Sometimes, I️ think Justin thinks I’m not watching or aware of what he’s going through. I️ see and know when things are a challenge. I️ also Know when he’s going to have a hard day. I️ just remain and present, so when he needs I’m always right in front of him watching and waiting for him to say “Mom”…

Autism

Dear Black Son

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So a few months ago Justin decided on his own to go partially vegan. He’s been eating mostly at home due to wanting to keep to his new eating habits. I one day wanted Chinese food so I ordered Egg Foo Young and Justin order Broccoli with rice. As I’m eating my food he’s looking at my food with interest. So he ask me what is it. I explained to him what it was. Egg Foo Young is one of the only things I order from the Chinese restaurant besides chicken wings with fries, shrimp with broccoli, broccoli with rice, and vegetable lo mein.

Picture Courtesy of Ketocuisne

Justin kept looking at my plate and I knew what was about to happen next. He was going to ask if he could try it. Sure enough he asked and I gave him some only giving him the smallest piece of it as possible just in case he doesn’t like it. Well! He liked it! I’m always happy when Justin tries and likes new foods. He proceeds to say, maybe I can start ordering that from now on. I smiled 🤗 and said Sure!! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾.

Tuesday we ordered Shrimp Egg Foo Young for lunch. We ordered it to go so that we can watch a movie together while having lunch. As I made my plate I poured gravy on my food. Justin walks in to the kitchen comes back with syrup in his hand. So I ask him, what is that for? He says “my food” 🤢.

I watched in disgust as he poured syrup over his food. I then said “ Justin Syrup doesn’t go with Egg Foo Young” he replied with “ I don’t think gravy goes with it either but we both like what we like, you like gravy and I like syrup”

All I could do was laugh and agree with him.

He definitely has a point. So I left it alone and ate my food in peace.

I’m wondering 🤔what other ways can Egg Foo Young be eaten besides with gravy and syrup?

How do you like your EggFoo Young?

Autism

Gravy vs. Syrup over Egg Foo Young!

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Autism

There are many times to where I am amazed at the way Justin thinks. We’ve been talking about doing things that make him happy. At first Justin did not want to do Marching Band. But once he gave it a shot he fell in love with it.

Because the upperclassmen doesn’t like the new Marching Band teacher most of them wants to quit.

So I asked Justin does he want to quit?

His response: ” No, I’m not quitting because I don’t like the teacher, I’m doing Marching Band because I Love Music”

Despite what’s around him he plans to continue to do what he loves. He doesn’t like the negativity of his friends talking about the teacher so he said he just listen and does what’s best for him.

👀😳 I was amazed.

I said Wow Justin, it takes some people years to learn how to do things for what they have a passion for and not follow others.

He said, well you teach me to do what I love and stick to it. You also allow me to be myself and do what makes me happy.

That was truly a proud Mommy moment. Sometimes I question if I’m doing a good job and from the talks of it. I am. 😊

Do It! Because it’s What You Want to do!!

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After a long day, Justin finds great pleasure in laying across my bed and talking to me. He said that there is something about my bed that helps him relax and clear his head. So I told him to relax away.

Autism, Dear Black Son

Dear Black Son, Talk With Me.

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Yesterday, while Justin and I was going over the details of the photo shoot. He explained to me that his feelings are like the branches and the layers of the tree. He said some emotions you can see on the outside that is easy to explain. While other emotions are on the inside to where no one can see nor understand. I thought was a great analogy of his emotions.

I kid you not in the back of my mind I’m like I should be recording this for others to hear how he processes things. It’s amazing how he views and sees things. Listening to him process things openly helps me at times to understand him better.

I’m big on communication and being open and honest with your feelings. I allow him to be himself freely but make sure he respects me because I am his mother. I think that’s why we have the relationship we do.

Are your emotions like a Tree? 🤔

I think Justin maybe on to something.

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Autism

Like A Tree 🌲

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My sister is living in her purpose and has become a photographer. Today Justin will have a photo shoot with her capturing all of emotions he goes through throughout the day. I didn’t tell him about until Just now and boy oh boy I can feel the anxieties flowing.

He’s like:

What is it for?

What do I have to do?

Is this for the blog?

What emotions should I do?

I’m sure in his mind he’s really like, you pulled me out of Band practice for this! When I told him it was for a project, he said okay. But I can still feel his anxiety. I’m very mindful of what I say and how I say things to him. I don’t dismiss my emotions because I’m entitled to feel the way I do they same way I allow him to express them.

On another note. Wish us Luck! Today will be a great day because I Believe it will be. 😊

Autism

Photo Shoot Project

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We’ve been having a few rough weeks since the start of High School, The Marching Band Season, and My Work Schedule 😫.

I’m tired and Justin is very much overwhelmed. Last night Justin came to me and asked me if I think he has ADHD in addition to his Autism because he can’t seem to focus. I assured him that he does not have ADHD and that it’s not that he can’t focus it’s just that when you don’t get enough rest and have a busy schedule like his, it’s hard to think straight.

I told him to think of it like this, what if we took away Marching Band would you be able to focus more on your work. He immediately said yes. So I also had him compare his schedule this year to last year. He then realized that he doesn’t have ADHD and that he just need to learn how to manage his time better and prioritize.

Now if he did show signs of ADHD I’d be the first one to work on getting him help.

Last night was our first night getting some rest and having much quality time together that we so needed.

This week will be another crazy week but we will make the best of it.

Autism

Tired & Overwhelmed

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Autism

Dear Black Son, Learn From

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This is my painting. It doesn’t have a name. It started out as a flower and then it ended up this way. I was reflecting and painting based off the day my client had.

My client was really stressed out after school. So we decided to paint a picture. It helped my client calm down and open up about their day. My client really enjoyed the activity. I did have something else in my to work on but sometimes you have to improvise and go with the mood of the day.

My client felt better and open up like a Butterfly 🦋…

Here’s my client painting. Titled: “Lines”

Happy Friday Everyone!!

Autism

Art Therapy.

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I’m not sure if many of you know that I am a mental health therapist for children and young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. When I first started my job I was very nervous and thought the worse things a therapist can think of when providing therapy. I had to call one of my go to persons to help me feel better and confident. He assured me that I will do well and I will make an impact. My first few days of counseling was the scariest. It’s was only scary because I was allowing thoughts to effect me.

Photo Courtesy of Psychology Today

I love what I do. I find that providing therapy to others is very productive. Not only do I help them with their issues. I learn more and more about myself. Often times after session. I reflect on the session, assessing what works and what doesn’t. I also look at new ways to get a break throw. I love it when my clients have a break through. It’s as if the the light bulb just went off and they finally get what they felt was so hard to understand and or accomplish.

An Aha Moment is Always Rewarding.

I knew I wanted to be a therapist since I was a little girl. I remember watching a television show and the lady on the show was a Therapist. I said I’m going to do that when I get older. I always knew I wanted to help people by listening. I didn’t start out as a Therapist because Teaching was something I needed to accomplish before becoming a Counselor. Teaching was what helped me become a better mom for my child with Autism. I was fully equipped with laws and my rights as a parent with a child with a disability. I’ll tell you there is nothing like knowing your rights as a parent when dealing with your child’s development.

I made sure he had everything he was entitled. I also made sure he received any service he needed to help he improve.

I still teach!!

I teach the little ones. I’m a Preschool Teacher. I love Teaching the little ones especially the Special Ones. I love making sure services are in place for them and educating parents on their rights.

I’m known as the Social- Emotional Teacher Advocate Specialist at School. That’s not my job title but I swear it because of all of the work I do.

Just wanted to share a little bit more about myself. I teach during the day and I’m at Therapist by Night! 😊

Keena's Moments

I’m a Mental Health Therapist.

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