Saturday, February 25, 2017

Temple Grandin

Autism in the Family is an incredibly apt title of the conference I'll be attending today.

Temple Grandin is the headliner. Her mother will be there too, and I am intensely interested in hearing what she has to say, as autism is indeed in my family, which has disintegrated, despite best efforts to prevent its happening.

A few thoughts about Temple Grandin:

  • I first heard about her from my son's helpful and informative pre-school teacher.
  • I have long wanted to see her in person and hear her speak live. Being able to do so today is an incredible moment for me.
  • If you don't know her, this is a great place to start: Temple Grandin Trailer
  • I wonder what she considers talking points for autism for parents and educators.
After so many years in isolation, I am looking forward to being in a room of other people who get it, and have lived their experiences with autism and "Different, Not Less".

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Freedom to Pursue Curiosity

Our fascination with Alexa continues. James is using this voice interface to look up definitions, something we struggled with when using a book. Now, he puts his energy into reading all the definitions and choosing one to write down.

Instead of getting hung up on the fine motor skills that frustrate him when using a dictionary, James can work independently, and is curious about words and definitions. This sometimes leads to questions and discussions, which I think is great.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Sensory Overload and Touch

I see this and am reminded of Temple Grandin and her explanation of deep pressure touch as a way to calm sensory overload:

James was under his heavy fleece blanket for quite a while tonight, laughing and cutting up over a book I'd downloaded for his Kindle. It was quite noisy in the house tonight and this was his response. Gradually, he was just singing to himself. He came out from under to see what I was up to:

Sunday, February 05, 2017

So Proud

James is receiving grades for the first time. I received a photo and text on my phone from his aide this week. Someone got a 3.6 GPA.
This is the boy who kept his speech therapist guessing for over six months whether he would ever talk. The child who some special educators assured me was intellectually incapable of learning or doing math. The guy once labeled trouble, disruptive, and literally put out in the hall and otherwise sidelined against his abilities and legal rights to suit school administrators until his family and support team stepped in to back him up.

His learning and communication are unique. He is unique. So proud he is still learning and growing.