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.

3 comments

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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