The journey thus far.

DJ started school this September and I must say, he loves it.  The whole summer I feared that he wouldn't be able to cope without us, without me.  You hear so many horror stories about the bus rides, the school, the teachers and feel, how can I protect him?

He can't exactly tell me. I think since he's nonverbal, I worry about him the most.  I asking him how his day went and not getting a response.  Granted, every morning when we say, "time for school", he literally jumps out of bed. That is a clear indicator that things are going well and that he likes it.  But still, I need to know!

As far as me, I did have an emotional breakdown this past summer. It came out of nowhere. I worked a summer program which also housed District 75, which is for special education.  I was outside in the playground visiting a class 3 weeks into our program when it happened.  I had seen this specific child before and his teacher, practically everyday. But this time, for me, it was different.

He was about 8 and nonverbal.  The teacher was trying to get him to go back in the building and the kid was not having it. He drops himself to the floor and starts rolling around making sounds.  I saw how difficult it was for the teacher to gather the child, calm him down and get him together.  In those moments, all I saw was Daniel.  How challenging he becomes when it's time to end one thing and move on to the next.  How frustrated the both of us get because he doesn't understand me and I don't understand him.

And then the guilt set in. How can I NOT know what he needs. I am, after all, his mom.  I can accept everyone else not understanding his needs. But me?  Impossible.

I get overwhelmed with all this Autism information. What you can do, what you shouldn't do, the meetings, the toys, the software, the ipad! Ugh! So much information! Then to try to explain to everyone else, forget it. What a burnout!

He's 3 and a half now, nonverbal.  It scares me that I may never hear his voice.  There are no definitive answers as to when he will talk. The 'I'm sure he will" isn't good enough for me.  It's hard for me to hear Chloe surpassing him in speech and she's only a year old.  That she understands bye bye and waves. That she can clap her hands at appropriate time. That she says, "mmmm", when it's time to eat.

Yes, I know, you shouldn't compare your children. But I do.  All the time. And that, makes me feel worse.


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