Encouragement, Affirmation, and other Good Things

Over the past several days, I have received even more encouragement, and a lot of affirmation that we are in the right place, doing the right thing.

Aaron attended a medical lecture on autism given by a doctor who is the director of developmental pediatrics at the children’s hospital in Tacoma, WA.  This guy is a developmental pediatrician – and, a very good one at that!  After the lecture, Aaron had a chance to talk with him and share a little about Matthew.

Aaron said that he really wasn’t sure what this doctor would recommend, especially since he pushed for intensive (30 hrs/wk) behavioral therapy for kids with autism.

But, Aaron explained our choice to keep Matthew at home instead of placing him in preschool, and the doctor said “You are absolutely right!  He should be with kids the same developmental age – kids that are learning and doing the same things that he is learning and doing.  But, he definitely should not be in a classroom with kids with autistic spectrum disorders!  You don’t want him picking up those behaviors!”  He offered to help us with mainstreaming Matthew if we ever faced challenges with that, and said that a recommendation from a developmental pediatrician can go a long way with the school district.

Aaron also mentioned Matthew’s evaluation, and his speech delay.  He asked how delayed Matthew was, and Aaron told him how much ( … er, how little?) he was speaking, but that he had almost 100 ASL signs that he uses on a regular basis.  The doctor said, “That’s GREAT language!”  Aaron explained that they can’t count it on the evaluation (we’ll get to that later), and the doctor said, “Well, maybe not, but it COUNTS!”

I’m smiling even as I write this – it was such wonderful affirmation, and at a time when we really needed it.  For Matthew’s signs to be called “Great language!” by someone who truly is an expert – and for our choice to keep him home to be supported – it’s was fantastic.

. . . to be continued!

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5 thoughts on “Encouragement, Affirmation, and other Good Things

  1. Yay! GO MATTHEW!!! And go Amy and Aaron! I know every decision you guys are making and have made for Matthew has been in his best interest. I’m so proud of you guys for always looking at what’s best for Matthew, for doing your homework, and for not just taking the first answer you get as gospel truth. He is a very lucky little boy to have the two of you as parents. 🙂 And as someone who knows A LOT of sign language, I totally concur–100+ signs is GREAT!! 🙂 At his age and stage of development, COMMUNICATION is more important than speaking, and we all know that speaking is just a small part of communicating. He’ll get there…just give him time. 🙂 You guys are doing a fantastic job with him. Plus, he’s a healthy, happy, beautiful little boy–3 years ago, hardly anyone even thought that was even possible. God’s working on and in and through him, all in His time (and Matthew’s)!

  2. I am smiling with tears of joy!!! When Ken and Danielle were over, the kids taught us “ice cream” … we know some signs… but not a lot! I can’t wait to sign and eat ice cream with Matthew… next time I am in Walla Walla. Hugs to all of you! You are such an inspiration and in my prayers daily!! I may get to see your mom in a couple of weeks!! Yeah!!!

  3. Of course you guys are making the right choices with Matthew- you are including the Lord in those choices and have his best interests at heart! I’m so glad that you received some much-needed confirmation that you making the right choices. We all need to hear that we are doing things right! You are fantastic parents- love you guys!

  4. Truly fantastic! I just spoke to a mom who said her son did pick up a lot of behaviors at the spec ed preschool. If she had it to do over, she would not have sent him. He is in a reg ed 3rd grade class now and doing great.

  5. Pingback: Matthew’s Evaluation: What I Wish I’d Known | Matthew Nicholas Vawter

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