It seemed so simple, I was only dropping him to get ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Therapy, he would get better, then he would be home with me again, right?
Here we are 3 years later and he is still attending school all year. He did get better, but not as good as a child whose parent gets to choose how their child will spend the summer break. Nope, that choice has been taken from me for 3 summers, and it probably will be for years to come.
Right now I absolutely cherish our mornings. He, Xavi, and I pack each AM with the best activities. This last summer, before full day Kindergarten, and before he started wanting to go to camp, was supposed to be mine to cherish as well! I had plans, activities for each day, memberships to here and there, beach days every other day, but now those are tossed.
|Nothing like the clear blue waters of Long Island Sound. Jaylen is probably carrying that stick for protection from things like the Montauk Monster (Google it).|
Jaylen did not qualify for ESY (Extended School Year) which is a summer special education program, but is going to a different program for kids who need Kindergarten readiness.
He's got the academics, as a former K teacher I know he is already in 1st grade academically. But socially and emotionally, he is back at that first classroom I mentioned from 08. He still cries, a lot. He still doesn't know how to interact quite right. And he gets extreme anxiety over everything.
Since I have to miss yet another summer with him, I hope he at least learns those skills and shows signs of K readiness by the end.
I know many parents don't have the choice either, mainly due to work issues. Especially single parents, the majority of whom will never be able to take a summer off to spend with their child. Camp it is! There is something to be said for the choice being taken away. The choice to have Jaylen home during the summer, is not ours. It is written, documented in his IEP.
I know this is somewhat petty in the grand scheme of things. But I can't help but feel a slight bit of pain over never getting to spend a summer with my boy. It is yet another issue Autism has created. And yes, Xavi and I will have a blast at the beach and the Children's Museum every day, but my heart will ache, and Xavi will be lonely, with our 3rd morning buddy missing.
How is everyone else's summer shaping up? Will you be home with your kids?