JONATHAN’S WAY – HIGH SCHOOL!

Hi All,

It’s been more than a year since I last shared with you about Jonathan, my grandson and his challenges growing up on the spectrum.  A lot has happened since those days.

First of all my virtual online business has grown by leaps and bounds, literally. I am thankful and grateful for that. In 3 months, God willing, my husband and I will celebrate 33 years of marriage.  Jonathan’s dad got married to a lovely woman.  His three doting Aunts have never stopped doting on him, either. 

327764_10151034508207965_1369087550_o

Johanna, Jennifer, Erika

The last time I let you know that Jonathan  was going into middle school.  Well, in September this year, he will be going into high school.  He turned 14 this past January. But that ain’t all. He was always a tall boy for his age.  Now he stands 6’1″ tall and wears a size 13-1/2″ wide shoe. HELP! He has grown up as a teen and the girls like him.  HELP!

582668_437610909587461_1670972784_n

With daddy at school concert

Not only that, his aunts have taught him how to drive and we are preparing for him to get a permit.  He drives good, too.  His grades are all above average and he seems to like science.  He can’t stand Social Studies.  No matter, I am grateful for how far he’s come.  One place that helped him go even farther is the Boys and Girls Club in our area. He is loved by the people there, and he has learned to play basketball.  He tried out for the school basketball team last year, but didn’t make it.  I think he couldn’t take the exercises they were forced to do for a week.  I am proud of him!

One thing he did for the very first time was done on Martin Luther King Jr, holiday on January 21, 2019.  He stood up in front of a couple of hundred people and gave a short speech on education. He was nervous and prayed a lot before the big day came. But he did a wonderful job. He made mama proud.  #mademamaproud

Jonathan giving speech on MLK Holiday January 21, 2019

Jonathan giving speech at MLK Holiday breakfast on January 21, 2019

So, here we go again. It’s Jonathan’s way and there’s never a dull moment.  I’ll keep you posted!

Rosa

 

MEET MY FAMILY – MY MOM’S SIDE – MY GRANDMA

This is my grandmother, Jimmie Marie Thomas-Jordan, as a youth12662733_901220829997986_1556625937150571113_n

My grandmother was born in Birmingham, AL and she along with her parents moved to Detroit, MI in the early 1910s  She was 2 almost 3 years old when she became ill, and lost her hearing. I don’t know the illness that did it. I know that my great-grandmother called to my grandmother and my grandmother never answered or indicated that she heard her mom calling her. That’s when great-grandmother took her to the doctor and discovered she was deaf.

In the picture above she is attending Michigan School of the Deaf in Flint, MI. She is about 9 or 10 years old (about 1920 or 21) in this picture.

michigan-school-for-the-deaf

This is a picture of the Michigan  School of the Deaf about the turn of the 20th century.

Reference:http://www.michiganschoolforthedeaf.org/content/school-history

Here is something quaint: When my mother was a little girl and attended school, the teachers thought that she was a deaf-mute because she never spoke. They finally realized that she could speak. It was the fact that her parents were deaf mutes and used sign language to communicate that she didn’t speak.

During that time, my mom said she was embarrassed that her parents couldn’t talk and she hid the fact that she knew sign language until my grandmother came up to her school and began talking on her hands to mom. After she left, the teacher, bless her heart, raved about the fact that my mom could communicate like that. From that time on my mother was never ashamed of sign language again.  More tomorrow.

Rosa

 

JONATHAN’S WAY CHAPTER 8

WHEN JONATHAN COMES HOME FROM SCHOOL

Preschool Jonathan

Preschool Jonathan

Home from School

Grandma stands in the window of the front door of her apartment complex.
A sunless sky and darkening clouds meet her. Grandma buttons up her coat and
stuffs her hands in the pockets and leans on the window. Jonathan’s bus will pull up
any minute now. He has been in school since he was 2 ½ years old. School has been
so good for him. Jonathan’s teachers are excellent and best of all they understand
how to reach him. They give Grandma progress reports and daily notes to inform
her of what went on during classes so she can keep it going. They give her tips on
communicating with him. Their suggestions work and have been beneficial to
Grandma and her little grandson, Jonathan.
The bus pulls up in front of the apartment complex. The doors to the bus
open. The bus driver unbuckles Jonathan’s safety belt and the four-year old darts
off the bus. The sound of the engine at rest makes Jonathan nervous and he runs
away from it, fleeing to his ever constant retreat – Grandma.
“Bye bus,” Jonathan waves. Grandma joins him in his wave, both watching the
bus drive away. The bus stops at the end of the driveway to wait for traffic to
pass. Jonathan waits, too. He has to see the bus leave before he can begin his walk
down the long walk way to the front door of the apartment complex. It’s his way.
The bus begins to pull out onto the road. Jonathan waves again at the small
yellow bus taking Grandma’s hand with the other.
“Bye bus.”
With that, Jonathan and Grandma walk down the sidewalk towards the front
door. Grandma opens the door and walks in but it’s Jonathan who has to be the one
to close it behind them.
Permission lovingly given to share this excerpt from Jonathan’s Way by Lynnette Roman
Rosa

JONATHAN’S WAY CHAPTER 6

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JONATHAN

Waiting on school bus

Waiting on school bus

When Morning Comes

The sun pours into Grandma’s bedroom. Its warmth falls on her and the small frame of her grandson, Jonathan, resting soundly on his small bed positioned beside their bedroom wall. Grandma and grandpa keep a watchful eye over the young boy through the night. Grandma sits on the edge of her bed and the sound of her loving voice begins to wake him.

“Wake up, sleepy head,” she calls to the sleepy boy.

Jonathan rubs his eyes but does not get up, only buries his head in the pillow. He’s still very sleepy. Grandma smiles. Patience is a virtue when handling sleepy Jonathan. A song comes to Grandma’s mind. A song she sings every morning to the four-year old. She takes her place on the edge of her bed and begins to sing a morning song to wake Jonathan up. She knows that he will join her in song.

“Wake up, wake up you sleepy head. It’s time to go to school. Wake up, wake up you sleepy head it’s time to learn the golden rule. When the school bell rings…”

“Ding, dong…” Jonathan sings sleepily rolling on his side towards his grandma.

“Then we all will be on our way, so wake up, wake up you sleepy head, its time to go to school…”

“Today,” Jonathan sings opening his large big brown eyes.

After a good stretch and yawn he smiles at his grandmother and climbs out of bed. He walks on his tip toes into her arms and rest his head on her shoulder being rocked as he does every morning. A busy day is ahead for him and it begins with a hug and kiss from Grandma.

“Good morning, Jonathan,” Grandma says to the little one.

“Good morning, Mama.”

Grandma smiles inwardly. Only a year ago he wasn’t able to say that.

-Children with Autism benefit from routine in many ways. As a matter of fact, they expect routine. Jonathan, expects to hear his grandmother’s voice in the morning. He knows it is morning when she begins to sing the ‘morning song’. Consistency is not only a major part of Jonathan’s morning but his life. Any small change in his environment or daily routine will result in an upset Jonathan.

-Children with Autism tend to speak later than other children. They often refer to themselves by name instead of “I” or “me”.


Permission to use this excerpt from ‘Jonathan’s Way’ given freely by author Lynnette Roman – Jonathan’s Aunt JoJo.

Rosa