I feel like I really need to write about what it's like to parent Robert, and I want to do it, and I'm glad when I finish a post about him. But it is kind of emotionally draining. Luckily I can stop whenever I feel like it's wearing me out.
For another accurate glimpse into what it's like to parent an autistic child like Robert, the Temple Grandin movie is really excellent. It was actually painful to watch because it was like watching some of the hardest things in your life play out on screen. Luckily we're past Robert's most difficult years, we hope. And now we're somewhere in the middle and working towards an independent Robert someday.
Okay, back to my story. :) I was sitting on the swing on our deck after a bit of a nervous breakdown, praying and thinking about what I should do. I realized that most of my stress was coming from having a child who always had crazy days at school and couldn't do his work properly, etc. I had convinced myself when he was little and very difficult, that he would outgrow it all by the time he started kindergarten. But he didn't outgrow it and now he was struggling a lot in school.
I realized that I had to get used to the fact that Robert's school career wasn't going to be normal and straightforward like it would be for my other boys. I had to get used to doing whatever worked to get him educated and not worrying if it didn't always go as planned.
So after Robert struggled through his first semester of kindergarten with Mrs. Wallace's help, the powers that be finally decided he wasn't ready for kindergarten this year and put him in a special pre-K class for kids like him. He was more comfortable there and there was less stress for me too. If only they had listened to me from the start! It would have saved us all a lot of pain! But Robert had learned to read and speak in complete sentences. So it wasn't lost time. Oh well, what can you do! Turns out that this is how things tend to work in the schools for Robert and me. I tell them about Robert, they don't believe me or listen, and a couple of months later they finally do what I suggested they do all along. And thus it is!