Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Griffin's Progress Report 11/15/12

I had a meeting with Griffin's teachers this morning and it went very well, I really like them and think that they are doing a fantastic job with him. He has made a lot of progress since school began back in August in fact, they said that he was doing no work then and now he is doing his work without having meltdowns. Of course they have a system in place that is organized which used to drive him crazy to the brink of overload but now he is handling it and working with it just fine. Griffin is showing much more initiative than the beginning of the year in completing his tasks.

They said that I am doing my part by having a system at home of PECS for the morning that he uses to organize himself and take responsibility of getting himself ready independently and then in the afternoon we have a written schedule checklist that organizes activities not by time per se but by a list that shows that there's only so much time in the day for each activity and that he has to move on and transition to get through the day. They even mentioned how flexible Griffin is and how impressed they were by that because most autistic individuals aren't, he merely asks why something has changed and lets you know that there will or will not be enough time for an activity during the day.

I had been concerned that Griffin's activity level was too high because at home he is bouncing off the walls and cannot sit still no matter what he is doing, in fact, I had made an appointment with his doctor to look into starting his ADHD meds again but according to his teachers his is the exact opposite at school. He is so unresponsive, low energy, low activity, and unaware that it concerns them as far as Occupational Therapy goes. He is completely unresponsive at home such as when I call out to him he does not respond several times, he is unaware of his surroundings most the time I have noticed such as being zoned out and in his own world but to me that would be a typical autistic tendency.

 Griffin's speech teacher was present and we discussed his speech, which is really difficult to understand because he is lazy with his mouth/lips. He does not move them when he talks nor does he speak very loudly. He needs to be prompted all the time and she said that we must say that we do not understand him and that he needs to speak up, and to move his lips. Also she added that I need not let it go to keep at it with him because he will give up and become complacent and get into the habit of not using good speech. I need to let Paul, his LCSW, know and his OT, Sarah, know and everyone else who works with him to keep at it so that he will learn. Part of the problem that he has with his peers is that they don't understand him when he speaks so it alienates him. Heck, I don't even understand him myself....I have to get him to repeat himself several times and even then I give up sometimes because I just don't understand what he is saying and then I wonder if I miss out on important information that he has tried to share with me.

I asked how he was doing with his peers and they told me that he is blending well especially on field trips, they just had two, one to the symphony and one to The Health Adventure. Griffin was even pretending to be the weather man and being quite extroverted one teacher told me which thrilled me to no end. She told me that there is one girl in particular who is really gifted who has taken to Griffin and on the field trip she had sort of taken him under her wing and watched out for him. Apparently the symphony was really a lot of fun for them and it was just for the kids so they had a lot of fun activities.

Another problem that Griffin has been having is with math at home. His teacher has been giving him more because she said that she thought that he could handle more as the year has gone on but this has not been true, it has been too overwhelming for him. Last night he had a meltdown over it, I tried to get him to take a break and come back to it but I was unsuccessful. He kept telling me that he had done the problems before and he was already finished so I tried several times and finally gave up. I thought that maybe she had maybe made a mistake and copied the same problems on another sheet, he does have an incredible memory after all. So they told me that the point is for him to complete the task and if he needs to take a break in between then to try that first and give him a chance to work through his frustration, to calm down and then finish. If he can't finish it by then to write a note to his teacher and then he will have consequences at school for not finishing his work. They did add that if he is having a hard day or if I have errands to run or a doctor's appointment and it is going to be a short afternoon then to only highlight a few problems so as to not overwhelm him and expect too much from him. This is the recipe for success.

I was happy with the meeting and impressed with the teachers as I had mentioned and feel that Griffin is in good hands, more so than he has been in many years as a matter of fact I haven't felt this comfortable since he was in Anchorage in Kathleen's autism classroom way back in 2005. Thanks to the many teachers out there who take great care of our kids and make a great difference in their lives.
This is a photo of Griffin and his Godmother Vicky taken at the Shriner's circus last month which Griffin sat in for an hour and then he had enough.....that was a long time for him especially considering it was a boring circus.

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