Last week we had Bilal’s IEP transitional meeting for kindergarten placement. We also went over his goals and updated goals required for the remaining of the school year and the beginning of the next school year till his 6th birthday. It all went really smoothly and alhamdullah I’m glad by the attention and dedication his team have for Bilal’s continued progress. Ms. Norton the special ed instructor from Manning Oaks was invited to attend and she continued to take down a lot of notes and better explain the system at her school. It was agreed that he attend typical kindergarten with speech, OT and 2.5 periods a day of special instruction mainly for writing and any other instruction he would need. His OT has been reduced from an hour a week to half an hour a week. He’s got scissor cutting and pencil grip learnt but just needs to improve his arm alignment while holding the pencil to press harder and be able to actually write instead of draw his letters, smaller and neater writing. His only remaining special goals are the use of a “fidget toy” something to keep his fingers occupied so he can pay attention better, and a little one-on-one talk with a teacher to learn that he doesn’t need to be a perfectionist and speed his work. His speech goals are mainly to improve articulation and grammar structure and be able to use more adjectives.
We did it! 2 years of special education and therapy have prepared him to attend a typical kindergarten with typical peers, he’ll have a normal day at school with reading, writing, math, science, social studies, art, music and PE. He’ll ride the typical bus to and from school. He’ll move from a class of 9 students (7 boys, 2 girls) to a class of a maximum of 22 students with a more equal mix of boys and girls
Towards the end of the month local schools have Kindergarten Tours, where parents and little kids can tour the school, have a snack at the cafeteria and take a ride in a school bus, parents take home the registration package and have any questions answered. Then the week before school starts (August) they have orientation again to tour or ask questions and by then their homeroom classes and buses would have been assigned and we’d get our school supply lists. I’m super excited and optimistic that Bilal will do just fine and hopefully make a friend or two inshaAllah.
Welcome to my blog. This blog is our story with autism, I’ll start from the very beginning, from pregnancy all the way to today, I’ll highlight the early warning signs that I missed, how we went about getting a diagnosis and the therapy and treatments we’re using. In doing so I hope it helps other families that feel something isn’t quiet right with their child and find some answers that may help them.
My name is Sarah, and I am an Egyptian, American, Muslim. I was born in North Carolina and lived my early childhood here in the US, my dad was studying for his PHD and my mom was a stay at home mother looking after me and my younger brother, you can say it was a pretty typical childhood. Once my dad completed his PHD we moved back to Egypt for 4 years, where he was teaching at a local university, my mom taught English as a second language at another university, my brother and I were adjusting to life and school and enjoying all the cousins and extended family that we hadn’t known till then. At this point my parents decided to move back to the US and try their luck so we moved to the little university town of Auburn, Alabama another 2 years here and my parents weren’t really successful and started applying for jobs abroad where my dad was hired at a technical college in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. My parents thought they’d give it a chance, at least they’ll be able to complete an umrah and hajj (pilgrimage) to the Holy cities of Makkah and Madinah if nothing else. You can say the thought of moving to a desert country where women are forced to cover up scared me and I had myself a huge drama show claiming my parents were ruining my childhood, little did I know that those years in Riyadh were to be the best years of my life and the friends I made during those years are the closest and truest friends I’ve ever had and we’re still friends today, 15 years later. I completed high school between Riyadh and Jeddah and applied for college in Egypt where I studied Business Administration and graduated in 2004. A year later I got engaged and worked as a Business teacher at my old high school in Riyadh for 2 years, got married and pregnant.
That’s my childhood and background, does any of that affect my chances or increases my risk for having a child on the spectrum, who knows, all the forms we fill out ask for the education level of the parents, so to some degree it might, but I doubt it, as we’ve seen autism strike children of parents of different backgrounds, education levels, and social status, but I shared it because it might be helpful to someone out there and it makes me more normal and real to you, a typical person, typical childhood (sans all the moving) and a typical education and career.