Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Letter "E"

This morning as I was getting Jake from his room to start his morning routine, he picked up a box of connective squares and letter magnets on his way out the door.  Normally we don't let him take the activity boxes relating to his ABA therapy out of his room (we do his therapy in his room).   ABA Therapy, or - Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapy, is the most common therapy used to help with autism, in which teaching concepts are broken down into many small steps and are reinforced with many repetitions.  Data is tracked in a meticulous way to show a student's progress on a micro and macro level, thus enabling modification to the teaching and custom tailoring a program that is personalized for the individual living with autism.  This morning however, I was curious to see what Jake was going to take out of the box.  We walked into the kitchen and he put the box down on the table, busily searching for something specific.  After some rumbling around, he found what he was looking for, picked it up, looked at me holding it up to make sure that I would see it, and said "the letter E."

 Jake at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art

Some of the words that Jake sight reads

He was excited to share this with me and let me know that he knew the name of that one letter.  To this, I made a big deal - I cheered him on and asked him "what color is the letter E?" to which he replied "the letter E is pink," answering me beautifully with a full sentence.   I was simply delighted with this little morning interaction, as it was completely initiated by my son, and was not the norm of our typical morning routine.

Over the past week I've also noticed that he's been randomly saying letter names -  "the letter W" and "the letter I."  Our ABA team has been working with Jake on reading through the use of sight words, where he learns to recognize whole words at a pop, and at this point he has well over seventy words.  Apparently for children living with autism, this has proven to be an easier approach to doing this prior to teaching the alpha-bet, and from our recent experience, it seems to be working for our kiddo.

Those of us who are carers for children who live with autism know that there are some obsessive behaviors that our kids can cycle through, and when one behavior is defused, a new one seems to pop up in it's place.  This is very true for our six year old son, Jake.  I have to say that as far as behaviors go, I'm not minding the fascination with the letters, and hope that the attention to detail that I am witnessing, is on it's way to being a productive means to reading and comprehension for him.   The morning continued to be a delight for me with lots of snuggle time, tickles and laughs with my beautiful little guy, without him trying to escape my attention very much and giving into mom's love.  This being in the moment time with my son was a wonderful blessing for me today.  It has me reflecting on this special time with hope for lots of good things to come for the new year with my family.  Those of us that live with children with special needs, can truly know what it means to cherish something when it doesn't come around every day.  This was one of these special times for this one mom.

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, 
but by the moments that take our breath away."

Wishing you all, near and far, many
many special moments that take your breath away in the new year.

 Jasmin Hill Gardens - Wetumpka
One of my favorite spots in Alabama.

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1 comment:

  1. Beautiful piece honey. Always great when Jake makes little breakthroughs.