Johnson’s Journeys Day 2: (back story continued)

It was important for us parents to not lose sight, not lose her as number amongst other students. As a matter of fact, her father and I have continued to work diligently in advocating for the best possible care for her and her education according to her individualized education plan (IEP). This would ensure her care from down time, to alone time, sensory breaks, additional supports and assistance with transitions in and outside of the classroom as well as ensuring her safety.

We have always believed as parents that the sky is the limit for her. Not only is she not defined by ASD, but she has come so far! I remember when Michaiah was limited in the words she could speak and how she could express herself. She was great when things went her way or if it was something she wanted to play with, but it always had to be her idea. As soon as a new toy was introduced or play was interrupted, that could not be such a great thing. Big spaces and loud noise would also adversely effect her negatively. Michaiah would want to escape and calm herself. She has always been more than capable academically and is very smart and bright! Her classroom is designed to instruct her and her friends on general education curriculum with mild modifications as necessary. Michaiah also qualified for speech and occupational therapy in the school for x amount of hours a week/month. These services started in preschool, where she attended for two years.

In addition, through her school ISD, we were referred to our local community health and were able to connect Michaiah with therapists who could provide her with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA therapy). Michaiah’s issues haven’t been so much academics as much as the ASD has effected her behavior. The therapists have been working on many things including behavior modification. I can’t tell you how many times therapists have sat for hours instructing her therapy sessions! Michaiah is thriving and particularly loves the outdoor and craft activities they do together between 9-13 hours aweek in our home given the week and what all is going on.

Michaiah is now in 1st grade and is doing so well. Michaiah is able to talk in full sentences and have full conversations. She loves school so much she asks to even go to school on the weekends. I really think this is because…

Stay tuned for more….

Johnson’s Journies Day 1: The Back Story

I just first want to share what a joy and honor it is to share on the journey with you; the journey of 2 very special needs children, our children, Michaiah Cherie & Alexis Ann.

Some of you may or may not know, our family moved states almost 4 years ago to be closer to relatives back in the Midwest. Our oldest, Michaiah was only 3 years old at the time the doctors wanted to have her evaluated.

We were first time parents, we really had no idea what to expect nor anticipate. We first noticed Michaiah had a ‘different’ set of special gifts on a very special level when we took her to her first structured musical class. Most of the children and their parents were doing things that Michaiah was not yet doing. It was uncomfortable as I got stares at times and parents distancing themselves from us because they didn’t know what to do or say or how to interpret us. I’d like to believe they were giving us space to navigate ourselves. A few of the mothers were very kind and reached out to include us regularly. As parents, we noticed then that the world of Michaiah was delicate and unique, like a flower blossoming; we just needed to get to the layers of who Michaiah really was and is. We so desperately wanted to see Michaiah unlock; we knew she was so full of life and on her time and terms, she would be ready to share.

When we settled in our place, closer to family, we right away had Michaiah evaluated. Though it is clear that we distinguish a diagnosis certainly doesn’t define any child, including Michaiah. We are believing, as believers, for full restoration and healing for her to the level that God sees fit (not looking for criticism, this is a personal belief). It was determined upon closer examination, that Michaiah received an educational classification of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As her mother, at first, this crushed my heart. It took a lot of prayer and time to process this new meaning and life for Michaiah. Over time I learned to separate the emotion of it, a spade was a spade. I started to see what the educational classification was meant to do, just that, provide extra tools, resources, and supports for her in the classroom.

It was important for us as parents…..