Thursday, April 6, 2017

Max and the Cubs Baseball Team

The above link will let you see Max in action throwing the first pitch at the Cubs Spring Training game.
Max had the time of his life standing on the pitcher mount throwing the first ball of the Cubs game.

Max and the Cubs Baseball Team

Max had the time of his life throwing the first pitch at the Cubs Spring Training  game.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Max was in the Mr. Wonderful Pageant!!!

Max was selected to be one of the ten male students at his high school to be in the Mr. Wonderful Pageant. He had to perform a talent and answer a random question on stage. There were three areas they focused on. One was talent, two was style and three was intelligence. I was so proud of him.
Here is the youtube video of his skit. I hope you enjoy watching Max perform.

Here is another video of him dancing. He is the third dancer on the left of the video.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Good bye Orchestra, hello Swim Team.

All summer Max went down to the school to practice songs with a group of the orchestra students for the back-to-school event for teachers. He went faithfully all summer, even though he didn't enjoy going and he had made the decision in the middle of the summer to drop orchestra. The last practice he attended I went to the counseling office and had his schedule changed. it  made me sad to see him want to drop out of orchestra. I will miss hearing him practice. 
 When Max got out of practice I told him we needed to tell his orchestra teacher that he had dropped orchestra. I told his orchestra teacher we had some sad news to give her. Max was standing near both of us and I was facing the teacher. I proceeded to tell her that Max dropped orchestra because he wants to focus on his Special Olympics swim team. Plus, he has no room in his schedule and he wants a lunch hour. I also explained to her that Max has been having anxiety problems. She looked at Max and said, “Can’t you do both swim and orchestra? Can’t you juggle both of them?” I was not happy with her asking Max those questions after I had just told her he is having an anxiety issue. She told Max if he ever wanted to come back, he could.
 Weeks later she stopped me in the school hallway and asked me if I was upset with her. I told her that I was not happy that after I had explained that he is not able to handle everything and that he wanted to focus on swimming, that she would turn to Max and ask “why can’t you juggle both activities?” She said, “I was just kidding, but I guess I can’t kid because people with autism take everything seriously.” I told her she was correct “you can’t joke because they do” take everything seriously. By this time Max had joined in the conversation and she said, “Max, I’m sorry I did something to hurt you, will you accept my apology?” Max said, “Yes” 
She then asked: “Isn’t there something else you are upset with me for?” I then told her that, I was not happy with what she said at the IEP meeting, in front of Max, regarding the reason she held him back in orchestra is because of his autism. Max then said, “I feel like Jackie Robinson, you know the movie 42?”
The good thing about all of this is Max joined the school swim team. He has enjoyed every second of it and he has also enjoyed swimming for Special Olympics. He even learned how to swim the butterfly. 

Max with two of his good swim friends. One of them he has known since they both were toddlers.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Max and his Orchestra concert.

Max playing his viola in Orchestra.
Click on the Max playing his Viola in Orchestra and it will take you to a video of his concert.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Max can wash clothes!

Over the summer Max learned how to use the washer and dryer. We spent hours learning how to sort his clothes and wash his bedding.. It's been an adventure.  One I'm glad we took. 
Last week he washed his bedding without my help.
Three cheers for Max.  

Here is his notes that we taped near the washer  and dryer. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Life...with a special needs teenager

Max has been such a delight to have in my life these last sixteen years. He has taught me so many valuable lessons about how to cope, stay strong and never give up. When Max was little he loved to pull clothes off hangers, sit inside the dryer, bang his head on the floor and dart out the front door running towards a busy street.
Now that Max is a teenager I see different trials for him, not as physically challenging, but more of an emotional. He no longer desires to sit inside the dryer ( I don’t think he would fit) or bang his head on the floor (he stopped that when he was about six). The struggles he faces are more with social interactions and understanding reasoning behind why people act in ways he doesn’t understand. Max has more anxiety than he did years ago. And this summer proved that point when he had his first panic attack.
Right before I left for an adult church activity, I asked Max if he had his cell phone and reminded him to make sure the ringer volume was turned on so he could hear my call. I told him I would call to check on him. He was fine with that. Right after I was seated at the activity I looked out into the hallway and who did I see standing barefoot, red faced and sweating? Max. He had tried to chase the car all the way to the church building to let us know he couldn’t find his phone.
The horrible thing about all this is, I had his phone in my purse, I felt so terrible knowing I had asked him to keep his phone on and nearby and it was with me.
This was Max’s first panic attack and I hope he never has one again. Poor guy got a huge blister on his foot from running on the hot cement. 
He said, “Mom, one good thing that came out of this experience is, I learned how to cross the road.”