Monday, April 8, 2013


I've said it before, and I'll say it again... raising an autistic child is like crossing a six-lane highway at rush hour, blindfolded, trying to find a nickel on the way.  Here are your options, pick the right one.  Everyone has an opinion.  Every parent with an autistic child has a set of things they'd do again in a heartbeat, and those they'd not wish on a dog.

Thing is, the thing you wouldn't wish on a dog might be the best thing in the world to someone else.

We're given a suggestion in the beginning from a doctor, people who have our kids at church, Mother's Day out, and from family members in the beginning that something isn't right.

From there, it's a spiral of confusion.

To whom do you listen?  Whose advice deserves heeding?

In the end, it's what's best for your child.  We search, we study, we listen.  But what's the right thing?  Which way do we go?  What's right?

On Friday, I received a call from our director of special education for the school district.  I am grateful for this call, let me get that out of the way.  I'm grateful for her time.  She didn't have to call me.  She could have let me be blindsided by what the pre-ARD (yeah, I just learned they did that) was going to suggest.

Before I say it, we've been riding high for far too long on the fact that he did kindergarten with no aid.  I guess we assumed that this was the insurmountable, and the rest was downhill.  Silly mommy.

First grade, even with a stellar classroom teacher and equally as stellar resource teacher, needs the classroom aid.  A lot.  Like way too much.  I've known that his behavior has been an issue.  They communicate with us, we support their needs at home as much as possible.  We do our best to continue what they do at school discipline-wise at home, being as consistent as we can.

The call was to tell us that the suggestion is going to be to add Life Skills into his day.

I didn't know what to think about this.  I've been told that there's no way he needs to be in a self-contained classroom, and I think in kindergarten and first grade, that's been true.  But the truth is that the sheer amount of stuff to take in is just too great.  Too disturbing.  He's not learning as much as putting up with the discomfort of the room.  Even with the aid, with a super-understanding, organized teacher, he's just not thriving.

I can't tell you how embarrassed I am at my internal reaction.

She might as well have kicked me in the chest.

Just when I think I've accepted who my son is, what his challenges are, and I love him for who he is, I'm caught off guard.  I didn't know what to think.  My head was swimming.  The special needs director even gave me her cell number and told me to use it if I had any questions.  My reaction?  As politely as I could muster, this is what I said:

Thank you.  If I figure out what the questions are, I'll ask them. 

Is this what I was hoping for?  No.  But what I was hoping for wasn't best.  I worried all weekend.  

Sunday morning, when I picked Ryan up from CE, I realized there was someone who was educated, experienced, and knew my guy.  I couldn't get to her fast enough.  In just a few minutes, I had an opinion that sifted the others and funneled the noise into something I could understand.  

I'm thankful for so much this morning.  But more than anything, I'm thankful for a God who hears my cries.  Who has my... and Ryan's... best interest at heart.  It's no accident that we called Redeemer a couple of years ago and asked if we'd be welcome.  It's no accident that there's a lady with a heart for kids like Ryan who is with him every Sunday.  

So I'm off to the meeting.  I'm still a bit nervous, but I know it will be okay.  Why? 

Romans 8:28. 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,for those who are called according to his purpose.

Thanks be to God!

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