Saturday, May 3, 2014

I wish I could Google, “How to raise a child with Asperger’s syndrome without screwing up.”

Next week is Hunter’s IEP meeting for 8th grade. He asked me yesterday if he could sit in on the meeting. I told him “NO” at first. I don’t know why. It was my first instinct. He took me off guard. Then he said, “This meeting is about me. I should be allowed to be there. I have to be there for my 8th grade IEP meeting anyway, so what is the difference.” Then I started to questions my spontaneous answer.
So why did I  react so strongly to him asking to be there? I don’t honestly know. I guess it is one of my last ditch efforts to protect him. Yes, he knows he has Asperger’s, but he has never sat in a room with a group of people telling him what he is doing differently from everyone else. I am so afraid that what might seem like a heavy dose of criticism would scar him for life. On the other hand, maybe it would be a good thing for him to feel like he is taking control of his own education. Maybe it would be a way of him taking responsibility for his own actions. Maybe I just need to let go and let him grow up a little.

These meetings have always been so hard for my husband and I. We both always leave feeling deflated. No matter how much we both understand the struggles that he faces, it just doesn’t seem to ever get easier to have it thrown at us all at once. It seems so hard to make decisions for him when his struggles change from day to day, and they vary from class to class. I just don’t want him to feel overwhelmed and defeated like we have so many times.
 I know I have to prepare him for this big world that faces him, but I just don’t know the right way to do it. I wish I could Google, “How to raise a child with Asperger’s syndrome without screwing up.” For that matter, I would pay a hefty penny for the App that tells me how to make the right decisions for my children because this parenting gig doesn’t seem to be getting any easier.
I guess the next few days will be filled with quiet contemplation. Then, we will do what every parent truly does with these kind of decisions, we will jump of the cliff with a hope and a prayer that we made the right decision.