EMBRACE ALL THE HELP YOU GET
I can truly say that I have been blessed to have the best help and resources for my Jonathan. I don’t have but one complaint—I can’t take his elementary school teachers and para support personnel with me to middle school.
From his first pediatrician to his first neurologist, his Earl-On professional who first visited me, the school district special education persons, bus drivers, Kindergarten through 5th grade teachers, his resource teacher (the best), social workers, speech therapists, psychologists, principal, secretaries, lunch aids and especially the friends he made in elementary school, Jonathan’s Way has been forged by the best of people. I am blessed to have known them and I keep in contact with some of them even now.
- His pediatrician told me, “Mom give it time. He may be a big boy, but he’s still a little guy.”
- His neurologist told me to help his development by putting him into Karate classes. We kept him there as long as we could. He was almost a brown belt with the money ran out. My poor husband struggled to pay for it!
- The Early On Professional told me, when I told her I wanted to home school Jonathan, “He has to get out and get exposure. You cannot home school him. She was so right. (I became his road manager taking him to every event, birthday party, pool party and school event I could).
- All the teachers for the many parties, concerts, field trips, and more that gave him the exposure he needed. He developed so well.
- Therapists, social workers, psychologists and para-professionals helped me to help him grow and develop into the pre-teen he is. They pushed me and I pushed him to go beyond what is expected of a “special needs” individual.
Don’t underestimate those who know about your child’s challenges. Seek them out and use all the knowledge they have. Follow their instructions to the best of your abilities. Appreciate them. Thank them.
3-year-old Jonathan in preschool
I shared with you yesterday that we legally became my grandson’s ‘parents’ when he was seven months old. He walked at 12 months, on his tip-toes’. I found out later that it was a red flag for ASD. I did notice that he even stood still on his tip toes. It wasn’t a concern to me at all. What concerned me was that he never said a word. He never spoke, even when prompted. That sent my antennas up, not the toe walking. I was ignorant of toe walking, but I knew that he should have said a little something by the time he was 24 months old. (One thing that he could do well was cry). I waited another six months until he was 30 months old – 2 1/2 years old and told his pediatrician my concern. I love professionals who help out. He was the best pediatrician Jonathan ever had. He wrote a phone number for me to call: Early On.
Early On Family Services is the primary provider of developmental assessments and evaluations for all children birth to three in your County. Eight different areas of development are assessed:
1) gross motor-large muscles 2) fine motor (how a child uses their fingers and hands) 3) cognitive 4) speech 5) self care-eating and sleeping 6)emotions 7) interactions with others 8) coping skills
I called them and the tiniest little woman came to our place to assess Jonathan. She and I talked about decorating for a few minutes and then I called to Jonathan. He came out of the bedroom smiling happily. The moment she saw him she remarked: “He walks on his tip toes.” That’s a sign of possible developmental concerns. I was shocked and let her know that from the moment he began walking he had always walked that way. She smiled at me. Her smile made my pounding heart slow down. She then told Jonathan to play with her. She hopped on one foot, and asked him to do the same. Several other body exercises later and she was finished with her brief assessment. She told me to make an appointment with a child neurologist. I can see her face even as I type this post. She saw my anxiety and kindly told me that her only son had Aspergers and about the challenges he faced. She calmed me down. I appreciate her even now. Her kind and understanding way of talking with me gave me strength to continue on Jonathan’s Way. I called and got the name of a child neurologist. I wasted no time in making an appointment.
Don’t be afraid of reality. Face it head on. You’ll be stronger for it. More tomorrow.