So, yesterday we had a team meeting with the school, teacher, administrators, district autism consultant, his school coordinator. We had him, Kenji, enrolled in a diploma track and hoped it would work but we knew him and knew his limitations. Thought we would at least give it a quarter. Well it has not been going well. The work was stepped up from what he was used to in middle school and elementary school (as it should); the added external stimuli and expected social norms; he has completely fallen apart. We suspected it would be too much. He had 22 incidences of aggression (outward but mostly trying to hurt himself) in the last month alone. I just want to cry. I feel like such a failure as a parent. I wish want to cry. I want to cry. Even though we knew this day would come it still feels like we failed our son. We said nothing to each other (wife and I) last night. He is going to a certificate track starting second quarter. Though I know it is more appropriate for him, I know what it also means for his long-term future. He will be safer there, he will still be given some academics, but the major focus is on eventually job training (low level work). My heart breaks when I think how much hope I had for this precious life. I still remember on occasions when I would rock him back to sleep at 2 am and sing to him. Talking and whispering to him, telling him how much I loved him. How much I wanted the best for him. My heart breaks.
I don't know if this quote will resonate with you, Drerio, but it came to mind when I read your post:
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.
Emily Perl Kingsley