Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Perfect Moment in Life

On May 5, 2010, I started this blog, Following JD's Journey, with my first post, "Our New Beginning." A month prior, in April of 2010, we learned that our 2-year-old son was diagnosed with Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder and Apraxia (speech delay). When you're a parent, and you hear those words, your life is turned upside down. You realize what you thought your life was going to be like is no longer the case, and your mind starts wandering all over the place trying to determine what your new life is going to be like. It's a scary place to be.

Fast forward three years, and JD is now 5 and a half. He's come so far, learned so much, and I am SO proud of him for everything he's accomplished. When he diagnosed he had 5 words, could hardly walk, was unable to jump, swing, slide, climb (all motor skill problems), hardly ate solid foods, and was OBSESSED with trains to the point that he would not interact with anyone, only play at his train table.

Three years of intense therapy (speech, occupational/sensory, behavior) and here we are. Today JD started KINDERGARTEN at First Hope, a special-needs program at The First Academy! There are few days when I sit back and think to myself - this is a perfect moment. But this morning, as JD proudly showed off his   new uniform (complete with a Batman backpack!), and grinned from ear-to-ear with his big sister as we took "first day" pictures, I couldn't have been happier.

For the last three years, we've been working for THIS DAY. I've wanted him to go to First Hope since I stumbled upon their ad in the Bright Feats magazine shortly after his diagnosis. I truly believe that this is the best place for him. Small classrooms (there's only 4 kids in his class and 2 teachers!), inclusion with an aide two days a week in a regular kindergarten classroom, individual speech and occupational therapy for 45 minutes each day, and ongoing behavior and sensory support around the clock with teachers and staff who love their children and display the word of God in their teachings and actions every day!

Today is sort of another "New Beginning" because this is the beginning of the rest of his school life. First Hope and The First Academy are where we call home. Our entire family fits there - not just our two "regular" kids. Ashley was SO proud of her little brother today, walking him into his classroom and telling him not to worry. I am SO glad she will be there with him each step of the way, like siblings should be. And next year, when Kyle starts school at The First Academy, Ashley and JD can walk HIM in as his older siblings. We are ONE family and we do things TOGETHER!

On a closing note, I just want to say thank you to my husband, who has been my rock for the last 13 years. Jason isn't the dad who sits on the sidelines... just the opposite. He's right there next to me, fighting this fight against autism. Thank you boo :)

And thanks everyone for taking the time to read this. Each of you have played a significant role in JD's Journey. We appreciate your support, "likes" and kind words every day. Thank you!!

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