Progress, In a Picture

This is lovely because of the progress that Ryan has made. But the first have speaks to me so much as it regards my own son. “What is important is for Ryan to understand himself, and how others perceive him. For him to be able to judge reactions and seek out as companions those who react positively to him.” So much this. For our spectrum kiddos, and for every child.

Pucks and Puzzle Pieces

Ryan and the dog This scene would have been unthinkable a few years ago.

I have a number of ideas for posts swimming in my head, but I’ve had a hard time trying to crystallize into words what we’ve seen the last several months.

Change. Progress. Self-awareness. Self-advocacy. Giving words to emotions. Yes, hormones. All at a speed that makes it difficult to process.

Some of that is the product of simply being 13, but not all. Veronica and I used to talk about how our hope was that as Ryan got older, he would gain the self-awareness that would allow him to fit in. Like many of my thoughts about autism, that has changed. We still seek self-awareness, but not necessarily so Ryan can regulate himself in an effort to be like everyone else. He’s not like everyone else, of course, and though we’ve long known that, we now understand that simply…

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how about love?

THIS – “All of these kids and adults who are searching for safe places, just tiny squares of space to be free to be themselves, to do things like sing with their entire beings and to shout with joy when the song is over and to be met with nothing but love when they do.”

Easing the Transition to a New Grade/Teacher – A Resource

I found this letter online last year and thought it was a wonderful resource. I sent it to a retired teacher friend (35 years of 3rd grade), who thought it was fantastic and wished it was something every parent would do. I put it together for my son and sent it in to his new teacher, as well as his speech and OT providers at the school. They appreciated it very much. His teacher, who had not had much experience with a student on the spectrum, told me it helped her a lot – especially with the eye-contact “thing”. Because she had and read this, she took the time to really watch when he didn’t appear to be listening. She saw that though the eye contact/APPEARANCE of attention wasn’t there, that the attention was. It really helped. I hope it can help others.

The original looks to be written by the parent, from the perspective of the child. I’ve edited it to differentiate MY observations of how my child responds from my son’s direct input and advocacy.  The top section can be personalized to add the child’s input, or to replace the parent’s observations with the child as they become more adept at communicating and advocating for themselves.

I have learned and believe it is best to separate out these perspectives – I can advocate for my child, but he has his own voice. I can’t speak for his experience directly, only my observations.

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A Letter To TheTeacher – 15 Things About My Child Continue reading

Autonomy is an intrinsic right.

I can’t put into words how much I love this post. 🙂

Behind starburst eyes

A week ago I was putting away Miss. G’s laundry when I heard Mr. C in the next room asking her for a kiss. I heard her cute little “no” and I heard him continue to ask and try to get her to give him a kiss.

I called him into the room I was in to talk with him about it. I gently explained that she has the right to dictate what happens with her own body. That while I understand him wanting kisses from her, she has the right to decide when and with whom she will share physical affection with. I told him that when a child is forced to give affection it’s one of multiple ways they can be taught that they do not have the right to decide what should happen with their own body. That someone else, someone bigger, or older, or whatever has…

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Child Of Mine

A reason, not an excuse. An explanation, not an avoidance. A little piece of understanding of a different perspective and experience.

Try Defying Gravity

"The things that make me different are the things that make me ME!" - Piglet quote on the wall of our sensory gym “The things that make me different are the things that make me ME!” – Piglet quote on the wall of our sensory gym

Last week I got an email from one of Howie’s teachers.  She explained that they had been working on a math assessment test about money and coins.  The directions were to count the money and show your work.  The teacher said that Howie had refused to show his work. His explanation was that he didn’t have to “because I have autism.”

She wrote that they had worked through the refusal by reminding him that this was for his third grade teachers and while she knew he could do it in his head, he needed to show his new teachers that he understood the work.

Now Howie has never been a big fan of reviewing concepts.  “I already know how to do this!” is a frequent refrain when…

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Ode to the Stim: the printable sequel

Respect the stim! (It’s not like we NT’s don’t stim, we just don’t recognize it when WE do it.)

Thirty Days of Autism

I have received a number of requests for printable copies of this poem. Here it is – as a jpeg – which should be easy to print if you so choose.

Ode to the Stim - Leah Kelley Created by Lean Kelley

Again, I could write more about this… but I still think this visual pretty much sums it up for me right now. Additionally, there are already some amazing posts that say what I would like to say or consider… so I am linking them up here:

Socially Inappropriate by Musings of an Aspie

Things my autistic kids love: Public transit by Small But Kinda Mighty

Way-To-Stim Wednesday: Video Series by Anabelle Listic

Stimming by Outrunning the Storm

Quiet Hands by Julia Bascom

Enjoy!!

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30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

©Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of…

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P#ausitively Connected

My son is on the spectrum, “lightly brushed” as some would say. Diagnosed with PDD-NOS at the age of 4, when his daycare mentioned that he was “different, not sure if it’s anything, but why not get him assessed?”.  He wasn’t “symptomatic” at home – he had eye contact (with us anyway), a huge vocabulary,and was social and affectionate (still is). He’s an only child, so there was no neuro-typical yardstick to compare him to. And his parents are quirky – I’m pretty geeky, and dad’s probably skirting the edges of the spectrum himself. The diagnosis was a bit of a surprise, but not a big one. Continue reading