Hello All. Things have been complicated and incredibly interesting for the past few months. We as a family have reached a milestone we weren't sure would be coming anytime in the near future. I kinda had a mental breakdown and then I had to find a purpose again. After the holidays our kids headed back to mainstreamed public school.
No one was more shocked than me. We have spent the last year and a half homeschooling our kids. We did a combination of "unschooling" and and sit down school. We spent a TON of time helping the kids explore the world and themselves.....there likes and dislikes, their possible interest and things they loved. We added so much OT, Deep pressure times, sensory integration even aqua therapy all summer long.
During the Holidays we came to the deciton as a family that they were ready to get back out there to give the challenge of school another try. They had slowly but for sure learned so very much more of themselves and how they work. They learned to recognize when it is time to take a sensory break or use their headphones or what ever they need. We completely redid the way each room around our home was used. We gave up our master bed room to dedicate that room as the "Motor Room" with Nylon camping hammocks hung from the ceiling and brought the outside trampoline that is low to the ground, we brought that inside. It has been the best diction we have made so far living here. It has saved our sanity and allowed the kids to get the therapy before and after school.
Our goal was that if we had failed at school before, what could we do to set the kids up for success this time. My choices were easy to make once i thought about it that way. We had given them the tools mental to be able to cope with the world and it's overwhelming obstacles. Then we had to provide them with the physical tools to help them cope with those obstacles too. So inevitably the lower level of the house is basically now an Autistic Activity Center. We and the kids sleep on the upper floor of the house with a wall between us and them.
We now have a Motor Room, Dark Room with Mood Lighting, Toy Room, Kids Climbing Room, Family Room, Changing room and Homework Area. It has been fantastic!! And a huge success. The kids have transitioned back to school beautifully. We make sure that they go to the Motor Room at least 15 minuets up to 30 minuets right before we load up to go to school. We drive them to school now with the goal of getting them on a small quiet bus. Then when they get home they get an hour of free time to use what ever room or area they want. then we do Homework. then dinner, and then bedtime routine, reading time and lastly bed by 8pm.
I have been so very impressed with how well they are doing. They have their issues but they are coping with them better than to be expected. We do know that it has only been one month but we have high hopes that the rest of the school year is ok. We just want them to love to learn and enjoy being there. The rest is all bonus.
So one of the most important things we have learned over the last 2 years is that the way we looked at Autism was all wrong or maybe we learned how to look at Autism in an whole new way. We added a new tag line to our life. "Autism, it's not a disability, It's our SUPER POWER!!!!"