De-Cody-ing: Self Independence

This morning, I saw the same face I witnessed the day he took off down the road on his bike for the first time.

The feeling of freedom, feeling of independence, the feeling of confidence, the feeling of ”I did it!”  It was a look that will forever be deep-rooted in my mind.

Working on self-independence is an everyday thing in our home. That is our long term goal right?  To provide Cody with the skills and confidence to be able to live a successful independent life one day on his own?  Shit, that scares me when I write those words out.

So this morning, I placed the car in park about five cars deep in the line at school drop off. Cody jumped out and put on his backpack and threw his Communication Device over his shoulders. I gave him a hug  and said, “Have a great day, I love you!”  Unplanned on my part, I just stood there and said, “Go on in! You know where to go!”

The kid ran so fast to join 3 friends that were running in same time. He was in front and I heard his giggle all the way from my car.  He did not know he was supposed to open the door!  It’s times like this when you are enabling him and don’t even realize it because someone is always there to open his door.  As parents, Brad and I are constantly having to think differently to create growth for Cody.

You question yourself, “If he were by his self standing at that same door, would he just be standing there until someone acknowledged him or opened the door for him?  Perhaps, yes!”  THESE are the things that all have to be taught to Cody. Once learned, it’s tattooed in his head forever. Nothing can come natural, simple like others may learn but once in there, its locked in forever.

After an awkward 10 seconds, I hollered to Cody from car, “Open door!”  He successfully opened and off he ran!  I ran up to see under the door and all I could see was his smile as he turned the corner realizing he bypassed his classroom.  I immediately called his teacher and told her what I did so she could track him down.  She quickly responded he is doing exactly what he should and headed to the cafeteria where he sits with friends until the bell rings.  She was so excited and sent this photo.  His posture and smile say it all. Seeing his joy this morning was priceless and I am so grateful for his teachers.

On another note, his Occupational Therapist reached out before the Thanksgiving holiday and realized there is so much inside CR’s brain that he can’t express that she has picked up on because of his limitations in his writing skills.  We are now testing and probing to see if we need to go into a different direction to help him release his thoughts and responses through technology.  I will share and write on this subject another time……stay tuned!

Look at his smile!





Published by mamalamaneustupa

Bio My name is Shelley Neustupa. I am a mother of two cool boys and a wife of 22 years to my high school sweetheart. My oldest son attends the University of Oklahoma. Boomer! My youngest is in 2nd grade and was diagnosed with Autism and Mixed Receptive Expressive Disorder at age 2. Since his diagnosis, I promised him I would advocate and educate as hard as he works each day in therapy. I began writing and have been able to touch many parents that may be new to this journey providing them with actual experiences (not candy coated), support and resources through my entries. Writing is my therapy and my hope one day that my nonverbal son will be able to take these diaries and speak about his own journey and how autism relates to his own experiences. Who knows he and his older brother may become National Speaker’s one day? Come along on our journey to better understand our lives through the eyes of a boy with autism, his Skilled Companion dog Jude, his big brother (and best friend) and mom and dad. My raw vulnerability captures the everyday moments of our journey and will bring even more awareness. A week does not go by where we do not learn something new about ourselves and I want to share these chapters with you. My Sons Undeniable Strengths… Extremely smart and figures out things quickly. Has a memory that allows him to remember more things than I could ever hope for. Persuasive by his personality and sheepish looks. Overabundance of stamina and strength. Loves the outdoors. Enjoys life and always has fun with an unforgettable smile. You can find us here: Writer: Autism Through His Eyes Facebook Instagram YouTube Pinterest Canine Companions for Independence News Interview Cody and Skilled Companion Jude - Our Story

2 thoughts on “De-Cody-ing: Self Independence

  1. Shelle, Honey, I am continually in awe of the fantastic job you and Brad are doing with Cody. An. Awesome type of training and the
    Love your whole family has for him aids in giving him confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

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