Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Graduate

Five years.

It's been five years since we began a reluctant (but very much necessary) journey with Jonathan to help him assimilate to everyday life while on the spectrum.  And if you would have told me that five years from then our boy would be "graduating" from the program, reveling in being the center of attention, yapping constantly for two hours, and appreciating everyone that was there in his own personal way--there is no way I'd have believed you.

Yet that is what happened yesterday.

Our journey, as is the case with most along the autism spectrum, has been a roller coaster ride.  Five years ago Jonathan was barely verbal and he communicated mostly by pinching anyone who didn't give him his way.  He wasn't potty trained and we didn't have a clue how we'd be teaching him that with a communication barrier.  He had some epic meltdowns in public and in private.

Yet Jonathan has always had a loving side too, and Jen and I and his WEAP (Wisconsin Early Autism Project) team wanted to coax as much of that out as possible.  Yesterday it was evident that that particular mission had been accomplished--but it was so much more.  No coaxing was necessary when it was all fueled by a boy's genuine excitement and sense of pride at graduating the program.  It was Jonathan showing love for his friends and teachers, but on top of that he was the life of the party, something we would never have believed could happen back in 2011.

Many of his therapists (aka "big friends") were there, including Stephanie, his first senior; Ali and Katie, his first line therapists; Jevin, his most recent senior; Chelsea, the "friends club" leader; Jenna, Caleb, and Caitlin--the more recent line therapists.  His first/second grade teaching team of Ms. Bradley, Mrs. Carden and Mrs. Olander were there, and they have had an enormous impact on Jonathan as well--treating him like every other student and yet still giving him the personal attention he needs.

When we came to the realization that Jonathan was ready to move on to the next chapter in his journey, it felt like the universe looked at him, looked at us and gave our family a wink, a nod and a giant thumbs up.  The WEAP team was gracious, proud and accommodating, and suggested that we have this graduation ceremony.  Jevin made him a diploma, and Jonathan gave a speech (much of it was Sesame Street scripting, but he was still fearless).

We know this is just a stop on the journey.  But it's one we can stop at, look around and be incredibly thankful to everyone that has shaped our boy into the awesome little person he's become.  We can look forward with much less apprehension and much more excitement.  We are humbled and appreciative.  But mostly, we are proud of our son and all that he's accomplished so far.

4 comments:

  1. WOW ALL THANKS TO DR WILLIAMS I HAVE NEVER BELIEVE IN HERBAL REMEDIES.
    my son have been a patient of autism . I had tried a lot of anti viral med prescribed to me by doctors over how many years now but I could not see any improvements in my son symptoms. One day while going through the internet , i got to know about this great Herbal Dr who uses his herbal remedies in curing people from autism,quickly i contacted him and he prepared a herbal medication for my son which i received and he used it as instructed by dr williams. After few weeks the improvement were very visible. the speech delay and the poor eye contact stopped, I would recommend this to all my friends,families,around the globe suffering from autism.you can contact him through his email on drwilliams098765@gmail.com.for advice and for his product THANKS TO YOU ONCE AGAIN DR WILLIAMS

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  2. I am Sophie from Canada, I once suffered from a terrible and Chronic autism ,since i was bone , the doctor told me there was no permanent cure i was given medications to slow down its progress, i constantly felt my health was deteriorating as i constantly go out of breath,and this illness was really terrible especially when am going out with my friends, i have this constant disorder for about 31 years which result to epilepsy, this was really a terrible ailment ,on thin one day that i was going through the internet,and i came across a post of Mrs Kate on how his son was been cured from autism through the help of Dr Williams herbal product, I contacted this herbal doctor via his email and explain everything to him and make purchase of his product,few days later he sent me the herbal medicine through courier service, when i received the herbal medicine, i used it for 1 months and two weeks as prescribed by dr williams and i was totally cured of autism within those week of usage,on thin now i have not experience any sign or characteristics again . for more information you can visit his blog autismepilepsy.blogspot.com for help

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  3. HOW I WAS CURED TOTALLY FROM AUTISM
    I had my first attack of (AUTISM) when I was 20, I wasn't diagnosed until seven years later when I was totally experiencing speech delay. It was so terrifying that I began dropping things and losing sensitivity to sounds, having severe fatigue and muscle weakness. A horrible poor eyes contact began. I sometimes can't walk straight and fall onto walls and I get leaning disability, the English medications i used proved abortive. i was so frustrated that i had to contact My neurologist,he told me about a new RRMS (relapsing-remitting MS) drug which was only in its trial stage, CAMPATH. I started the chemo-type treatment and some prescribed drugs like: RISPERDAL, EFFEXOR XR, GEODON and MEMANTINE. which resulted in 1st seizure of my life, thereby adding more salt to my injury. As a result to proffer solution to my problems, i started going online in search for a cure, i came across a testimony of a woman who got her cure through HERBAL MEDICATION, at first, i doubted because of the misconception that autism can not be cured. But i later contacted the Doctor through the email provided, and I used his Herbal product, after 1 month of use, I noticed tremendous improvement in my health, 5 months after, I can proudly say, I've been totally cured by Dr.williams Herbal Medication from AUTISM..., If you have the same health issue, you may contact him for a total change of story, Via:autismepilepsy.blogspot.com . I believe your predicament will be a thing of the past just like mine.

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  4. As a sign of gratitude for how my son was saved from autism, i decided to reach out to those still suffering from this.
    My son suffered autism in the year 2013 and it was really tough and heartbreaking for me because he was my all and the symptoms were terrible, he always have difficulty with communication, , and he always complain of poor eye contact . we tried various therapies prescribed by our neurologist but none could cure him. I searched for a cure and i saw a testimony by someone who was cured and so many other with similar body problem, and he left the contact of the doctor who had the cure to autism . I never imagined autism has a natural cure not until i contacted him and he assured me my son will be fine. I got the herbal medication he recommended and my son used it and in one months time he was fully okay even up till this moment he is so full of life.autism has a cure and it is a herbal cure contact the doctor for more info on drwilliams098675@gmail.com on how to get the medication. Thanks for reading my story

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