Apr 16, 2008
I'm Such a Proud Momma
Being the mother of a child with Autism can be very difficult. Sometimes the hardships and struggles get to be so overwhelming that they cloud the little milestones that are met along the way. I took my son, Joshua, to see his doctor today. It was for his 6th month evaluation and medication checkup. She was so amazed at the progress he had made since his last appointment and it made me think about how, when we are so close to some situations, we fail to see what is right before our eyes. This time last year my 13 year old 7th grader was attending school in an old gym that was no longer used. He was locked up in an old boys locker room in the basement with two aids. I had been fighting with the school for 2 years to get him in the Middle School with all the other kids and was met with negativity and resistance. His behavior had caused them to completely isolate him. He had no contact with other students.
Last year I helped start a support group for parents of children with disabilities. I was soon put in as President and worked very hard with many parents to make the group something the community could be proud of. We invited many speakers and group educators to come teach us how to advocate for our children. A few months later I was asked to serve on the board of directors for IPUL (Idaho Parents Unlimited). They are a state and federally funded, non-profit advocacy group for adults and children with disabilties. I accepted. Last fall, I marched into the school, armed with my newly found information about the state and federal education laws and didn't back down.
A few days later, Joshua started the 8th grade in the Middle School and not only showed them all he was capable of being with his piers, but has made leaps and bounds. He attends the regular education Science, P.E., Art and Prime Time. He spends the rest of the time in the resource room with groups of other kids. He has gone from having melt downs that lasted over 45 minutes, 2-3 times a week, to rarely having 2 minute time outs. His teacher told us the other day that "time outs" aren't even an issue anymore.
Joshua has worked so hard to fit in and has done a GREAT JOB! I am so proud of him. So next time he is throwing rocks at my new car or flushing his toothbrush, I hope I can remember the progress that he has made. He has come a long way and we love him very much.