Susan's Blog

Monday, July 10, 2006

Boy of My Dreams

Dreamt about Nat last night. He was throwing a chainsaw at people and then he ran away. I was screaming at his teachers that they had to find him, and they seemed not to even know that he had a disability. Finally I got him to come back by yelling, “Natty, I’m going to give you chocolate when you come back.”

When he got back he was an old man, with a shaggy head full of silver hair and a beard. The teachers made him sit on his hands. I wanted to cry when I saw this but I felt I should let the school do what they do.

As you can see I am a bit anxious about Nat’s placement and progress, and about my ability to help him in time. He is almost 17!

Nat is in an ABA school; ABA is very big where I live and in many parts of the country. I have my reasons for putting him there (read the book) and I am reluctant to move him. However limited their approach, they treat him like a star there and they will train him for jobs and (perhaps) independent living. I hate the underlying assumptions of ABA, which imply that the student is a creature made up of behaviors, both desirable and undesirable. It is far too simplistic and black and white for my view of people. And I just read Autism Diva’s post on the TEACCH method and it made me wonder further if I should try to find such a program around here since moving to North Carolina is out of the question for now (Ned just got a wonderful new job in January and I feel like New England is in my blood, for better or worse). I contacted our school district liaison a few weeks ago with concerns about Nat, and she gave me a little bit of a run around. She’s a good egg, but still I wish she would get over the idea that nothing can get done during the summer.

In the next few weeks I am going to educate myself more about TEACCH and the use of visuals around our home. A friend has offered to help and when I get back from this adventure in Washington I will take her up on it.

Oh, Natty. It is so hard to know if I’m doing right by you.


You are doing right. You are navigating. We are all learning and most importantly, you are loving your son.

This post touched me.

— added by Estee Klar-Wolfond on Monday, July 10, 2006 at 2:09 pm

I just moved out of state to be near “superior” programs for my autistic 2 year old, and I asked myself the same question – am I doing right? Have I really made it better, or am I causing him to backslide? I’m seeing the stress related regressions, and pray that it is only a phase. New people, new surroundings, new routines…so much change for a little child that can’t handle change at all. Am *I* doing the right thing???

— added by Susan on Tuesday, July 11, 2006 at 2:06 am

Hard to define “right” but it seems you are definitely doing your best !
And on top of that you are teaching others too. Thank you.
PS. “Doing your best” is one of the 4 agreements of the book with the same name.

— added by Miguel Estrada on Saturday, July 15, 2006 at 7:12 pm

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