Susan's Blog

Monday, May 12, 2008

Polluted Stream of Consciousness

I am working on Nat’s new IEP goals, taking the residential move into account (coming in July).

I can’t bear it!! Don’t tell me it is good for him. I feel like I’m abandoning him!

Don’t remind me of my other two sons. I feel like Sophie, in Sophie’s Choice. Any way I choose, I lose.

Everything I write down for the team to take into account, I feel a pang of , “Will they take good care of him? Will they know what he needs and wants? Will they make sure his bed is the way he likes it (sheets totally untucked, pillow mutchered). Or will they take advantage of him somehow? How will he address his private needs there safely and appropriately? Will they make him stop stimming? Will he like the kids he is in there with? Does he prefer “higher functioning” kids? How horrible is it, to wonder that?? I am horrible.

I feel like I should convert the basement into an apartment, find a great person to live there with him, let him transition slowly to living apart from us. Just like when he was little, I wanted to take him out of school and teach him myself. Keep him from the nasty world. Teach him everything in the safety and warmth of our home, until he was ready. Until I was ready. But Ned told me I was crazy, I couldn’t do it myself. I was too scattered, not a trained teacher. Just a loving mother.

And now, it’s the same. I worry that the rest of the world doesn’t understand him and love him like I do and he will be sad. I can’t stand the thought that he would be sad and no one would know, that they might just think it’s behavior or something to “reduce.”


You’re not terrible. You want what’s best for him. It can be a hard world out there and you want to protect him as long as you can. Good luck.

— added by Someone Said on Monday, May 12, 2008 at 7:34 am

I still have 10 yrs before I have to worry about it, and then a 10 yr wait-list, so he’ll be in his mid-twenties by then. I too think I should take them out of school…..

But then I think.. but what if something happens to me and he’s not in a safe environment and protected… one I’ve chosen.

Choices… can’t win no matter what we do.

— added by farmwifetwo on Monday, May 12, 2008 at 8:44 am

Oh Susan I am so so sorry…I feel the same way plus I feel SELFISH for not homeschooling where I know she will be safe and happy. It really is a Sophie’s Choice moment – that is a perfect analogy.

Bless you and a hug.

— added by Anonymous on Monday, May 12, 2008 at 9:37 am

Nat may lose not you. This opportunity for him is golden and not to be missed.

As the mother of grown sons I have learned that letting go is one of if not THE MOST unselfish parts of parenting, not to mention the most painful.

You can do it because you must do it.

— added by Anonymous on Monday, May 12, 2008 at 11:12 am

Oh, last Anonymous, I KNOW that!! The thing I worry about is that I still have some doubt in my heart; what if this is not THE BEST move for him? How are you so sure? I wish I could be the surest of sure. I would let go of him if I knew for certain…

— added by Susan Senator on Monday, May 12, 2008 at 11:15 am

One can never be sure of anything. All we can do is take our cues from events (obsessing, biting, outbursts that result in other family member retreating to their rooms). I have said before that Mother Nature is kind in the end and that means that grown children help by making it obvious. Perhaps in sons who are “neurotypical” it manifests diffently than it does with Nat but the signs that he is ready are clear. Sending him to camp for the week you were all on vacation was your first step. Don’t let him down by holding him back. Give him the opportunity to fly. Let him invite YOU to dinner.
As always it is easy for me to say.

— added by Anonymous on Monday, May 12, 2008 at 2:26 pm

Thank you, Anon. I have to separate my own pain from Nat’s life, of course.

— added by Susan Senator on Monday, May 12, 2008 at 2:34 pm

I never thought Jared would be able to swallow pills – and fretted. Jared’s Dad just handed him the pill, and told him to swallow it with water. Boom – what a lovely surprise from Jared. Small potatoes for sure, but, you and Ned have taught Nat so much, let him surprise you.

Talk to the other parents at Nats future residence, that always helps.

You can do it Susan Senator! Hooty hoo! We believe in you!!


— added by Anonymous on Monday, May 12, 2008 at 2:51 pm

You are too much!! 🙂
I wish you lived here, we could go out drinking…

— added by Susan Senator on Monday, May 12, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Hi Susan,

Here I am getting ready to send my son off to kindergarten and I feel so much empathy for you. I wish I had wisdom for you; you’ve given me so much. All I know is that you will do what you need to, and be alert (try not to be hyper alert, okay?) to the impact. All our kids are growing up, day by fitful day. They have to…and I guess we have to do what have to do…Hugs from California.

— added by Susan on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 1:30 am

Susan, I really feel for you. I’m coming at this from the opposite side – I work with people with developmental disorders, mostly Autism. I know this can’t really relieve any of the doubts of your mind, but I just wanted to remind you (because I know you already know) that there are so many of us who so deeply love the kids who grow into bigger kids and then adults that we work with. I have mourned (not mourned, exactly) so many of my students – little and big – who leave me to go onto their next step; I wonder and hope and pray that they will be in the care of someone who loves them as much as I do, who will learn their quirks and idiosyncrasies to the point where they can read their faces as I did, who will know to push them to meet and then surpass all they can do and then some, but to respect their limits and know when to pause, to know what to do when those limits are passed. I don’t know what to tell you to ease the worry in your heart…but I can tell you absolutely definitively that there are many of us teachers and caretakers who feel exactly as I do…and who are hopefully waiting to greet Nat with open arms (and hearts and minds) right at the door of his next step.

I like anonymous’ suggestion of meeting the other parents’ at the residence. That might really help relieve some of the worry from a practical aspect. -sara

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 7:42 am

Sad:( But hey, it sounds like you’ll get over it quickly since you are already commenting about the fact you wish you could go out drinking with frineds. Yeah, just what would be on most parents’ minds!

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 8:51 am

Thanks, Sara! I have contacted the school.

Anonymous, unfortunately this desire to go out and have a drink with a friend does not mean I’ll get over this quickly. This one is going to take a long time, no matter how I might try to ameliorate the sadness.

— added by Susan Senator on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 8:58 am

Susan, I’m hoping we’ll travel to South Dartmouth this summer, so let’s plan to imbibe. You’ve got to have goals. Lisa

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 10:57 am