Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Autism Awareness Giveaway Week 2!!

There is a lunar eclipse happening right now. And I'm sad because I want to wake the boys up to show them... but tomorrow is a big day. So I won't be waking them up. It's testing day. Tomorrow, Race has his first of three days of AIMS testing. Yay for us! I won't bore you with my opinions of state testing and accommodations and IEPs because this month, it's about inspiring... If you would like to ask me questions about any of these things, please ask. I am full of opinions and resources. :)

 But I will say this-- Going to an online school has been a very positive experience for Race. IEP meetings have been pretty good, and Race gets so much support in speech, occupational therapy, and writing through great therapists and amazing technology like web cams and chat rooms. I am in awe at how far technology has come, and I am so grateful that we are able to use it so effectively, in a way he responds so well to.

 Not only am I grateful for the extra support in areas that he struggles but also the opportunities that tap into Races gifted areas as well.  Race gets to be in a Current Events Live Class where he gets to talk about some of his favorite stuff... facts and information! He is also taking a Julliard Music Class, where he gets to learn about music history, theory, and even gets to compose his own stuff. He loves it so much. I am so grateful he is passionate about music. Here's his latest Language Arts Assignment:

Every week Race has a big writing assignment that takes up a huge chunk of his learning time. It isn't that the assignments are difficult; it is just that Race struggles organizing his thoughts in a way that make sense to others. He hates the tricks of the English language-- the writing rules that always have exceptions, and the grammar rules that always have exceptions. We spend a lot of time brainstorming and using fun writing games and graphic organizers that help him see the picture better. To help him see the journey that each different piece of writing needs to take from beginning to end.

His mind amazes me, and along with that, the complexities of the human brain amaze me- how one kid who can show you where any country, state, capital, or geographical location is on a map, how a kid who can sit down at the piano and play a song he recently heard and how that SAME kid with that gifted memory can struggle so much in expressing thoughts and ideas both verbally and written is amazing. And in reality, we all have things we are good at, as well as things we struggle with. But with Race, and with many individuals on the spectrum, the gap is wider and more extreme. Very interesting. And tonight it has me thinking how we are all a little like the moon. How sometimes we give the world much to look at and we are easy to understand. We shine, and share our light with others. And other days, we are hiding. We don't give off our full light. And dare I say how autism is like the phases of the moon also. Race's mind is so often a mystery to me, and even though on some days, he only gives me bits and pieces at a time to see and understand, I know the whole moon is there.

And that is why I so love the book I am giving away this week. And because of it, I gained a better understanding of the amazing mind of one young man with autism. And I hope you enjoy and learn as much from it as I did. It is a beautiful, quick read:

The Reason I Jump
by: Naoki Higashida

*You do NOT have to be a follower to enter.  
*I will have one copy of a different book every week, so be sure to check back weekly.
 *One winner will be announced every Friday, and a new book drawing up on Mondays.
*To be entered in the drawings, please leave your name and a way to contact you in the comment area of this post.  Also, we are all effected by autism in one way or another: tell us about it in your comment if you like.

He loves springtime in the Verde because "the cottonwoods make snow."

Once again, thanks for stopping by and for helping to spread awareness!


Jennifer Lewis said...

I love watching Race when music is on. I can not wait to see his musical form. He is going to be an amazing black belt.

coryparkey said...

Cory Parkey

Mary Blye Belford said...

Teddy, you are terrific! So is Race. See you Friday.

silverladyaz said...

There certainly is a lot of "snow" here now. And, it is kind of fun, looking out the window at it. lol. Race's aspiration to write a symphony is wonderful! Bless him, and you, too, mom.

Dennis and Calena said...

We have a 7 year old with high functioning autism. He sure keeps me on my toes!!

Lucretia said...

Lucy Blatter. email at lucy_shep@hotmail.com. We have a 9 yr. old with Autism. We call it his superpower.

Vicki Jo Anderson said...

I love your blog! It seems like you found as best possible match for race for an online school. Who is it and how did you find them?

A.J. said...

Hey, Teddy! I have been so busy, I really only catch your blog every few months or so. But I read your last two posts and I just wanted to say that I am so grateful to be friends with you and I am grateful that Race is in your family. It is SO good for my kids to grow up with someone with autism. I want it to be a normal experience for them to learn to get along and be kind and understanding to EVERYONE--not just "normal" people. Once or twice Elsie has asked me about something Race did, and I was glad for the chance to talk to her about it and that everyone is different and that that's okay--and that regardless of how people act, we should treat them all like Jesus would. It's also been great being able to be in Primary and to see him in action a little more. Race is a straight, true arrow. I love that about him. : )

Have a great day! (You know how to find me!)


A.J. said...

I can totally see Race playing cello like a beast! : ) It will be fun to see what all kinds of things he picks up and has a knack for. I can see strings, for sure, and I know he's doing marvelous things in piano.

I think that music really touches the divine in us and nearly every person I know personally with autism has a huge penchant for music. Must mean they are more in touch with that part of themselves. : )