Friday, April 29, 2016

FAQ Friday

Kaegan's Grandfather asks:
How do you feel about your progress with RPM?

Kaegan answers:
I am super thrilled! I have hope now that I can connect with you like I've always wanted to. I love you and Grandmother so much and now I can say so.


Devra asks:
Do you know your mom is awesome? Has she ever told you about the little midget car?

Kaegan answers:
I am so glad you asked because now she has told me all about it and the Dodge Swinger. And, yes, I am blessed with an awesome mom!


Mrs. Bonfiglio asks:
What is your ambition for the future?

Kaegan answers:
I have so many plans! I want to train for a marathon and run it with my friend, Jake. I am hoping to study Environmental Sustainability online through the University of Illinois in the fall and I want to continue my role with Keys 4 Autism as director of research and development.


Mrs. Bonfiglio also asks:
What are you most passionate about?

Kaegan answers:
I am most passionate about sharing RPM with other autistics.


Teresa Rice asks:
How to deal with sensory issues?

Kaegan answers:
My experience has been that through RPM, I have been able to overcome a lot of my sensory issues. Now, I can say that I want to try a new food and I am no longer bound by autism's impulsive rejection of new foods. I am much less impulsive about the sound of babies crying now that I can talk about it, and it has everything to do with RPM.

More answers next week!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

FAQ.... Sunday

FAQ Friday slipped by! So here it is on Sunday....

Grammy and Grandpa ask:
Can we hug you now?

Kaegan answers:
I actually like hugs and don't know why my body turns to the side, and I hope you will still keep hugging me!

Faith asks:
What do you want to tell people who want to build relationships with people on the autism spectrum so that they can be good friends?

Kaegan answers:
I think that it is the same as with anyone and that if you share your thoughts and interests with them, they will feel loved. (I think it is insulting to "join.")

Faith asks a clarifying question:
People don't feel it's the same because some people with autism don't respond the way they would expect. What do they need to understand to keep trying to build the relationship even when the person with autism seems uninterested or acts out?

Kaegan answers:
Always assume all the aspects are there even when they don't appear to be, and know that you are making a difference. It is a paradigm shift in your thinking and I think you have to also be aware that they are always inside listening.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

FAQ Friday

Mrs. B. asks:
What was your biggest struggle when beginning RPM?

Kaegan answers:
The biggest struggle when beginning RPM was definitely controlling my behavior, and I would feel such strong emotion because I could feel the communication getting close and my body would freak out. I spent a lot of energy on trying to control myself and I wanted to be able to communicate so badly, especially with my mom.
I am hoping you have great success!

FAQ Friday

Kelli asks:
What do I do about my son always choosing the last choice I give him, no matter what?

Kaegan answers:
I remember doing the same thing. It was easier than answering and impulsive. I think it might be helpful to give the choices silently and maybe place them way across the room from each other.

Julie asks:
What advice to you have for me and my autistic 12 year old daughter?

Kaegan answers:
I think that observing other 12 year old girls can help uncover the interests of an autistic 12 year old girl.

Cousin Cody asks:
How many percussion instruments are there? ;)

Kaegan answers (with a smirk):
By all accounts, I must say, all surfaces can become a percussion instrument and so I offer you the answer: Infinity.

Julie S. asks:
What was it like to go from one month no hope of asking a girl to prom, to the next month, asking and going?
Kaegan answers:
It was surreal and my date was the prettiest girl there, and she will always be my friend. I am thankful for the experience.

Melissa asks:
Do you have control over your singing? What is your favorite song to sing?

Kaegan answers:
I am sometimes able to control what I sing; however, I usually don't. All of my singing feels good, though, and I'm pretty good at it, so I don't worry a lot about it. 
I like to sing praise songs the best like, "Light Up the Sky," because it fills me with joy.

Darla asks:
Have you found essential oils to help with focus, sleep, emotions? Specifically, have you tried the Reconnect Kit?

Kaegan answers:
All the oils are pleasant, but I can't tell they do anything. Maybe I will try the Reconnect Kit again now that I can communicate and report back.
All the questions are fun! Keep them coming!

FAQ Friday

Question: What would you like for Grandparents to know?

I think it is impossible to explain how important the job of grandparent is. I am interested in knowing how grandparents see themselves as role models in the lives of their grand children. Do you know all of the love you show matters? If I can only say one thing, it is that you are important in the lives of your autistic grandchildren in the same way as your non-autistic grand children.

FAQ Friday (on Saturday!)

FAQ Friday! (posted on Saturday.. haha)

Faith asks, "What are some ways to respond to movements that look stiff and jerky and involuntary that take up a lot of time? They are hard to interrupt and I"ld like to understand them more."

Kaegan's Response:
I am familiar with involuntary movements and I am thinking that he does not mean to do them. It is respectful to interrupt and even necessary so that he is not stuck. I think that he needs your help to stop the movements that are not his will and he is not able to stop them himself. I think RPM is the best way to get purposeful. At least it has been for me. I am interested in meeting Jaedon and I hope to soon.

The First Lesson

The First Lesson
by: Kaegan Smith

The first time I think I ever realized that I was not crazy was during my first RPM lesson and that is where my story begins.

I was finally aware that my life had meaning and that someone was going to help me and that I could communicate and make something out of myself instead of living life inside a body that did whatever it chose without my permission. It was the most exciting day of my life, and I am grateful yet angry about my body that won't cooperate.

I won't give up, though, and I will gain control over my body yet. In the words of Winston Churchill, "Never give up."

All of my life has been to praise God and bring glory to Him and I give all credit to Him and praise Him with my life.