Every year, I ramble on about how I want today to stop being about awareness and start being about acceptance. Today, I walk the talk. In the last year, I’ve moved from being only a mom obsessing about every new scientific advance and behavioral therapy, agonizing over how what I’ve read can help my son, to being a paraprofessional – applying my obsessive knowledge outside my family. It’s been really healthy for me. It’s given me an outlet for what I’ve learned that is more productive and it’s given me a better perspective on how we’re doing as a family. And I’ll say that my son is doing very, very well.
Here’s how I spent my Autism Awareness Day.
Woke my son for school by rubbing his arm, whispering his name and promptly leaving the room with no extraneous conversation. Waited for him to be ready to get out of bed and walk to the kitchen.
Made a bagel and gave him the choice of peanut butter or cream cheese as a topping.
Printed out his daily schedule, giving him time to look it over during breakfast.
Prompted G to dress and brush teeth.
Helped him tie on his new boots, the extra stiff ones that will hopefully help to keep his toe-walking to a minimum.
Drove him to school, reminding him to use his words when frustrated instead of hitting with his hands.
Grabbed a cup of coffee before heading to work.
Picked up my student and took him for his 15 minute sensory break. Did a puzzle while lying on his belly in a sling/swing, did football and superman exercises, and deep pressure exercises. Finally, ended with jumping jacks on the mini-tramp, focusing on getting his arms and legs moving at the same time.
Dropped my student off with the speech therapist and led a book club with six of his classmates.
Picked up my student, practiced his oral presentation on Cheese (food projects) several times. Focused on enunciating the words and facing his imaginary classmates.
Read books in between practices, working on sounding out unfamiliar words for independent reading rather than asking and memorizing.
Sat with my student while some of his classmates shared their food presentations.
Realized he wasn’t engaged in the presentations and wrote a social story about how to listen to classmates projects and how to fill out the simple response form after the presentation.
Sent him to recess, sat with the neurotypical students who also didn’t understand how to fill out the response forms and were missing recess until they were completed.
After sending the NT kids out for what was left of recess, quickly ate my lunch, performed my recess duty while my student was at lunch, came in to find he’d left the cafeteria while the lunch monitor was distracted and was unaccounted for.
Located my student in the hallway by the bathrooms, brought him back to the classroom for story time, helped him through the post-story comprehension activity by asking prompting questions and turning the activity into a challenge rather than drudge work.
Sent him off to PE with his class and ended my 4 hour work day.
Next I’ll pick up my son, prompt him through his homework and wait for the babysitter’s arrival so I can begin my weekly date-night with hubby.
So how was your World Autism Awareness Day?