By Guest Blogger, Nicole Lindstrom
Our summer is coming to an end. It came with great relief after a rollercoaster session of a school year. I was very excited to take a break from the mundane of running my son around to school and various therapies and just be able to focus on therapy and have fun. We have had our summer excitement and will be both happy and sad to hear that first school bell ring after waiting to find a parking spot in a long row of cars. We will be doing all of this at a new school a fresh start to the school year….exciting, but frankly I am a ball of nerves.
My family, like most families that have a child with an autism spectrum disorder, find life to be challenging and yet rewarding. My son has been attending therapy and school for the past 3 years. He will be starting Kindergarten this fall at our home school. We have been blessed with the news that he will be attending a mainstream classroom. I know, I should be shouting down The Mountain that we made it to this point, a goal that we have hoped for after such a long spell of the unknown but I am worried. I am worried because we have been in a place where we have been able to work with him out of the limelight of our community. Our friends, family, and IEP team that have supported us along the way have known the good and bad days. I am praying that this year we will see more good days and hope that the bad ones are very few and far between.
We have prepared our son for this day by giving him the gift of time. He has a November birthday, so he will turn 6 this year. Like most boys being boys, he has that innate reaction to act like one and we thought it would be in his best interest with his diagnosis and his age to give him another year of maturity. He has had to work extra hard to remember daily to keep his hands to himself, give others personal space, and to ask for breaks when needed. We have worked with our wonderful occupational therapist over the summer to help our son to know when his engine is running too fast and he needs to slow it down with the use of a sensory diet.
Don’t get me wrong at all, I am blessed that things are moving towards the positive where some of his behaviors are manageable and I know that this case of nerves is a normal feeling. This will be a first for our family that we were able to actually get our ducks in a row for this school year. We have our aide that we had last year coming over to our new school and program. Another great blessing for my son, but I guess what I should say is I am nervous with apprehension. I am trying to take this journey a day at a time. Journal the good and enjoy the moment. Kindergarten is a big step. It will be one of the many firsts for my child. For me I should just sit back and enjoy this ride through his eyes instead of the eyes of a worried Mom. How do you maintain when you are encountering a new school or therapy? And when you hit bumps in the road, how do you over come the negative and move forward. I so much want us to blend in, but I know I need to take a step back and let it be, or else I will be one sticking out like a sore thumb.
Here is a funny little Dr. Seuss quote that I try to keep in mind when I go down my path of worry…..
“When you think things are bad, when you feel sour and blue, when you start to get mad…you should do what I do…Just tell yourself, Duckie, you’re quite lucky! Some people are much more…oh, ever so much more, oh muchly much-much more unlucky than you!
Some perspective is always a good thing right? Wishing you all a successful and enjoyable school year with a little dose of less worry.