In a previous post, I talked about struggles that my son has had with his speech. He is currently four years old and struggles to communicate with me, his dad, and his peers. In addition, he has shown some signs of Autism. Finding out this news as a parent can be very difficult and no one wants their kids to suffer in any way or form. Through our primary care physician and my son’s speech therapist, we were able to schedule an evaluation and an IEP meeting to set up a plan for my son. For those who are not aware, an IEP plan (Individualized Education Program) is the written plan that shows results from the evaluation and how the school districts plans to assist your child. This evaluation allowed our son to receive pre-school services provided by the state of California. He started pre-school approximately one month ago.
His first day of school was an exciting day for our family. Another chance to help our son be able to learn and grow in a bigger capacity. Unfortunately, my husband was unable to be there for his first day of school, but Liam had support from myself and his two younger siblings. We went to the classroom and he immediately left my side to go and play in this new environment. I knew at that moment that I was more nervous than he was. Even his sister had a hard time leaving his side, as she is used to having him at home all the time. We left and went home to wait for his pick-up time. I kept looking back at the clock to make sure I wouldn’t be late. Once the time arrived for us to go get him, we hopped in the car as his sister was so very excited to see him.
We got back to the classroom and my son ran to me and gave me a huge hug! After this warm embrace, he moved on to giving his younger sister a hug. He was so excited to see her. Together, we walked back to the car and then used FaceTime to call my husband. While the conversation was brief, my son was excited to tell his dad all about his school day (even though we couldn’t understand most of it). The moment felt so surreal.
Several weeks later, my son still loves to attend school and asks to go every single day. He was approved for school 3 days per week and is working with speech therapy and occupational therapy through the school district. He has gained so many words and loves to take my husband and I through the house and point out different items. He has gained the interest of helping me cook and finds any excuse to begin talking. He has made so much progress in just one month. While I still don’t understand everything he says, I am so excited that he is feeling so empowered. We are still establishing a new routine as we continue to wait for the bus approval to go through.
In addition to the school, he still see’s a private speech therapist once per week. He asks to go see his speech therapist every day and knows her by name. He also knows how to get to her office. After the first two weeks of school, his speech therapist even noticed a great difference and could see the he enjoyed to talk. She’s excited to see what his future holds.
I still worry about what his future holds. I try to take things one day at a time and find comfort in how much he is enjoying going to school and speech. I have also realized that Autism will not stop his world, but make him a stronger human being. While each day has it’s challenges, he continues to grow and understand what is being told to him.
As his schooling continues, I will continue to give updates of his progress and milestones. I am still learning each and every day and I know that this is making me a stronger individual. Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions or let me know of your stories. We are here to support each other!
Until next time…