I had a meeting today at the Early Childhood Special Education center at our school district. Ciaran has officially received his diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. I'm okay with that for the most part. But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that a part of me looks at my beautiful little boy and hurts for him. I think we all want things to be easy for our children and this means that Ciaran is going to have to work a bit harder. At the same time I'm incredibly grateful for professionals who know how to help him.
Despite his birthday still being almost three months away, they have decided that he would benefit from a classroom setting. It will be for less than 3 hours, Monday through Friday. I think the routine will be beneficial and that he will blossom under their care. Sure, I'd love to be the person who could do it, but part of being a good mom is getting your child what they need. And for this, he needs the expertise that they have.
I feel incredibly grateful that at every step of the way I have been made to understand that I am the most valuable member of the team. That I am the parent has never been ignored. The professionals we've worked with have been excellent at making us part of the process and I appreciate that so much. After all, I started homeschooling not because I hated public schools but because I loved having my children with me and wanted to be a part of their learning process.
Ciaran's teacher, M., is fantastic. A kindred spirit (and mother of a son, now in college, who has Asperger's) and a teacher by nature, she and Ciaran hit it off immediately. She can't wait to get him into her classroom and I can tell that she is genuinely thrilled to get to teach him. That also makes me happy. I think it's wonderful when your child is being helped by people who truly love what they do and care about your child.
Sometimes the hardest thing about being a parent is letting go. And I'm sure the first time I put my toddler on the school bus and entrust him to someone else to teach, I will do so with some sadness that I can not meet all his needs myself. But at the same time, I must be grateful that I live in a time that recognizes his disability, has ways to treat it, and that we live in a place that has those resources and professionals available.