Friday, January 07, 2005

I've thought it all through and, as painful as it is, I'm leaning towards sending Adam to St. Mary's school for a while. He would benefit greatly from the structured program there and from association with other children, especially his older brother, whom he adores. He has progressed in many ways in the past year or so, particularly in play skills and his sense of self. Still, he needs to learn to control his violent and self-injurious impulses, and he has a long way to go to be able to really interact with other kids and to function "normally" out in society (not that I always manage that myself, mind you). Also, we've mostly been impressed with Toby's stay there thus far.

The things I feel the worst about are: 1) how Adam will feel about going there -- will he feel abandoned? Will he hate us? and 2) to what extent is this a selfish thing on my part? It hasn't escaped my attention that I will have more time to myself should Adam go off to boarding school. The fact that I noted that made me feel an extra dose of guilt. However, I felt comfortable with the decision after sitting zazen yesterday morning. It really cleared my head and let me think things through as objectively as possible.

Thanks to everybody for your kind words and support.


Miranda said...

If Adam goes to St. Mary's, there is nothing that says he has to stay there. You can always change your mind. Very little of what we we do can't be undone or finessed as needed.

We're all here for support whenever you need it, Randy.

none said...

Any time with other kids is time well spent.

We sent son to preschool at 2.5. (Before diagnosis...didn´t know what was going on but my instinct told me to get him around other kids.)

This has helped him *enormously* but then again he wasn´t violent and self-injury was not a factor. In this case St. Mary´s might be a better idea. Adam would still get the benefit of having other kids around (and especially his brother) while having competent care.

I have another autistic family member, who was fairly violent and self-injurious (headbanging, etc.) but grew out of it at around 12 (coincidently at the time he discovered computers and Nintendo.)

I hope this will be the case (and much sooner) with *your* little ones.

Just Me said...

(((Randy))) Ann is so right that you can always reverse your decision. You are actually in a no win will deal with guilt feelings if you send him and you will if you don't. I think you are making a good decision to allow Adam the opportunity. Plus he will be participating in the same lifestyle, structure and program as Toby. I can't wait to hear about your rides home from picking them up. And all the progress stories, even the challenges because I have learned so much from you.

I am excited that you and your wife will have time to yourselves and for each other. It is well deserved!!! REMEMBER, RANDY DESERVES GOOD THINGS!

I am not trying to compare my challenges with yours but I had to decide last week whether or not to keep my schizophrenic son in jail. It made me physically ill dealing with it. I knew he would hate me, I knew he would feel abandoned, he doesn't rationalize things like "normal" people. I decided to keep him there. He refuses to take his meds, his mental illness won't allow for him to hold a job, he won't admit himself into the hospital (because of girlfriend) so he is spiraling down hill fast. It was the only way to force the structure that he desparately needs in his mentally ill state. Jail isn't a completely bad place. It is much safer than prison. I know he is okay but it is excruciating knowing he doesn't understand why I didn't bail him out or lie for him about where he lives so they would let him out or buy into his lies. In the long run I know it is the best decision. But it was a painful one to make. I don't think I will ever feel at peace with the decision. As parents we sometimes are not allowed that luxury. I feel guilt because I wonder how much of my decision was selfishness (I don't have to worry if he is cold or hungry with no where to sleep) But I feel I was in a no win situation and I chose the best way to go for his sake. (and partly mine)

Big hugs and best wishes, Jo

Phoebe said...

Randy -- I'm delighted the two brothers can be together. Really, this tickles me. My philosophy has always been that the siblings will share this planet together longer than they will share it with their parents. I agree that it is critical for you and your wife to have some time to build your relationship that is undoubtedly been strained under the pressures. Please don't term this as "selfish." If we don't have some "selfish" time to renew our strength, we don't have the strength to help anyone else out, including our kids.

Just Me -- I'm speechless. You have faced down some horrific things. Maybe some day you'll look back and be so amazed at your strength.

Randy said...

I spoke with the "dorm mom" the other day, and she's already got things planned out. She wants to start Adam off in the group next to Toby's in the dorm, and to put Adam into the same day-school classroom as Toby. Adam will like that, I think.

Heather said...

1) if you think it will help your son, it's worth it

2) there is nothing wrong with needing time for yourself. that you recognize this is a good thing. it's easy to become a martyr in a situation like yours.


Craig said...

I really can't come up with anything insightful to say, but I wanted to append my name to list of empathetic supporters. We only get the challenges we can handle, I suppose. This is some kind of cosmic complement!

Randy said...

Thanks again, everybody. The manager of the Zen temple told me the other day that I seem remarkably calm for someone with so much going on. "That's why I come here," I told him. That's also one of the reasons I post for y'all. Your feedback is a great gift.