Today was an odd day. I was looking for a legal form so started going through all of my files. I started to find old evaluation papers for the boys and that is always hard for me to deal with. I started to get visibly upset and River noticed. (people who say autism means no empathy are idiots btw) So he is asking me why I am upset and I tell him that sometimes it is hard for me to remember just how hard it has been for him.
It is hard.
It is hard to remember the first day I found out there was a problem. The day his 1st grade principle calls to tell me that he is missing. That he got upset and ran out of class and they couldn’t find him. TO be told that this was not the first time this had happened and no one had ever told me that. The panic I felt as I raced to that school and the anger that this place where he was supposed to be safe had misplaced my child. I found him myself, hiding in the bathroom stall, curled up in a ball with his coat over his head. He was unable to talk, unable to move. I carried him in this ball out of that school and took him home and sat with him for 2 hours while he decompressed. I still to this day don’t know how many times that had happened before this incident.
It is hard to remember the struggles, How in second grade he had another shut down episode where I had to come in and find my child curled up on the floor with his coat over him rocking himself and unable to talk. How after 15 minutes of me soothing him I was able to get him to stand and walk in to the principles office. How the principle then informed him that if he didn’t start behaving at school he would get in trouble and maybe the police would take him away from his mommy. Of the storm of panic in his face when she said those words. Of how I had to hold myself together so that the police wouldn’t be taking me away from him after I severely beat her. He never returned to that school.
How in the 3rd grade right after his brother was born, the school promised the perfect placement in a classroom specifically for kids like my baby. A place where we all talked about his needs and set up a plan for how to deal with his problems. A place where a disturbed aid who didn’t care for children provoked my son. How she cornered him in the room and when he pushed past her she decided to press charges on him for assault. How she had the 300 lb school liaison officer come in and handle him instead of calling me. I remember the panic when they call me to say he is being arrested. The fear as I wait 2 hours for them to let me pick him up. The devastation when I got my baby home and see the bruises on his arms, a hand print clearly marked out on his shoulder. The abrasions and his fear. That was the worst moment of my life.
I watch him now and am so proud of where he is. He has learned so much about himself. He is aware of who he is and where he struggles. We had to talk today about what will happen when he is 18. How I will have to file for POA and declare him unfit. How I didn’t want him to think that meant anything was wrong and that he just needed more time to grow. He was actually way cooler with it then I am. He said he knows he isn’t ready to be an adult. He knows he can’t manage himself and that he isn’t in a rush to be an adult.
I am so proud of the young man he is becoming and having to relive the pain of the past hurts but also helps me see just how very far he has come. I want to give him the world. I want him to never have to have the pain he has dealt with again. This child is my biggest hero and whenever I feel like I can’t continue a fight I remember how hard he has had to fight. I want to be like him.
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