My son has had a wonderful year; his best year yet. His only "big" anxiety blips have been around school re-entry following Christmas and Spring Break. This bliss has continued through til a couple of weeks ago when the school started helping him prepare for exams.
Last night, my son made it very clear that he wasn't going to school today for his math exam. He got rid of clothes, didn't eat his supper, and just seemed a little "lost" overall. He told me he wanted to write his math exam next year instead, then conceded to the fact of writing it on Monday if he didn't write it today. When he went to bed, he suddenly started coughing and "sneezing" then immediately called down the stairs to ask if I could give him cough syrup because he was so sick then asked if I had called his resource teacher yet to tell him my son wouldn't be there. I reminded him that teachers weren't at school at that hour but that I'd leave a message, and if his coughing continued through the night or in the morning I would give him cough syrup. He seemed quite relieved and content with that and went to bed. My son was up a few times in the night, and I was certain he would have one of his late-sleep-in mornings. I was wrong. At 8:10, he got up, went into the washroom, came out of the washroom, then flew down the stairs muttering something about having to write his exam so he could get something. He grabbed a pair of ski pants from the closet and ran out the front door in the opposite direction from the school. I was busily pulling on a sweater to hide my pyjamas as I called out to him but there was no stopping him. I came back inside, called the school, threw on some clothes, and went out looking for him.
And he did end up at the school. I got confirmation from the school at 9am that my son was there and that all is good. I'm hoping he went straight to the school instead of making pitstops at stores as he's done in the past when he's suddenly decided to be somewhere other than where he is at the time. I wonder what he's having for lunch today. And I wonder what he's wearing.
This blog was initially set up as a means of communicating with my son's team. Since then, I've heard from other parents with similar stories. If you are living with challenges or journeying alongside someone who is, you are not alone. There are many of us. I'm a single adoptive Mom (http://richesofsimplicity.blogspot.com/) of a young man who lives with many abilities and many diagnoses. We have journeyed together through many challenges and a few adventures over the years as my son has tried to find space in this world that makes him feel more comfortable, an attempt made especially difficult when living with Attachment Disorder, PDD-NOS (Autism), Developmental Coordination Disorder, ADHD, prenatal substance exposure, etc. Some of the strongest elements used in this journey have been music, visual arts, therapeutic parenting, team-connection, boundary-setting, boundary-setting, boundary-setting, communication skills, community-building, continual lifeskills training, and elements of Theraplay. (Click here for some written resources.) On this journey, there is laughter and tears and growth and hope. The greatest of these is hope.