Friday was the last day of summer school for Jimmy in 2015. It is the first time he has ever had the opportunity to continue his educational experience during the summer months. As many of you know, we moved to Pennsylvania from North Carolina one year ago. I was terrified leaving all of Jimmy’s support network and sad leaving all of our family behind. BUT…. it was the best thing that ever happened for the four of us. We still miss family and friends, but we have been able to visit and family has even ventured up this way!
So, one of the absolute best changes for Jimmy was the school system here. This is in no way meant to be negative towards all the wonderful teachers, adults, and therapists who helped Jimmy from grades PreK though 10th grade. You all did the absolute best you could with what you had. But here, it is just so different. Jimmy is in a school surrounded by so much support and experts in the field of autism. Every activity, every minute of every day is meant to maximize his potential and build his independence. And the best thing…. that support continued throughout the summer with the same 8-2 school hours, 5 days a week, with the same teachers and assistants there ready to go. Sure, he still had some meltdowns. I still had to sign restraint and IEP waiver forms, but that is all the nature of the beast. I never got a call. I never had to drive 30 minutes to the school to pick him up. They were equipped to handle whatever Jimmy threw their way. Most importantly he loved it.
Of course, for me, it meant a few more precious weeks of freedom. My days of freedom are quickly coming to an end. I have just 3 years left before Jimmy is done with the school system. After that, I don’t know. He is still pretty tough to handle if you don’t know what you are doing. So, the future is very uncertain.
For now, I am beyond thankful for the summer of 2015 and all it afforded me to accomplish for myself. Now it will be down to NC to visit with family and relax at the lake for a couple of weeks!!