Yesterday found me at another appointment at Kaeden's school. Seven people sitting around the table with notebooks in front of them, folders stacked next to them, pens in hand ready to add to the already huge stacks of papework filled with information about my son. My son. Not some kid down the street, not just stacks of notes and tests and papers, but my son.
Sitting there in that meeting, I realized how far I have come as the mother of my child. I have become harder, more opinionated, stronger. As his mother, I know what I feel is best for him, for me, for our family. Maybe my views aren't always correct, but they are views made out of need, out of love, out of doing the best I know how to do for my child. Always, his life and his future is placed open up in my palm, and I carefully close my fist around it, hoping and praying that I hold onto it tight, strongly, never let it fall.
I spoke loudly and clearly, expressing my worries and concerns. I gave my opinion and held strong onto my viewpoint, even as others struck down my ideas. They may be the experts in the field, but I am the expert on my son. His happiness and his success is determined by how far I push, how far I step out of my comfort zone. He hasn't gotten as far as he has without the strength and integrity I give as his mother. I have been a force behind the success he has achieved. I am the oil that helps his engine run. I need to be thick and dark and greasy.
I listen to what they say, and I accept it all into my mind wholly. And then I form my own opinions based on their advice and expertise. And I add in my own thoughts and experiences and knowledge about my son to form an opinion and a goal. And I push to see this goal met. And sometimes I agree to try something out, give it a chance, in an attempt to further my son's achievements, even if I don't know that it ill be successful, but always willing to try something new. To give ideas a chance, if I feel it has any chance. He deserves all of our ideas and input and trials to find that one thing that works, the one thing that will help him be the best he can be.
Next school year, Kaeden is one of just 5 students who will be entering a new program. A program formed and created specifically for him, and 4 other young men just like him. Kids who have diffculties fitting into the school norms, difficulty learning when contacts prevent them from concentrating. This new program is brand new, based upon a successful program offered in another school, and my son is a guinea pig in the trial. It scares me, but excites me. I offered my ideas, I disqualified some of their input, and I gave them permission to allow my son to be part of this. I think Kaeden will be happy with our choices and decisions. I hope he will be able to prove his success and achievements given freedom within the program. And I think he won't mind being part of this new world opening up to him, a new program designed for him and hopefully working itself out to help hundreds of autistic kids in the future. I hope this decision will be one that helps him to shine...
Kaeden will be the first student to be part of this trial. I'm glad he loves guinea pigs.