**Fore warning...this is a long post. And it's not scrapbook related.**
As a lot of you who follow my blog know, Bradley is my middle son. He is turning 6 years old next Friday and he is just the sweetest, most loving little boy. He is autistic but you know what? I refuse to label him that anymore because he is so much more than that. This year alone has been SO life changing for him and he's been hitting all kinds of new milestones that it's just unbelievable and there is one device that I can say that has truly helped him in his journey.
We moved from a tiny little town this past January to a bigger city and with that came a new school. When I went to enroll the boys into their elementary school, I was very surprised and very nervous that Bradley would be in a "general" class. (By general I mean a regular class, not a special education class he has been in). I couldn't sleep the night before their first day. How would he adjust? Would he scream? What about the fact that there are NO doors in the Kindergarten area? Would he run away from his tutor? Who is going to make sure he stays seated? What if the other kids are mean and cruel to him? Well, the first day came and went and his teachers were so excited to tell me that he did great. Then the week ended and he had pretty much adjusted to his new routine. (If you know autism, you know that those kids LOVE routine). Well, come ARD meeting time. (ARD is Admission,Review,Dismissal which is a meeting where you set goals for your special needs children for the year, testing, etc.) His teachers told me that he could now say his ALPHABET. I was STUNNED. Alphabet? He can barely keep any eye contact with me! Then they proceeded to tell me that they let him play with their computer and iPads (his favorite is the principal's hahaha) and he could find his ABC youtube videos all by himself. Well of course I wondered, how did he figure it out? Well, the answer was simple.
Every afternoon while my husband was unemployed (he's working now! yay!) he would sit with Julianne and play youtube ABC videos. We never thought about sitting Bradley next to us because we figured he didn't want to watch or what not. Well, apparently he had been taking mental notes and had been watching because everything my husband did on the iPad, Bradley figured it out and showed his teachers :) So now, we allow Brad to use my husband's ipad (supervised of course!) and he and his sister absolutely LOVE dancing and singing their ABC's and numbers. So if you have an autistic child in your family and you are debating whether or not to purchase an iPad or even an iPod touch I can tell you, DON'T THINK TWICE. If you can afford it (and there are programs out there that you can qualify for that can help you!) definitely purchase one but if it's really out of your range, ask your school's principal to purchase them for the school! The more mainstream the tablets get, more schools are getting them but it's so important that you ask! That machine has helped Bradley (and even Julie) just do things that we could never get him to do. I know that people say technology is bad for kids and all that but in this case, I can first hand say that it has IMPROVED Brad's life.
*My cutie pie in his official Kindergarten photo*
*Not only for educational purposes, this kid can play a mean game of Temple Run! ha!*
*As you can see, learning his alphabet*
*On youtube all you have to do is type in ABC's and all the videos will pop up*
So milestones that Bradley has hit in the past 3 months are:
-Can point to each letter and spell words out
I'm so excited for his progress! :)