Updated: Jul 7, 2020
It's been a while and I'm sorry, so much has happened. Just like many of you I had to become a homeschool teacher, had to get use to everyone being in my house all the time, etc. But I do have a few updates for all of you.
Joe has been officially diagnosed with Autism. I was told that he was on the lower end and that it was more sensory and behavioral. I wasn't totally surprised I knew there was something different with Joe.
( This is where I should tell you when I state things like different, and normal, I only mean in reference to my other kids and not in a generalized way, because let's face it there really isn't such a thing as normal when it comes to human behavior. Just my opinion.)
I had been saying Joe was a little different and acted, at times, nothing like my other 2 kids. My concern now is what needs to be done to help Joe in school. I was given this list and then told to highlight his tendencies and it would help on how to break the habits:
I was surprised at home much I highlighted. I realized I had been doing some of the things already just because I knew it was thing Joe needed to do period, such as eye contact, buying more basketball shorts and sweatpants, helping him understand he needed to be more flexible with time and routine, and having him not flap his hands when he gets excited. It's been a work in progress as is any time you need to learn new things. I have been very fortunate that I've had people have either gone through this already or that are teachers (No not his 3rd grade teacher) who have researched autism and have had children in their class help me during this new time in our lives. I tried to explain it to Joe but he just sees it as nothing really special, "Oh, my hair is brown, I have blue eyes, I have autism, ok."
We go to a weekly behavioral therapy session and it goes pretty ok, I'm not really sure what it's all for because it's very simple and basic they just play games nothing too challenging. Joe did get super frustrated one day and in a weird way I was glad, let me explain. Joe was having a rough day to begin with, everything seemed like it wasn't going his way, we went to therapy and he was losing at a game they were playing and in turn lost his shit. He got super red in the face, motioned like he was going to flip the table, and started clawing at himself. I was only glad this happened because this was something that up until then the therapist had only heard about. Her seeing it for herself helped because she was able to help him in the moment instead of telling him what to do in case it happens. She showed him how to breath in and out, use a stress ball, and stand up and stretch. The following week they both made stress balls together. (That was about 2 weeks ago).
Joe passed all of his classes and is going into the 4th grade, he got accepted into the Math AIG program, and now everyone is talking about getting him into a small classroom environment for the coming year. I'm excited for Joe's new adventure but in all honesty with all the crap going on in the outside world, I wouldn't mind homeschooling for a little bit longer. Better safe than sorry.