Thursday, April 05, 2007

Gratitude and Support

I started reading Strange Son by Portia Iversen (the co-founder of CAN) last night and I just can't put it down. Much of the book is about her relationship with a boy named Tito, a severely autistic nonverbal boy from India whose mother taught him to read, write, and communicate. He has an IQ of 185 and has written two books, being able to offer an incredible insight into the inner world of children with autism. It is fascinating! I know how lucky I am that my son is so high functioning, but reading about this child who after communicating with Portia his thoughts and feelings comes to her house and must obsessively make eight destructive laps of her entire house, with seemingly no control over his body, who cannot seem to utilize more than one of his senses at a time, it in turn makes me understand some of my own child's idiosyncracies a little more and incredibly grateful that he has as much control over himself as he does. And as he runs over to me three times as I write this to announce, "I love you," and am again reminded of what an incredible gift this ability to communicate verbally is, which I need to remember when he chatters on incessantly all day long, demanding responses or he will continue to repeat his questions or comments without end.

I signed the kids up to a local kids' gym for the next two days. They are so excited to spend the day running through the tunnels and ball pits and participate in the organized gymnastic activities. The only down side is that DH or I will have to be in the building 100% of the time since A is not potty trained yet. My day to be there is today, so I'm packing up a lot of stuff to work on while they play. I'm bringing Strange Son to finish reading along with lots of paperwork, but the most important thing I'm bringing is my laptop and two books of sample resumes for teachers. Yes, I'm going to apply for the preschool teacher position and work out the logistics if I get it. DH was not thrilled; he's concerned that A MIGHT have trouble adjusting to kindergarten and need my help during those first few weeks of school. I plan to expose the boys to their new school and teacher gradually over the summer during the last few weeks of school to help with any transition problems he might have and line up trusted loved ones to be on stand by in case they are needed, but still I get guilt from my DH that I won't be the actual person standing by, ready to run to school in case our child is having a temper tantrum. I pointed out to him that he actually does better at school than at home, having few irrational fears and less temper tantrums than he does at home, and that made DH feel a little better. I also feel that to not apply for and attempt to get a part-time teaching job that will make me feel so fulfilled and happy on the off chance that I might be needed by my children during the three hours that I'm teaching (the same three hours that ALL THREE of them will be in school) is not fair. I have never needed to come to school to assist with A in any way, so I am not sure why DH feels that kindergarten will be so incredibly different. In any case, I think I got DH to understand that I mainly just needed his support on this, needed to hear him say, "I will support you in this endeavor because I know it's something that you want. Here are my concerns; let's figure out how we can address them." We ended our discussion last night pretty much on the same page, and we're going to take it one step at a time.


M-j said...

Is Aaron going to his current school for Kindergarten or the public kindergarten?
Just curious. If he is going to the public kindergarten, once you have your transition meeting you can request a PCA to help him the first few weeks at school, which can be faded after the first few weeks if needed or kept there for a while just to make sure.
If he is going to his current (private) placement, keep in mind it will be more difficult to get the SD to provide ANYTHING.

Mommy Brain said...

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you on the teaching job. It sounds like a great opportunity and that you're taking good steps to make sure a support system is in place for Aaron.