We have had some wonderful news of late for our boys.
Andrew had to get his "packet" renewed for his TSS services, and though it was some work and nudging people out of the mud their feet were stuck in, we put together a good packet and it was approved. No six months of meetings, grievances, and fighting our case to get Andrew the help that he needs. APPROVED! Such a blessing. He is doing so well in school. Renee (his TSS) still has to redirect him very frequently, but he loves going and is learning how to behave and growing academically as well. Renee tells us that his classmates love him and they have taken him under their wings to encourage and include him. We are so happy with his progress.
Matthew just got a psychological evaluation done (by a school psychologist) to see where he was at and to see if he was placed where he needs to be for his education. The results came back with a very clear answer that Matthew is where he needs to be. His school helps him have a deeper level of education but also deeper level of social interaction and communication. So that fight of placement is hopefully shelved for a few more years.
So aside from the boys being settled, where they need to be and with the best people, I had a pretty amazing experience yesterday on my way home from Matthew's IEP meeting. While I was leaving the meeting Matthew's principal, assistant principal, teacher, and speech therapist all told me how great I was doing and that Matthew's success was because of me and my willingness to fight and get what was best for him. I was touched, then on the way home I started thinking about all those people in that room who have been there for me and most especially for Matthew. Then I started reflecting back on my journey through all of this (with Andrew and Matthew) and face after face, name after name, kept on coming to me of different people who have been there for my boys, loved them, supported them, and have helped them to be where they are today. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for all these people and how blessed I have been to have them as part of our lives. If Andrew and Matthew had not been autistic or had the struggles that they have had, I never would have known these amazing people and have them touch my life and my boys' lives.
It was the first time that I was actually thankful for their autism. That I have been blessed and have grown into who I am today because of it. Is it still hard for me....yes! Is it getting better...yes! I have finally gotten to the point of seeing the blessing of it. And that is HUGE for me. I am grateful for this break through, and I look forward to many more to come.