Will they know……….

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As she drove the enrollment packet to the new school district she could feel the tears welling up in her eyes.  Her son had attended the same school district since he was three.  It was always nice to have him close by with people who knew and loved him.  He was 20 now and was well known in the district.  The new school system had already said they could not provide services for him, he would be sent to the center program on a bus.

So many changes; a new home, new school, a new community.

The tears that had begun to fill her eyes now trickled down her cheek. Her mind raced, she was overwhelmed.  She couldn’t stop thinking about the new people that would be a part of his life…How could she possibly tell them every minute detail of her very complicated and beautiful boy.  The focus was always on the obvious, his Ring 22 syndrome, his autism, his behaviors, all of the things he couldn’t do. That was what was most important to most folks, his inabilities…..As his mother she wanted to make sure no one lost focus of the things that her son could do, his abilities and the things that brought him joy.

Would they know?

When he leans his forehead in he wants you to kiss it

That he comes down the stairs and goes back up looking back to make sure you are following him

He loves Swedish Fish, Twizzlers and Whole Foods Tuna Salad

When he gets in your personal space and looks you in the eye it means he likes you and is engaging with you

When he is upset or sad car rides and music make all the difference

He loves Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Pink, Eminem and also Barney, Blue’s Clues, and Arthur the Aardvark

He loves books

When he flips over on his left side and faces the wall, he is ready to nod off to sleep

He loves to splash his hands in the pool water……He loves water

When he sits at the table he wants a snack

When he brings you the keys or his shoes he wants to ride in the car

If he likes you his smile will light up the minute he sees you

He’s smart…when he is motivated, he can do things you never thought possible

That IQ score on the report is not a true reflection of his abilities

Would they know??

He is loved…so much

That this is the most difficult and painful thing his parents have ever done

That his parents would always be active and involved…. that he would always be an integral part of their lives

How could she possible share everything she needed them to know? These were the things that woke her at night, the thoughts that brought her to tears.

She could only take a leap of faith and hope with all her heart that this was in the very best interest of her son and her family.

But she was afraid of heights….she might need a little push.

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Driving Mr. Daisy is Making Me Crazy!

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Zach has always loved to ride in the car. Being strapped in the seatbelt, looking out the window, listening to his favorite tunes is what he wants to be doing…….day in……day out.   He seems to think that LIFE IS A HIGHWAY, and he wants to ride it all night long.  I appreciate that it provides him with sensory input, but this summer he has become obsessed!  All he wants to do is DRIVE.  We can just get home and 5 minutes later he wants to be ON THE ROAD AGAIN!  He thinks about riding constantly, I think he eats, breathes and sleeps about riding.  In his bed at night he is thinking GET OUTTA MY DREAMS, AND INTO MY CAR.

Who does he think I am, MUSTANG SALLY?  I suppose our rides would be much more exciting if I drove a LITTLE RED CORVETTE, PINK CADILLAC, MERCEDES BENZ or LITTLE DUECE COUPE, but we just cruise the open road in the family friendly Equinox.

We have run this town from top to bottom, bottom to top! We go to fast food establishments, drive through neighborhoods and one of our favorite stops is the CAR WASH.  I am bored with the same ole scenery but each time we go he thinks it is a FANTASTIC VOYAGE.  Sometimes I even get on the HIGHWAY TO HELL because I CAN’T DRIVE 55!

Thankfully gas is not too expensive this summer because this is no FREE RIDE! I hate to venture how many miles we put on in a day THE DISTANCE is probably much greater than I can imagine.  I swear if I have to look at that DASHBOARD one more minute I am going to lose it, but he just begs me LET ME RIDE!

He loves to sit on the PASSENGER SIDE with his pup as his sidekick all the while thinking I’M IN LOVE WITH MY CAR!

If any of you love the wind in your hair and the feel of the open road…WHOEVER YOU ARE, come on cuz BABY YOU CAN DRIVE MY CAR!  Or if you are lucky enough to have a BITCHIN’ CAMARO, he would love to ride in that too 🙂

Choosing your Battles

I  guess you could say I have always had a fighting spirit. I don’t mean that I like to fight literally but that even with the most difficult of situations I tend to have a good cry, talk to friends then put on my big girl panties and try to handle the situation head on.

i have had many worthy opponents throughout my lifetime but my most formidable opponents have definitely been ring 22 syndrome and autism.  The two of them entered the ring seventeen years ago and have been sucker punching me ever since.

Initially I hit them with my best shot, gloves off, no holds barred.  As the years passed I knew when and what I needed to fight for, when to call things a draw, and when it was a TKO!

Today Zach woke up seemingly happy and we headed over to his day camp.  A trip to the new aquarium was on the docket today and I was curious to see how he would like it.   About an hour after he got to camp I received a message that he was struggling with his mood and kept trying to get his backpack (or anyone else’s backpack) and wanted to go.

The staff at the camp are amazing and we have a great relationship.  They were not asking me to pick him up, but rather looking for suggestions.  I hemmed and I hawed…Selfishly I really wanted the time off for myself, But what  I really wanted was for him to be able to go to camp…a special need’s camp and participate successfully.

For an instant i wanted to go down that rabbit hole, I wanted to cry and be angry, I questioned why my sweet boy struggled even at a camp for individuals with differing abilities.  But then I stopped myself!   We all have bad days, days that don’t go as planned and who was it for me to force him to do something that he wasn’t into.  The camp is for fun and social engagement and if he wasn’t having fun then what was the point.  It also wasn’t about me having free time I could leave him there and they would do their very best to help him have a good day but if he didn’t he would be upset and crabby for the remainder of the day and evening.

Today I chose my battle wisely, I threw up the white flag and surrendered.  It was what was right.  He came home and was much happier to be here chilling with a video.

Sometimes you must choose your battles. There are times to fight and there are times to know when it is ok to walk away from the ring with your head held high.