Nearly a year?
There's is so much to say I hardly know where to begin. I have been in a state of flux for so long it would take pages and pages of mostly boring synopsis of unemployment, semi-employment, under employment and now, mercifully employment. Woo hoo. Combine that with more than a few deaths in the extended family and an absolute roller coaster with our eldest. In short, things have not been great. It hasn't been all doom and gloom but there have been dark days. Humorless days. My kids are, and continue to be, the brightest stars in my sky. I know how hackneyed and cliche it sounds to say that watching them grow and learn and figure things out is a wonder but it really is. The way they are so alike and so completely different. The way their brains work and so on.
For those of you (Ha! Those of you? No one is reading this and you know it. -Ed) who have been here before probably remember that I have a very high behavior, low functioning child with autism. High behavior is code for violent and aggressive. For the past three years he has had the best teacher in the state. The man is not just known statewide he's known nationwide and even internationally. A foreign nation once contacted him asking him to come to their country and start the equivalent of Delaware Autism Program in that country. That, my friend(s), is how you know you're good at your job. This year was the last year my son would have him as he is moving to a new "cluster". Clusters are how kids at DAP are organized rather than grades. Think of them as three very large grades. Younger, Middle and Older clusters are the three. This teacher who has been at this game for over 25 years was our Dutch Uncle. He told us that even after three years with him he had not made any progress. For only the third time in those 25 years he said he couldn't help our son. Further, that DAP was not the right place for our son as he needed a more structured environment. That means only one thing. Residential services.
Two small words that hit me like a hammer. Late at night after a day of violence and tears we knew we were going to have to find a residential program for him. He's getting too big and too strong. If we wait much longer he's going to hurt someone. Perhaps badly and that is a risk is too great. We knew the day was coming but not now It's too soon. He's only 11. How the hell am I supposed to put a non-verbal 11 year old in someone else's care? How does that not make me a failure as a father? How can I not handle my own son? How is this not quitting? I'm not sure I can answer all of those. Perhaps I can but I'm not really sure.