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!