Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Week Ahead, The Year Behind

This coming week, like all the others, floors me.
  • Monday means OT, restocking the cubbies, replenishing the gfcf school stash, a big school party, full work days, long commutes, ABA, whew.
  • Tuesday means meetings, preparations, dropping off thank you gifts, mailing Father's Day gifts to make sure they make it in time, more work, more ABA.
  • Wednesday is OT, a half day for children but a full day for me, the last day of school, the start of cobbling together babysitters, and the end of a two year attempt to fit a square peg in a round hole... no more struggling to get my son to make it through attending the school that has been my Los Angeles home for 14 years. Oh, and ABA...
  • Thursday I am responsible for an in-service day for my colleagues and my bosses -- an in-service day one of my friends said she'd rather be doing just about anything other than attending -- and I'm somewhat nervous. But more importantly, the minute it finishes (or possibly a few minutes before everyone finishes with my meticulously planned out and pedagogically ambitious sessions that might or might not inspire technology integration among the challenging audience of exhausted and spring feverish educators) -- I will skip lunch to get in my car and race across town for the rooster's IEP, then gather myself together to race back to pick up Peaches, then turn around and race back again toward home, where the Rooster will be waiting, and it will be time for more ABA.
I can't even begin to imagine being able to think past Thursday.
We're still newish at this IEP business, and while I know what to expect, I also don't.

I know that we'll review Rooster's goals, that we'll talk about his behavior challenges in details that will necessitate I use up my allotment of cheap off brand tissues provided for the occasion. I know that the team will recommend inclusion in general ed kindergarten at the school across the street from where I work, and that the team will argue for a AAA paraprofessional aid while I will probably put up a fight for a BI aid from the vendor we used this year. I know we'll be offered school based OT and not the therapy room we've been using, and that we pretty much see the point of this. I know we'll talk a little about my son's progress, but much more about his irritability, behavior challenges, and needs, needs, needs. I know we need to do all this, and that it's important.

What I still don't know is what I always haven't known, what I've questioned since the first post I ever wrote on this site, or before that when I commented on others' pages. I don't know what it all means in the big picture. I don't know exactly how I feel or exactly who this boy is, exactly how far off the mark he'll be with his academics, exactly where to spend the most of my worry chips. I don't know exactly how much to panic or how much to hope. I don't know exactly how to measure anything, or exactly what autism means to me, to Rooster, to our clan. I don't exactly know what to make of the Rooster calls... I haven't found clear perspective yet, and I don't know if I ever will.

This is a gigantic week. It is a turning time. Among many other things that might not seem related but are anyway, it's been almost a year since I lost my grandmother - today was the unveiling of her headstone and I couldn't be there, across the country, with my family. It's my wedding anniversary tomorrow - lucky seven - and also the anniversary of the day I met J nine years ago. It's the last week of school, and that has a context it never has had for me before. It marks the end of my son's career as a student where I built my career as a teacher, just as it marks my daughter's graduation from the faculty child care center; ironically, this fall she will enter the preschool grade Rooster is leaving after having spent two years there. This week promises to be a roller coaster ride of emotions, an inordinate amount of stress, an overdose of transitions. I should be looking forward, prepping, planning, rehearsing. I'm not.

Mostly I'm looking back. Mostly, when I wrap any part of my head around any of the sea changes taking place, I'm mostly noting how far we've come rather than where we are going. I'm not bright siding, I'm just processing what strikes me most at any given moment...

Like, today was a hard day, but so much farther ahead than the hard days of a year or two ago. Today the Rooster had three or four accidents, and that seemed like an awful lot. For about a nanosecond. And then I remembered it's been only the briefest time since we managed two or three successes getting him to use the potty in a day. Today, we put the Rooster on time out, and he accepted his punishment, and handled it just as he's supposed to, and then didn't need to be prompted to apologize for his actions. Today the Rooster struggled to take a conversation 4 levels deep despite doing much better at it a few days ago, but I vividly remember asking J with terrified wonder last year, "Do you think by the time he's five we'll be able to ask him questions and he'll answer? Do you think he'll be able to ask questions when he's five?" Today was hard, but today was tolerable.

Today is about as far as I can look right now. The week ahead will come, just like the year ahed, and I'll deal with it then. Wish me luck.


redheadmomma said...

So glad you wrote this post - it marks so many endings and so many beginnings. I wish you lots of luck & love. R

pixiemama said...

luck will find you.

pixiemama said...

Just think - at least you don't have a near stranger sleeping in your playroom this week. *wink*