Ever feel like someone has taken a cheese grater and gone EEEE-ERRR across the back of your throat? Yeah, me too. Yesterday I took 12 grams of sodium ascorbate (a form of Vit C), which is, I think, a hundred and twenty times more than the RDA’s measely 100mg daily.

Re-dickarus that daily allowance is. That amount does almost nothing for you, much less if you need to heal something. Whatever.

So, I just got back from Jack’s first parent-teacher conference of the year. I find it embarrassingly affirming for me to go to these things and have PROFESSIONALS tell me wonderful things about him. I firmly believe every parent knows their child best, but the one thing that has been the hardest with this whole dang journey is blindly going along with no idea how to navigate it. Usually I’ll research forty different views on any subject and finally stop, leap with a decision, and say ‘well shit, I hope this works.’ I’m sure a lot of parenting is like that, but with autism we have NO (zilch, none, nada) comparison for whether we’re succeeding. Lots of two-forward-one-back kinda thing.

It’s also hard for me to accept that for now, the single best place for Jack is in the school system. I have such excitement thinking about homeschooling, but I know that I simply can’t teach him the social skills he needs. Even homeschool co-ops would not be sufficient. And he’s leaping and bounding so much that I just resign myself to pushing the idea back a few years.

We talked about kindergarten today, and how academically he was ready long ago, but socially he needs to work on a couple concrete ideas (following directions in a group setting, listening fully in a group setting and basic back-and-forth conversation) before we should consider it. He’ll turn 5 in April, so there’ll be no shame if we wait a year (not that there would be anyway, but you know what I mean). We’ll decide then if keeping him in the pre-school will be more beneficial or detrimental. We talked about how his receptive language (hearing and processing) is still fairly behind his expressive language (talking, basically) and when we get it a little bit closer to even, it will be easier to make the decision. They noted the same thing I see all the time, which is that often if Jack will slow down enough, when you speak to him you can almost *see* the wheels turning to process what you’re saying. It breaks my heart to take for granted the instantaneousness with which I can think, and know he has to do it slowly and carefully. It’s not insurmountable, but it’s a sizable issue.

There was one particular thing that almost made me cry. His Speech Pathologist (who is beloved in our home) told me that all kids on the spectrum are different and incomparable, but the positive qualities Jack has are above the majority of the ASD kids she usually works with. And she said partially she attributes that to how Jon and I parent. She’s noticed that instead of focusing on the limitations of the diagnosis (a trap I recognize) Jon and I still have high expectations of him, and treat him as normally as possible.

Sounds obvious, but until you have a child that you look at with a special lens, you have no idea what a compliment that is.

So yeah, this was a nice visit for me.

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