Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 14, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 17, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Weston, the Graduate

He did it!

After countless IEP meetings, teacher discussions, and medication adjustments.....

Weston has finally graduated from middle school.


As I watched several of his classmates receive recognition at his graduation ceremony, I thought how unfortunate it is that Weston, who struggles every day to overcome issues related to his disability was not also similarly rewarded.

Yes, I suppose I am bitter. After all, how difficult is it to receive straight A's when your brain is wired correctly? How difficult is it to be loved by all your peers when you understand social cues and nuances?

For the past three years, Weston has made incredible gains in his ability to succeed in the academic and social world despite a crippling anxiety and overwhelming impulsivity.

I am so proud of him.

As I watched Weston cross the stage to receive his diploma, the words of his 5th grade teacher, Mr. Chute came to my mind....."just get him through school." he told me one day, "once he gets out he will find his place in this world and be rewarded."

Recent discussions with the school (and our pit bull) are leading us to the decision to keep Weston at the high school next year.

The school has hired a CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapist) for the high school Compass Program. This therapist has developed a program that seeks to assist students in developing self advocacy skills based on the development of positive thinking tools that help the child to select specific strategies to address emotional, behavioral or cognitive problems.

I met with her last week and was impressed with her knowledge of Weston's disabilities. She also posses an ability to create and implement successful student supports. She works with inclusion teachers to help them better understand student needs. She seems professional, cooperative and kind.

Most importantly, the academic and social supports that Weston needs to be successful will already be in place.....so there will be no need for me to fight with a school who doesn't get it.

I am hopeful that she and I will work well together.

Here we go again.....

Weston is not too terribly disappointed about staying at his current school since there is a particular female in his class with which he has developed an affection. (more on this latter)

Thank the Lord for teenage hormones!

Congratulations Weston...............you did it!!!!!!!!

We are all so proud of you.

Congratulations Graduate!!!
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