Disney Story: A Day in the Life of a 7-year-old with AutismLisa Quinones-Fontanez
A few weeks ago, I walked Norrin down to the bus. The sun still wasn’t up and the streets were still quiet. But Norrin and I were there waiting.
Every parent is amazed by their kid. But I am especially amazed by how hard Norrin works every day.
After Norrin was diagnosed with autism that’s when our lives began to revolve around therapies. That’s when I first realized how hard my kid was willing to work.
Therapy sessions aren’t like extracurricular activities. Norrin isn’t working hard to be captain of the football team or to win a spelling bee or to win a scholarship to the ‘right’ school. Norrin works hard to master the everyday life skills that come so naturally to ‘typical’ kids.
The first time I put Norrin on a school bus he was 2 years old. He had no language. He was still in a diaper. He was still small enough to balance him on my hip. He still needed help walking up the two steps.
At two years old, his day began at 6:30 am the school bus picked him up at 7:13 am. His school day was from 8:30 to 11:30 and then he’d be back on the bus on his way home.
Then by 3 pm, his afternoon therapies began. Three hours of ABA five days a week. Two thirty minute sessions of Speech therapy. And sixty minutes of occupational therapy once a week. In those early days, therapists were often in our house until seven thirty. And we often ate dinner with the ABA therapist.
When Norrin transitioned to a full day pre-k program, our days still began at dark. Norrin’s school day was 8:30 to 2:30 not including the hour commute back and forth. And after his school, he’d come home, eat a quick snack then work with a therapist for two more hours, four days a week. And once a week, Norrin had a two-hour session with the Occupational therapist at the sensory gym.
Read more of Lisa’s writing at AutismWonderland.