Jaymes is doing wonderfully. He no longer has aggression issues. He's become a sweet, compliant, happy child. He's reading really well, and can work the iPad like a pro. He sleeps at night (at least until about 5am), he is actually eating, and he can bathe himself, get dressed, and take his meds independently. He has come a long, long way. He's finally grown, he's gotten so TALL!
We've taken a break for the last year, from therapies, outside of school. He gets OT and Speech at school, as well as HI (hearing impaired) instruction. Even now in the summer, he's doing Extended School Year, so he is continuing with his therapies. It got to the point that every spare minute was about rushing to one therapy or another. It also seemed like the therapists stalled out with Jaymes. They were doing things like coloring in pictures, things Jaymes is way past needing to learn. So I pulled him out, and life has been much calmer. He's happier, he can take his afternoons after school at his own pace instead of being shuffled from home to therapy, back home again. He's doing really well, OT-wise. He draws beautiful pictures, very complex stuff and it looks exactly like whatever he meant to draw. His handwriting isn't going so well, though... He wants to write things in this HUGE crazy scrawl. His teacher and I are thinking that maybe he should do more of his writing on the computer, until they can get him to regulate the size and shape of his letters.
His teacher of 3 years retired at the end of the school year, and she did it rather suddenly. We were shocked, and I was really upset about it. I feel like after 3 years, the teacher understands what I expect from the school, and she knows Jaymes. The thought of someone new taking over my boy's education was really upsetting. If you remember from some of my older postings, one year he got a different teacher, and she turned out to be SATAN. Evil, hateful woman who had no place being near special needs children. I'm terrified of going through a year from hell again, with Jaymes being miserable, and constant fighting with the school. It's been so nice and peaceful with Mrs. Colditz. We don't butt heads, we work well together. When she told me she was retiring, I admit I cried like a baby for days. With her, I knew Jaymes was safe, happy, and not being treated badly. You hear so many stories these days about autistic children being abused at school, staying with someone trustworthy is obviously preferable. I am hoping that he will have the same teacher's assistant. Mrs. Wemyss is WONDERFUL. She is so sweet and bubbly, and Jaymes loves her. I know I can trust her, so if she is the assistant to the new teacher, I will feel a lot better.
Jaymes was lucky enough to get into Camp Royall this summer. Camp Royall is the happiest place on Earth for my son. When asked if he would rather go to camp, or to Disney, he chooses camp. All year long, he asks if he is going to camp, and how long until camp starts. Even when he was not able to go last year, he spent the year asking. And when he found out he was going to be able to go this summer, he was elated.
When we got to camp on the first day, Jaymes met up with Emma, who was his counselor the first summer he spent there. We followed her to the cabin he would be sleeping in, and when we got inside, Jaymes went crazy with excitement. He threw himself down on a mattress, and rolled around wildly, squealing with happiness. He couldn’t wait for us to leave, so he could get in the pool.
All week I looked at the camp photos that were being posted online, and in every photo of Jaymes, he had an ear to ear smile. In every picture he was doing something awesome- things that a lot of kids with autism don’t get to do. Riding a horse, making smores, boating and fishing and swimming. Camp Royall gives kids like my son the opportunity to have the same wonderful camp experience that used to be reserved for the “normal” kids.
He's had a great summer so far, and he is just doing so wonderfully. I think photos say it better than I do, so here you go!