Finding a way out from the upside down – Communication in Autism

Posted: February 9, 2018

This popped up yesterday from 3 years ago and it really struck me how our current system can underserve our children. Up to this point the school had not even been willing to assess EJ for the use of AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) which can be anything other than standard methods like speaking. So for instance, letterboards, iPad apps and dedicated devices are all part of AAC. We were…

2 Incredible Years – Insights from an Involuntary Vow of Silence – by EJ & Mommy

Posted: January 25, 2018

Looking back on the last incredible 2 years from being considered "a non-verbal, low functioning autistic child" to the point where EJ is planning retreats for spellers/typers and being asked to put together a book.  We truly hope that by sharing our story we help encourage others to follow their gut and if nothing else expose ALL people to the wonders of an engaging education.  Even for those who believe…

BACK TO THE BLOG

Posted: January 12, 2018

So we're back to this blog with great news from the communication front.  It's an interesting perspective that we hope will be helpful to others at any stage of this journey.  Today seemed like a great day to look back at the incredible journey of the last 2 years.  From goals of the alphabet and the numbers 1-20 to being assessed at grade level in math (5th) and 7th grade…

Chapter 13 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking Voices – Frustration

Posted: November 24, 2015

I firmly believe communication is the key to avoiding frustration

Chapter 12 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – Happy Birthday Meredith

Posted: November 24, 2015

At the end of this lesson EJs verbalized 3 syllables at a time...that was huge for us.  I loved that it was the highly motivating name of his wonderful stepmom Meredith so he could wish her a Happy Birthday :)

Chapter 11 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – Epic Session

Posted: November 14, 2015

My main goal with this session was to make sure it was fun and interesting and keep him engaged.  In my wildest dreams I did not expect him to sit with me for almost 40 minutes! I can't imagine many of you will want to watch this whole thing so I wanna hit on a few highlights... In the very beginning he says "morning" which was such a shocker by…

Chapter 10 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – Shapes

Posted: November 14, 2015

At the time I had no idea we would end up homeschooling EJ and just tried to do all his work at home or the gym as he continued to refuse to go to class.  We actually homeschooled our other 3 children but I never really thought I would be able to teach EJ. Since the heat was subsiding we tried really hard to get him back to class.  He…

Chapter 9 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – The Heat

Posted: November 14, 2015

In the interest of keeping it real I posted this session on September 10, 2015.  We were nearing the end of the 2nd week of ridiculous heat.  It was keeping the kids in the classrooms all day which is pretty much torture for EJ.  He was really not in the mood so I was trying to stick to something he'd want to chat about...animals. He has a voracious sensory appetite.…

Chapter 8 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – Verbalizing

Posted: November 14, 2015

So here we are after just a couple weeks of working more specifically with alternative teaching methods and assistive technology.  Specifically RPM with lots of visuals and TouchChat as an AAC app. This lesson was so significant to me because he really started verbalizing a lot.  I was so caught off guard that I didn't even notice him proudly saying "brown" until I watched the video.  I have to say…

Chapter 7 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – Colors

Posted: November 14, 2015

There were 2 main things I was hoping for during this lesson. The first was that if we talked about something very high interest it would keep him engaged.  He'd been watching this Max and Ruby episode so I hoped he would let me pause and discuss. There were 3 colors that I had yet to have him spell and he got "yellow" perfect on the first try.  It's amazing…