I am Maria Lawless, and this is our Learning Log for our youngest child Sophia. We also have two older children; our boys, Devin 16 and Max 13. Both attend regular school and love it. My husband Brent (the love of my life) is our rock. He also helps with a lot of the technical, science, math and computer lessons when Sophia needs help (which is rarely.)
So a bit about Sophia; she is our 10 year old tiny professor. A beautiful, creative, highly intelligent and very funny wee poppit. She is very unique and always keeps us on our toes. We wouldn’t change her for anything and we feel blessed to be her family.
Sophia was diagnosed in 2014 with High Functioning Autism (HFA) /Asperger’s Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). She has her struggles, but we do pretty well now that we know her triggers and have a sensory diet in place.
I also have three of the four diagnosis Soph has, and will be getting assessed for Autism as soon as we can.
Just to be clear, we do not feel Sophia is in need of a cure, she is evolution at its best -she is awesome! We don’t need to change Autistics, we need to change our world which sometimes feels unsafe and overwhelming with too much noise, movement and chaos. Autism may well be the answer to the threat of humanities overwhelming urge to create panic, disorder and an excess of stuff.
People really need to develop acceptance, an awareness of diversity and most of all compassion for people who are different than them. We don’t all fit in a specific box.
Sophia (like me) has always been Autodidactic. We have begun learning from home (aka home educating), as the school environment was just not a good fit for her, with her sensory and anxiety issues. Her sensitivities coupled with her intelligence level and quirky personality just didn’t work well with institutionalized learning.
Sophia was in school until last year. In 2015 her anxiety increased to a point of self-harm and chronic illness and she began to dislike herself for being different. No additional help was given (asked for yes…) and she began to slide backwards in all of the progress we had made with her between our own study of Autism and effective techniques and her previous teacher’s as well.
I filed for and was granted an ‘Exemption from Enrollment in a Registered School’ in May of 2015 so that I could home educate her, and work on the areas that she most needed help with.
- Addressing her anxiety
- Building self-confidence
- Cognitive Therapy
- Emotional Regulation Therapy
- Social Skills
- Life Skills
These areas; not covered in a typical classroom education, are what she really needed in addition to her academic study. She is well above where she needs to be in all areas; which ironically, is why she does not qualify for additional aide.
This page is a glimpse into Sophia’s life; her study-log, awesome things she says, some of her daily struggles and celebrations.
All posts come with her approval, I would never post anything we did not discuss beforehand.
We will add pictures of some of her work, her unique expressions, and clothing choices which we find adorable. Also we will include some of the most profound realizations about humanity, earth, the environment and life which come from this gifted little girl.
We will also have an Autism Resources page as well as an Academic Resources page. There is a link to our Goodreads pages which show what we have read and have our ratings on them. We do try to keep these up to date, but read a lot so check back often.
Sophia may make her own posts as well, although most of her expression comes through her videos on her YouTube Channel and her Google+.
There will also be an archive to show some of the signs from when she was small, things we did not know to look for which could have led us to seek a diagnosis much sooner.
I was unaware myself of the traits until a friend’s daughter went to a presentation on Asperger’s. It was by a female presenter who was diagnosed as an adult with Asperger’s (HFA). The girl was 10 at the time, and took note that the traits described, matched Sophia’s, and suggested we look into it.
We are always grateful for her bringing this into our awareness, and maybe others who see Sophia’s journey will also become aware of Autism, particularly in girls as it is so often overlooked.
Every Autistic child is different, they just share similar traits. The same as neurotypical children, each unique, with similar traits.
(None of our children would qualify as neurotypical, they just have not been assessed nor diagnosed.)
Thank you for stopping by to see what we have been up to.
Please feel free to leave comments or questions. Also feel free to subscribe and of course ‘like’ our posts.