On the Crossroads

I am quickly approaching my 60tiest birthday and Robert is approaching his 22nd.  In a few weeks he will leave the school and enter  adulthood (by name only) for which he is not prepared. I cannot help but look back and bitterly analyze all those lost days, weeks, months,  and even years that depleted me of energy and destroyed my health without really leading to positive changes in the way my son was “educated” at his schools. I tried to use all the venues: talking to teachers, administrators, school committee members, asking  for the advice the Federation for Children with Special Needs, attending SEPAC meetings, using parents internet lists, complaining to the Education Departments (state and federal), using mediation, filing for the hearing with the BSEA , contacting SPEDEX, and writing to local newspapers.   There were sometimes positive results but there were so miniscule (as I kept accepting less and less) and they never lasted longer than a few months, sometimes just a few days.

Of course, there are those who kept advising me not to look back but plan for the better future.  Unfortunately, the future is dark and cloudy.

It is the result of Robert not having sufficient opportunity to learn being in group, working with a team, learning social skills, and using his not so small vocabulary to communicate with others.  Those are the things I couldn’t teach him at home in one on one setting. So Robert enters the adulthood alone.

It is also the result of the first impression Robert leaves on many people who give him a very little chance to demonstrate his wonderful, rich but complex personality. They place him in an artificially designed category and Robert, ever complacent, remains there and acts accordingly.

As Robert visits, for a couple of hours a week, three different programs (Yes, it is just two hours in each) I feel as powerless as ever.  Rightly or not, I do feel misinformed and, well, manipulated. There are factors used by others in determining my son’s future that I am not aware of and they not necessarily relate to my son’s characteristics.

I cannot really plan for the future when I feel the ballast of lost chances, and very dim lights ahead.

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