A Tad Update

Today is Autism Awareness Day.  I don’t know who chose this day, or why April got dubbed “Autism Awareness Month,” or why blue was made the color, but I’m guessing it’s a giant marketing ploy by Autism Speaks (a charity which I have strong reservations about supporting in any way for a myriad of reasons, their aggressive self-marketing campaigns being one of those reasons).  But, I figured that I would at least write an update on how Tad is doing.

Tad, at Auntie's softball game

Tad is in third grade now, and he is happy and comfortable at school with his beloved Mrs. S, but that is going to be changing sooner than I like to think about.  Next year, he will be moving up from the 1st-2nd-3rd grade class to the 4th-5th-6th grade class, with a new teacher (but a familiar para, Ms. J, will be there).  We just had his IEP meeting on Tuesday, where we set next year’s goals.  We still have a long way to go, but when I think about how far Tad has come, I have no complaints at all.  He is becoming more confident in simple math equations, and though his reading has plateaued a little (at least in the skills they are trying to measure, like comprehension), he still enjoys reading for fun.  He’s been checking comic strip books out of the school library recently – Calvin and Hobbes and Garfield are both favorites, along with Peanuts.

He has gained the ability – through a lot of work in ABA therapy – to put together his own LEGO sets, and now allows himself the fun of rebuilding and rearranging pieces.  He is constantly modifying his LEGO Batmobiles to add features or adjust the look.  His imagination is still quite active, as is his “scripting” ability – he will “talk” in lines from movies and TV shows all day long unless we stop him.  (Unfortunately, Rerun thinks this is “normal” speech and we are trying to break him of these learned habits.)  Tad’s audiovisual memory is superb, and easily the best way for him to learn new concepts.

Of course, none of this happens in a vacuum – we have a large support system built around Tad, and a long list of people who have helped us get to where we are now.  Special credit has to go to our ABA therapist and our speech therapist, who each work with Tad on a weekly basis, and Mrs. S and the paras, who work with him every school day, and Gichan, who is Tad’s personal “recliner” every Sunday morning at church.

I love this boy with my whole heart.  He is more than a diagnosis, and more than a disability.  He is Tad, and he loves and is loved by so many people.  He may “have” autism, but with a lot of work and a lot of prayer, autism doesn’t “have” him as much as it once did.

One Response to “A Tad Update”

  1. Nana
    April 2nd, 2015 06:49

    He is blossoming, as he is well loved.