Sunday, September 2, 2007

A Time For Reflection

I was never one for making New Year's Resolutions and reflecting on the past year on New Years. It never made sense to me. Yea, it was a new calendar year, but nothing else was beginning new. To me, the week before school starts is a time of reflection. As a teacher and parent, that to me is a new beginning. A time to reflect on how much my son has grown over the past year, to wonder again where the time has gone.

School starts for Son on Tuesday, so this past weekend I've been doing a lot of reflecting. A lot has changed in the past year. Last year was the best school year for him academically and socially. This past summer was the best summer for him socially and maturity. For him, he loves school now. He can't wait to go back to learn, and get this - to see his friends! We went to Open House on Friday. He did well. He likes his teacher (and she is the one I was hoping for). He knows the kids in his class - by face and name. Last year was the first time he could name all the kids in his class by face. (Unlike 2 summers ago when he went to Mad Science camp and was utterly amazed that on the last day of camp when the kids all said goodbye to him - by using his name. In the car he asked how they knew his name. I told him because he had just spent 2 weeks with them and didn't he know their names? No - why would I need to know their names Mom?)

Unfortunately when we came home he paced the house for a full 30 minutes. Through the living room, dining room, kitchen, down the hallway, up to his room and back down. Repeat. 30 minutes. But after that he was fine. Husband and I need to remember that during times of transitions, or whatever he perceives as stressful it takes more for him to stay in-sync. We need to remember to give him time to pace, bounce, whatever it takes. We try not to put extra demands on him, stay calm and patient - model it. I'm noticing more sensory issues this weekend, but so far he isn't regressing big time - just little stuff here and there. I need to remember the first week or two of school he's going to need his space and time here and there. But, if he has a successful transition he'll remember it as such. Next September he'll still be anxious, but hopefully not as much.

This year has been a huge 2 steps forward with small steps backwards. I'm so proud of him. I'm proud of my husband and I for working together to help him be successful. He's definitely on the Spectrum. He'll always be. But unlike previous years, this weekend of reflection has been peaceful and positive. Here's to another year (even though it's not New Years)!

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