying to college.

TO BE CONTINUED……

I hope you enjoyed this little question and answer section. It was great to make JJ a part of this. The questions were all random and asked the moment I typed them. No particular order, theme etc. Just whatever cam to mind. What would you like to know? JJ is happy to read and respond. Thank you all for your time. Be on the look out for more great stuff coming your way. On a mission here.

Please check out http://www.facebook.com/loorducation

xxoo
Dany
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My Boy: Part 78

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This week flew by once again. Karate, ESY, library, Sensory Breaks, home therapy, reading and lots of learning and play. A little flapping here and there due to happiness and being excited. One more week of ESY and then the rest of the summer off to discover and learn more great things and to get ready for first grade. Wow, first grade already!! He is going to be six on Monday : ). Where has the time gone? He has accomplished so much since his diagnosis. My husband and I were just watching videos of JJ’s younger days. His speech has drastically improved. His hearing has improved. Also his vocabulary has increased. Lots of questions!!! Lots and Lots of animal questions everyday. I will take it. Waited a long time to hear his voice. It is all worth it. Early intervention and dedication is key when a child is diagnosed with being on the autism spectrum. It took a lot of work and specialist visits, therapy sessions, IEP meetings and so on but we would do it all over again. Patience plays a huge role. As we know as parents, it is not always easy but it is always work it. Build a strong foundation. Be an advocate. Being my son’s voice and protector. He is such an inspiration. Autism is the frosting on the cupcake. Sometimes, there may be way too much frosting and sometimes there may not be enough, but in the end the cupcake is still sweet anyhow.
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My Boy: Part 77

Today JJ went to the trampoline park. He was anxious and getting desperate upon arrival because we had to wait. He starting acting up. He was also hitting himself. He was very impatient. It was time to go in. Again, frustrated because he had to wait on line. Frustrated because he had to wait in each additional section. We got through that. A nice guy let us jump the line in one part. I guess he saw Jorge’s behaviors and felt bad for him. Anyhow we got to the open trampolines. He loved it. That’s until someone else jumped with him. He did not like that so he would growl and hiss at them. So time went on. He was jumping and enjoying now and was happy because he ran out to tell me he loves me. He went back to jumping and playing. Then a little girl came up to me to tell me Jorge keeps following her. I just smiled and looked out for Jorge. A while later a boy came to tell me Jorge was following him and I just replied, be is a small kid and not doing anything wrong. OK eyes back on JJ. A few minutes later the same little girl tells me again that JJ keeps following her and her brother and they don’t like it. Well I proceeded to tell her that he’s small and not doing anything wrong. I asked if he was hitting and he was not doing anything like that. So as she was walking away, I called her back and she came. I said that Jorge doesn’t mean to be doing that and he has something called autism. She said OK and left to get her brother. She was telling her brother what I said then I heard her say let’s go somewhere else. Now I’m not sure she knew what autism is but maybe she did. Not sure. I was going to explain it to her in simple terms. But maybe I didn’t get the chance to cause maybe I just didn’t have to. It could’ve been her brother had autism too, who knows. Maybe. There were three parents there with children on the spectrum. An autism mommy can just sense these things sometimes. I just looked at one handsome boy and said to myself he has autism. I wasn’t judging but naturally observing. Anyhow come to find out I saw him walk by with an autism shirt on. Anyway it was nice to see other autism mommies even though I didn’t interact with them. After all that JJ had a decent time and actually wanted to leave early. On the way home he asked a ton of questions, non stop. Mostly about exotic animals. We got home, the questions continued. Oh, get this, he found a piece of wood in the driveway because my husband is working on something. He proceeds to examine the wood closely. It was about a little smaller than a brick. He called it a driftwood brick. He examined it more and he then told me the wood is seven years old. He counted the rings on the edge as if it was a tree trunk. Indeed, it did have seven. I was impressed. Not sure where he got that from. But I thought it was super cool.
I’d love to hear from you. Drop us a comment.

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Thank you
Dany xxoo

My Boy: Part 76

“What is a moon’s favorite day, Mommy?”..hmm..”IT’s MOONday :). Love it!1 Absolutely love it. It really amazed me. He told me this joke, on his own, out of the blue sitting at the kitchen table. I cracked up, he cracked up. I was thoroughly impressed.Then he proceeded to tell me that the sun’s favorite day is SUNday. Each time something like this occurs, I revel over the achievements that he is making continuously and that he has been making over he years since being diagnosed with autism when he was three.Going from saying 6 words, to being nonverbal until the age of 4 and some change or so, now to completely blowing my mind with the vocabulary that he has. He is a little sponge and I feel that autism is his fuel to keep going, becoming stronger and he, too can make a difference in someone’s life because for my husband and myself; he surely has made quite the grand difference for sure. Autism will never hold him back. He is a child, first. Autism is secondary. My indigo <3. I do not want to change him but I do want to change how the world sees him. He is valuable, in fact he is priceless and has so much to offer. I am proud of my son JJ (J.lo.)
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JJ is Au-Some

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Yes, JJ is Au-some. He is doing well n ESY. Still working on him saying good morning and thank you to the bus driver. Sometimes when he comes home, he is so stimulated and excited that he does not say hello to me or my husband. We re working very diligently with him on that one. We do not want to make him feel uncomfortable but at the same time, we want him to be polite and at very least acknowledge others with a hello when he is entering a home or room. He has been enjoying the trampoline park and being with the children at the Y also. He loves being around other children as it really makes him feel good. He loves company. It is great for his social skills. Speaking of that, he has been communicating well with the other boys at karate, engaging in back and forth dialogue. He is ausome, and autism will never stop him. It will empower him, full force. I am not sure if he knows or understands that he is different. He knows he has autism but does not exactly what it means and the effect it has etc, etc. He is a healthy child and that is what matters. He is keeping busy and active this summer. On the go, learning new things. I let him be- a “typical” child. He runs, plays and all that fun stuff. He wants to be included in all things. Any child that befriends my son will be rewarded with an honest, loving caring friendship. My son is wise beyond his years. He talks and repeats and repeats and states facts about animals and that is who he is. I never knew there were so many different types of geckos or that that octopuses have tentacle regeneration or that hawks use their talons for picking up prey – I did not even know what a talon was (lol) He is my indigo baby, my gift from God. Autism is just the icing on the cake we call JJ. It is not always easy but it IS easy to love him.
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Education is…

Education is ART in its finest form. Education is everywhere. You can learn on land and in the air. Education is there, all around you, you just have to look and be curious. Even in the smallest things, there is education. It goes way beyond the walls of a classroom or school. It extends and reaches places that we have yet to see. Education begins at home, with you and me.
(to be continued…)
Dany Loor BSCS, M.Ed.