Monday, September 22, 2014

School's in Session...

So enters the New Day...but not totally new.  Josiah began his journey at almost 3 years old, unable to communicate and with no self-help skills at all.  Here we are now as he enters 2nd grade and presses his way to more progress.  This is not to say that the process has been easy, nor has it been without setbacks.  Somedays, you would never know that Autism is in the picture.  Somedays, it seemed as if he never had a day of intervention at all.  But all in all, it is a journey I would not trade for the world.

Josiah is supported by a web of people who make sure to safeguard his progress as if it were their own.  His Clinical Assistant, and right hand woman, Emily Strong, took over being Jo's personal mentor in the Summer of 2014.  It has been full steam ahead ever since.  She has personally overseen the process of taking immaculate data on Josiah's skills and behaviors and making sure they are reported consistently and accurately to his BCBA, Tameika Meadows.  His programming has taken a giant step forward and the generalization of the skills he gathers in those programs has followed suit. Indeed, it is a dynamic duo!

Jo's days at Precious Treasures International School are highlighted not only with his growing ability to perform with his peers, but his growing ability to interact with his peers!  Genuine relationships are growing from their understanding of their exceptional friend and his decision to let them into his world.  Altogether it creates an atmosphere of mutual learning and respect.  Hopefully this will lead to a lifetime of tolerance and an inner sense of justice for exceptional learners.  If anything, they will take with them a memory of a special boy in their class who taught them to laugh unashamedly, live unselfishly and love unconditionally.  It seems that school is in full session!
And the real teacher is exhausted!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Suspicious Minds

You ever had that feeling that something was in the air?  That something wicked this way comes?  Maybe it's just a creepy suspicion that there are things brewing that you have no control over...a disturbance in the force, if you will! A constant shadow that casts over your free spirit...a haunting.
Well, amongst Josiah's many quantum banana ingestion...he seems to be able to pick up on random disturbances.  He is constantly on alert that something...or looking to interrupt his relentless rule of the universe.  But, believe me Buddy, he wasn't ready for this one...
For 2 years I was given the dubious honor of being this kid's teacher and shadow.  As you can imagine, it has been a challenge very similar to American Ninja Warriors on a daily basis....It was the best of times, it was the worst of times!  But salvation was at hand...for behold, from the North came a burst of fresh air!  A breeze that would breathe new life into the bones of Dawn's oldest student.  Indeed, his programs would be resurrected from mundane to magnificent!! The grace of execution, so longed for by his BCBA, Tameika Meadows, would be placed on display by one intrepid soul.  An artist in her craft, a pioneer amongst the timid...a mighty force for justice and truth would rise to the challenge and take this child from my trembling and finger-paint covered hands and lead him kicking and screaming down the path of progress!! The reign of the Tyrant King is over!!!  The New Era of Enlightenment has DAWNED for Josiah!!! Rise up, ye followers of ABA protocols!  
I Give You:

Emily Strong: 
Dawn Program Clinical Assistant,  Jedi Knight,  Ray of Sunshine, Generally Awesome Chick

Oh, yeah.  It's goin' down, Baby!  Reloaded and ready to blaze....
(stay tuned, good people)