I exhale. I try to take it all in. I view all of the moments that have added up to the successful completion of a High School Diploma. All roads, for a very long time, have led to this destination. Bill and I knew that by the time High School finished it would become evident what was next and how much of our input and assistance would be needed. So here we are, finishing one very long journey, and preparing him for the next one, college. That decision marks the last one we will make for him. All other decisions from this moment on will be made with him. And that folks, is all I could have ever hoped for. Yet, I got so much more.
What continued independence looks like is really where we are now. As always, a plan is in place, with many options. We chose college for him because at this point we are fairly sure he will be successful, and the things he will learn away from us will be invaluable. In many ways, he will learn to be himself and learn what his interests and abilities are, and figure out what it is he wants to do next while gaining a marketable skill in Business Administration.
We are so grateful to be in this position. It does not escape us, for even a moment, that parents of young children just getting diagnosed with Autism, that the thoughts of college and independence are the dreams that are fading. What I tell parents hasn’t changed. Keep looking to get further than you are today, one step, one bite at a time. Every once in a while look back, but don’t measure your distance versus anyone else. Rejoice in the fact that you have moved even a little further.