Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Yesterday (Monday) was a really big day for Zachary; he started a new school program at Eden called Transition.   It seems that Zachary has had a lot of "big days" lately!  :)  There's been the most obvious, getting Twinkie from 4 Paws, then graduating from the Early Childhood Program, beginning an adaptive circus arts program and moving up to the Transition Program at Eden this week.  Whew...for the kid who needs time to adjust to changes in his world and move from one thing to another, Zachary is experiencing quite a bit of transition pretty quickly, and we've all lived to tell the story!  
So, first and forth most...CONGRATULATIONS, Zachary!!  You've worked very hard over the past three years, and Mommy and Daddy are superity-duperdity proud of you!!!  You're off to bigger and better things at school!  Go get 'em, buddy!!  xoxo  Eden is a twelve month school program for kids with Autism, and ESY (Extended School Year) began yesterday as did this new phase of Zachary's life.  When he got off the bus yesterday, he walked up to his new classroom on the second floor. This, my friends, is a very big deal since the second floor is where the  "big kids" go.  :)   While Zachary needed the ultra-intense functional support of the Early Childhood Program for the past three years, it's now time for him to move up and work with the big kids.  We've come a long way, baby!  Change is good and is, of course, a reality of life, but it can be difficult for a kid like Zachary who is the product of his immediate environment, so we're extra happy about how smoothly the transition to Transition has gone over the past few months.  The Transition Program at Eden is set-up and run like a traditional self-contained program with the exception of the little fact that the kids have A LOT more behavioral support than you'd ever find in a public school setting....as in they have several BCBA's (Board Certified Behavioral Analyst) on staff .  Eden's behavioral program is outstanding, and Zachary has lived to tell the story!  LOL  He's not always happy about it, but he is better for it none-the-less.  :)   For more information about Eden, click on this link:  Eden Autism Services

This afternoon (Tuesday) Zachary also experienced another type of transition.  He attended his first after school activity!  It's the Adaptive Circus Immersion class at The Circus Place.  Circus Arts and Education for ALL kids!!!  (click here to check it out!)  The reason this is a transitional type of activity for him is that this is the first time in years, well, okay maybe in ever, that Zachary will have to move from being at school all day, coming home, quickly leaving then participating in a 60 minute semi-structured after school activity.  This probably doesn't seem like too big a deal since most kids do this effortlessly all weeklong when they're involved in sports, scouts and such.   For Zachary, though, this has always been a major challenge mainly because we've never been able to find a unique enough program to meet his unique enough needs which has always been a recipe for disaster.  A child psychologist we were seeing years ago told us, "Boredom for a kid like Zachary is a nightmare."  No truer words have ever been spoken.  Having said that, The Circus Place is indeed a unique place to play and learn.   Zachary will learn how to juggle, spin plates, ride a unicycle (hopefully), walk on a tightrope and do aerial tricks!  Yup...I'm TOTALLY serious.  This is the coolest place ever!  The Circus Place isn't so much about athletic prowess or being physically coordinated more so than it is about acceptance and opportunities for all kids...even kids like Zachary.  Sure, this type of program will most definitely help Zachary with his sensory needs, social skills and processing abilities, but it's tons of fun so he won't even know it's happening which is half the battle with my guy.  
Since The Circus Place is such a unique program, Zachary LOVED it while he was there on Saturday to work with Mr. Craig and he's grown soooooooo much functionally, we were actually pretty optimistic that this transition wouldn't be too terrible... and it wasn't!!  Zachary really enjoyed his class and participated the whole time....well mostly the whole time.  Zachary gets hot very quickly so he did try to bail briefly three times.  I should note that although escape behaviors is definitely Zachary's M.O., this was over the course of 50 minutes, so Zachary was more than actively engaged and happily participated just about the entire time.  (Thank God for small miracles!)   Mr. Craig so beautifully worked with Zachary and re-engaged him very quickly.  Zachary worked on eye-hand coordination by balancing gigantic feathers on his palm, throwng feathers through a hoop like a dart and using Mr. Craig's juggle "helper".  Hooray for Zachary!!  Hooray for us!!  It was so heartwarming for me to see Zachary look so happy, so relaxed and so engaged in something so typical...he's on his way to the Big Top.  :)      
It's been a big transitional week for our Miss Twinkie, too.  When you consider the fact that Zachary met Twinkie on June 5 , yesterday was the first time in nearly a month that Twinkie and Zachary had been separated.  By time Zachary left for school yesterday, he and Twinkie had established an incredibly strong bond in our home setting which is nothing short of absolutely, positively awesome!!!! They did everything together at home for 11 days straight (not to mention the 12 days of 1:1 time at 4 Paws), and they were inseparable.  Yesterday, though, Zachary was gone and did not come back.  Zachary was gone, but Twinkie could not go find him this time.  Zachary was gone, and Twinkie was sad.  She laid around and was mopey all day.  Poor girl.  She wandered around the house as she always does when she can't find her boy.  I knew she wouldn't cheer up until Zachary came home....and that she did!  When Twinkie heard the horn blow on the bus, she was so excited!  Zachary came into the house a few paces ahead of us, so she lost sight of him.  She ran back to me in the living room looking confused...."I know he's here!!", I'm sure she says to herself.  "Where's Zachary?!", I excitedly ask, and she's super excited again!  I brought a very happy, very excited Twinkie to the couch where Zachary was sitting, and she was now sitting, literally, on top of him a half-a-second later.  :)  She laid on his lap and didn't move for a few minutes.  She took in all of the love, hugs and kisses Zachary had for her.   Her boy was back and her world was a better place.  Now Twinkie knows exactly how Zachary feels inside every time he sees her!  

No comments:

Post a Comment