- A year and a half ago, I had myself convinced the best place for Race was in the public system where they would help him be social.
- Three years ago I had us faithfully emerged us in the DDD (Department of Developmental Disabilities) systems, because they were there to help us and help Race get the services he needed to be successful.
- Three years ago I was signing up for every autism conference close enough that I could afford to attend so I could be up on all the latest research.
Many of the experiences have been great ones. We've had some happy memories along the way.
But more of the experiences have been learning experiences as we trudge along this path, finding our way. We've learned many lessons. But the big one that's been on my mind the last few weeks is this:
Everyone has an opinion. And their opinions are influenced by their own personal experiences. And their personal experiences influence their perception.... and sometimes no opinions matter except the feeling in your gut.
So, if that makes any sense to you, because it might not, but if it does, you will kind of understand the direction I'm standing in now:
No one will love your kid as much as you do. And they won't take care of them the way you would. And they won't communicate with you the way you want them to. And why would they? They have so many other kids to be taking care of, plus all the other demands put on them by the district and state. In the big picture, one little autistic boy just doesn't matter.
The DDD system is sometimes more work than it's worth. We've had many great therapists, and we've had many bad. There is no consistency. How much is the system really helping us?
I'm limiting myself to two conferences a year now. I realized all they do is stress me out over all the things I'm NOT doing for my son. They do nothing for the self-inflicting guilt problem I already suffer from.
I sound burnt out don't I?
But I'm not.
I really feel we had to go down all those paths, explore them a bit, and find if we needed or didn't need what that road had to offer. And it only strengthened us.
Through this whole journey, even though there were times I felt very alone, at the end of the day, I always knew I wasn't. I referred to one scripture in particular often. Doctrine and Covenants 8:2 says, "Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by they Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart." I know Heavenly Father puts people in our lives to support us. And a year and a half ago, Heavenly Father put some homeschooling moms in my path who I've become great friends with. As you know from other posts, I had been leaning towards homeschooling for a while. But these moms, these friends, kind of gave me that last bit of confidence in myself that I needed to actually do it.
So on that day last spring when John brought Race home early from school because of yet another bad morning on the playground, I knew it was time. The time for wondering was over. It was time to do it.
I'm so grateful for that leap of faith.