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.