Second Grade Brings Changes

First grade was hard on us. I still don't know why nor will I probably ever know what made it so difficult on Ethan. BUT!!!! We are into our 2nd week of 2nd grade...and Ethan is doing AWESOME!!! Here is what's new!

1. Ethan no longer has a personal aide. The classroom will have what is called a "transitional aide" to help him get settled the first 6 weeks. She acts as a classroom aide but is secretly there for Ethan. She says he is adapting very well, and does not foresee any issues. WOOHOO!!!

2. I recently emailed Ethan's 2nd grade teacher because we are noticing positive changes at home after school! He is chatty! AND he is using words that are more conversational & less "mimicked or memorized."

3. Because he is doing so well at school, we decided to add another evening activity. Last year, he did Art Class & Swim Class. This summer he proved he could swim in the deep-in independently, so we are changing out Swim Class for Piano Lessons! Only 2 lessons in, and his teacher is saying he is catching on quickly!

First Grade Anxiety

"Mom, I think I need another day off school."

I have heard these words every morning ever since Spring Break ended over a week ago.

This school year has been a very hard one for Ethan. Unforeseen circumstances have caused his classroom to be pretty inconsistent. Both his teacher & his personal aide have had a lot of family emergencies this year, and he has had 2 student teachers. But that is just life.....nothing goes according to our plans, right?

Our Dog, Zuzu

A month ago something amazing happened to our family. We adopted a one year old dog from a shelter. Why is this amazing? Because less than 6 months ago, Ethan was TERRIFIED of dogs. The only dog he ever trusted was the Easter Seal's Therapy Dog, Payton, because she didn't bark. In fact, Ethan never rode elevators until he developed a relationship with Payton.....and she went on elevator rides with him at Easter Seals. Now....almost 2 years later.....Ethan excitedly runs into elevators, ready to push the buttons. Sooooo nice....especially since I can remember carrying him kicking & screaming over my shoulder into elevators. I apologize to anyone who ever rode the elevators with us.

Earlier this school year, Ethan's school invited our local animal shelter to come & do a presentation. Ethan came home from school wanting a dog. LOL! Well, we figured it was just a certain dog or just a phase. However, we started to notice that Ethan was more & more comfortable around dogs. He was seeking them out to play with or asking if he could feed them treats. One sweet moment happened at my sister's house. Ethan got out my niece's doctor kit & wanted to give their family dog a check up! And his Uncle Scott helped him do it! They examined the dog's teeth, tail, belly, and so on. Adorable. And Ethan loved it!

2015 Light It Up Blue - Car Transformation

Two years ago, my husband went WILD for Autism Speaks Light It Up Blue campaign. After that amazing transformation, many product retailers donated items for his next transformation. it is......


Night time

Not only did he add blue lights to the exterior....the paint is GLOW IN THE DARK!!!!!!

A Letter from A Teacher

Today I read a wonderful letter. It was too perfect, so I wanted to repost it here. It moved me to tears and into the ugly cry. I pray that all of Ethan's teachers see him for the gift he is and not only as his diagnosis.

This was written by Sheila who is a teacher & also blogs at Sprinkle Teaching Magic. View her original post here.

Dear Child With Autism-

You brighten each and every day. You may not know this but I look forward to school because of you. I know school is hard. Every day I see the worry on your face. School goes quickly. Daily changes throw you off-course. You worry. About yourself. You cry because you have no friends. No one invites you to their birthday party. You worry about the weather. In a drought, will the animals suffer? You obsess.

"Plenty to Celebrate"

 You may have noticed that I have been absent from writing lately. Shortly after Ethan started school, there was a shift in Ethan. From my point of view, it was more like a answer to this mom's prayers. I talked about that here. Since Ethan's change, I have felt strange about writing. I felt as if I would be betraying Ethan, his growth & his privacy. I just didn't think that this new child would have agreed to me airing all about him. And....if I can't be completely transparent....I can't be me. That's just who I am....real & honest.

So our family is now is a new phase. While Ethan still has ASD, he is wanting so badly to be like his peers & ANYTHING that sets him apart is "bad" in his mind. He wants to be equal with his peers....which in itself is simply amazing. We are seeing Ethan mimic his peers, WANTING to constantly play with his peers, and never wanting to be home. A complete 360. Praise God.