It's that time of year where my Mommy starts to reflect on all of the GOOD things that have happened in the past year, not the bad things. She says that this helps her enter into the new year with hope and new ideas for helping me. She thought it might be helpful to other families to see how much I have learned and progressed the past twelve months. She also said that some of my behaviors are like boomerangs. What does that even mean?! Oh - the
behavior leaves and then comes back... Oopsie! I can't help it! I will just keep doing my best
with help from everyone on Team Bryce who help me every day on this autism journey.
1. I finished Kindergarten in Daddy School and have been rockin' 1st grade! I already finished 1st grade Science and asked Daddy for more, so we will start 2nd grade Science in January. Yay!
2. I learned to read sentences and books this year, not just sight words! I love to get books from the library. I visited Barnes & Noble for the first time this month. Wow! It was such a cool place. I got to pick out new Christmas books to read each night.
3. I learned to TALK in sentences this year!! I think reading books, plus the help of my speech therapists, really helped me meet that goal. And I talk a lot! I pretty much say whatever I am thinking about which can confuse people - But, hey! I have so much inside of my brain that just needs to come out of me. Most of the time, people can figure out what I mean. ☺
4. I learned to ride my bicycle WITHOUT training wheels! It is REALLY fun!
5. I overcame my fear of live instruments thanks to my music therapy with Mr. Tom and Miss Liz. I loved to listen to Miss Liz play her guitar and sing to me. It made me very calm. She's helping other people now, so I don't see her anymore - BUT I still have my music therapy with Mr. Tom every Saturday. He has helped me learn to play all kinds of instruments like acoustic guitar, electric guitar, different kinds of drums, cymbals, keyboard, free note, and more. It's awesome! We also write songs about things I like and record them. He said he is making me a DVD of my music. How cool is that?!
6. This year, I learned how to ride in the saddle on Rio, a tall retired race horse! My equine therapy at Harmony Hope Ranch has also helped my be less anxious and nervous.
7. I learned to play board games, Uno, Tag and Hide-N-Seek with my friends. Well, I still kind of stink at Hide-N-Seek. When I am "hiding", I giggle and tell people where I am. When I am "seeking", I get distracted and stop looking for them. Oopsie! I guess I better keep working on that one next year. These games helped me learn how to take turns and not get upset when somebody else wins the game.
8. Mommy worked extra hard to help me get better with my social skills. I did a better job giving my friends their personal space and stopped kissing them. I also learned how to have some conversations with him. I know I still have a lot of work to do, but I have really had fun learning how to play with all of my new friends!
9. I let my family and friends sing "Happy Birthday" to me this year! My brain told me that it's okay. I also wanted them to clap which surprised everyone! Now, I like actually LIKE to sing Happy Birthday to other people and am okay if they clap when they are finished. I know it's coming, so it doesn't scare me anymore. Now, POPPING sounds still scare me, so NO BALLOONS allowed. I guess that's another goal for 2021.
10. I improved my motor skills this year thanks to my occupational therapists who have worked with me all year. Mommy and Daddy also have ways of helping me work on these skills at home, too. My muscles are getting stronger with my hard work and supplements/vitamins.
11. I understand emotions much more when I feel them and can also recognize them in other people. I had an emotional connection to my cousins, and I cried after we had to leave them at Thanksgiving. I told Mommy & Daddy that I needed more family and turkey.
12. I took swim lessons with Mr. Matt and overcame my fear of putting my face in the water. I really do love to swim, so this is a pretty big deal.
13. I joined Cub Scouts this year! I have gone to the camp ground, earned patches, worked service projects, made crafts, and played games. Maybe next year, I will be able to add "slept over at camping" to my 2021 list!
14. I visited North Dakota and saw bison (buffalo). I also went to the Fargo Air Museum which was really cool with so many airplanes and helicopters!
15. I visited Colorado and saw wild moose which made Mommy REALLY excited! I also rode a steam engine train through the mountain which was a fun experience.
16. I got to visit the pilots in the cockpit on my 737 airplane flights and also got to sit in the Captain's seats two different times! The co-pilots answered all my questions and taught me lots of new things about flying airplanes.
17. I got to co-pilot a propeller airplane with Captain Alan for my 7th birthday! It was super duper amazing! I loved everything about the whole experience! Mr. Alan answered all of my remaining questions that the co-pilots couldn't answer, because I had to go get in my seat for the flights.
18. I hiked to a few waterfalls in Colorado, saw autumn leaves on the trees, rode on a gondola, and got to taste snow for the first time! It was a small pile of snow on the high mountain - It was cold when I made a snowball.
19. I visited MOSI in Tampa - A super duper cool science museum that made me think I left Earth and went to the Moon. Kind of freaked me out until Mommy helped me understand that I was still on Earth.
20. I got to see rocket launches and hear/feel the sonic boom from the launch for the first time. One of the launches had astronauts which made it extra special, since I want to be an astronaut one day!
21. I learned more about God, Jesus, and Heaven. We didn't go to church very much this year because of COVID-19, so Daddy added a Bible class to our school lessons to help me continue to learn. I learned the song "Jesus Loves Me" and sang it a lot.
22. I didn't repeat people or "echo" sentences as much this year, because I can understand things that people are saying to me so much better now! Yay!
23. I expanded my list of foods with more meats, veggies, and even added fish dip (salmon) with crackers to my menu. I understand that eating these foods will help me have super strength.
24. I learned SO MUCH about airplanes, outer space, and race cars this year. I also learned more about sports like football, golf, basketball, and soccer. My brain is like a computer that wants more information all the time!
25. I continue to understood more about Christmas every year: Santa, the Elves, Jesus' Birthday, and Giving. I wrote my first letter to Santa with my own gift ideas for the elves to make for me (not something my parents told me to say like last year's dominos). I made a birthday cake for Jesus and sang "Happy Birthday" to him. I also bought gifts for Daddy and my best friend this year to give to them. Mommy had different things for me to do each day in December as we counted down to Christmas. Some things were fun Christmas traditions. Some things were doing nice things for other people. I learned so much and had lots of fun!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you! I hope you continue to follow my autism journey in 2021! xoxo - Bryce