Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Year, New Issues

The new school year is upon us and after this year, we will no longer be a part of any school system. It is our last year and HSB is a senior. He is also not so happy or truly unhappy. At this moment I am not so sure he understands what a lot of that means. But I know what that means for us and having two special needs children outside the system of support is not something to cherish. Oh yeah they are growing up and oh yeah they are turning into young men, and growth and development are wonderful, but when you are totally on your own and have no idea if what you are doing is the correct approach it's not always an easy thing to deal with.


Hubby and I were just thinking about programs and support. While there are a myriad of programs for the truly intellectually disabled in our state, those programs that claim to help persons with aspergers just really don’t’ exist and in this time of economic trauma I am not so sure they ever will. So we go into our next level of growth and development for the boys hoping beyond hope that something will kick in and that they will start to get the message about behavior and interaction. We really are on our own now.

The next couple of months for HSB will be spent filling out college admission applications and writing essays and hoping that they will accept him in the school where we think he will do the best. For collegeman the next year will be spent trying to figure out what he wants with his life and perhaps what kind of career he wants to have. We have always known that graduate school is important in life and that a good education is essential to a happy life as well, but you need to have a plan and collegeman’s plan went up in smoke recently.

Yes he still wants to save the world, but he is not sure how he will do that now. We have to investigate and try to fashion out a career for him that includes knowing that he has aspergers. I know that I have never allowed aspergers to get in his way. I have never allowed it to be an excuse for to succeeding, but at the same time there are careers that he just will not fit into…prosecutor is one of them, even though he had wanted to be an ADA for a long time. With auditory processing and language retrieval issues, the pace of a court room will not be the best thing for him. But law may not be what he wants anymore anyway. Justice seems to be his issue and not law. The two really are not necessarily the same thing.

Collegeman has always been interested in forensics and crime solving and security, maybe a career in law enforcement in some way. There are programs in criminal justice and forensic technology that he could look into, as long as it doesn’t include math and physics. I just wish there was something that could help us, help him. I also don’t want to push him into a career that will make him unhappy one day. That will be the problem. So there will be a lot of exploring and thinking and trying to figure out a path for him. I know that it is not too different than most young people his age; we just have one added element to the puzzle as usual.

HSB has absolutely no idea what he wants to do beyond video games. We have tried to get him to take a computer programming course, but he just doesn’t want to. He likes film and acting. If that is what makes him happy he can have a job in the arts. But I am also not so sure that that would be a good choice anymore than collegeman’s thought to be an ADA. The film industry is so hard and meanly competitive and so social it may cause him undue problems. We will have to see. Maybe there will be something in college that strikes his fancy and he may turn 180 degrees and go in another direction all together. Who knows, he really is still young and does have a few years to go before he has to decide.

So the reality is that we are up in the air with the boys at the moment. We are totally confused as to their next step. On top of directional issues, we are also reevaluating all the therapies once again. We are trying to figure out who is doing what and how that actually helps them too.

Even their medications are being reevaluated. This summer HSB has had a change of meds and quite frankly doesn’t seem as sad as he did during the last school year. But school hasn’t started and we have no idea how he will react once it does. He may just be happy and content right now because he doesn’t have to do school work. But when the work ratchets itself up, I have no idea what will happen. He did finish on a good note at the end of last year. HSB always seems to pull it off in the last quarter but it’s very painful before he gets there. In the meantime we are trying to fix his schedule so he does have a minimum of issues and that he may actually enjoy some of his senior year classes. Yes, that is one reason I am not sleeping.

On another note, Collegeman is going in for a new video EEG later this month. For some reason he had had two seizures within a week of each other after not having any for months and the doctor wants to see if something has changed in his brain chemistry. So we will see what they will come up with next after the results of the test are in. There is that nagging question, "Will they want to change up meds on him and try something new." Personally this is the part that I hate. I know it’s the part that every parent hates. The guinea pig part.

I have come to a conclusion as far as therapists and doctors and support systems are concerned: no one has any answers. They do play a good game talking like they do, but in reality they are as lost as some of us at times. The trick is to make sure that you find someone who acknowledges the fact that they don’t know everything and doesn’t blame your child when the therapies don't propel your child into the next developmental level. You want to make sure that they never say your child can't...you need to make sure that they will fight for your child instead of throwing up their hands and deciding that your child has no future. The reality is that all the doctors, therapists, and support personnel can do is try to figure out what works or doesn’t work for your child and I suppose that is all we can do too. All we can do is try and see what works and what doesn’t work; then evaluate, reevaluate and plan strategies using new ideas and new programs and new ways of doing things.

So we shall see what this year holds for everyone. Trying not to hold my breath…not succeeding right now.

Until next time,

Elise