On the Fourth of July my older son Max will be nine years old, which works out perfectly for him. Despite his autism he has always loved parades and fireworks. I may worry about losing him in the crowd, but I never worry he won’t have a good time. He is probably the happiest person I have ever known. I don’t know many people who wake themselves laughing!
This last year was a big year for him. He started spending some of his day in a mainstream class, something that I admit worried me. But after a period of adjustment it worked out quite well. He was also bringing home more and more schoolwork marked, “Did this on his own!” and “Required no prompting!”
He was even invited to a couple of birthday parties. One we passed on because it was at a bowling alley and I was worried about the noise level. We made it to the other one, where they had a bouncy castle and pizza, two of Max’s all-time favorite things.
Towards the end of the school year I was feeling confident enough to allow him to walk from the front door to his bus all on his own. ( I admit I stood in the door I watched.)
His communication remains an issue, his speech team at school feels confident that he is developing functional language skills.
In his own way and in his own time he is gaining independence and confidence, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.
The future remains a question mark, but I try no to focus on that. He has come a long way already, and there is no telling how far he will go.
Yes, it’s easier to imagine a future for his neurotypical brother, but the truth I can’t really know what his future holds either. And when it comes down to it, what I want for both of them isn’t really so different. I want them to learn and grow. I want develop their gifts as best they can, to be as much as they can.
And I know it’s a cliché to say it, but what I want most is for them to be happy.
So far Max has that one down pat!
Please visit Build-A-Bear Workshop’s blog where Support for Special Needs site co-founder is telling her daughter’s story.