Thursday, May 3, 2012

How much is too much?

It's sometimes hard to know how much to push a child.
Any child.
Especially one that is High Functioning Autistic
and has severe psychiatric problems.
Davis has been working at a local nursery in their greenhouse
for an internship through school.
He is set to graduate in a few weeks.
He has been having such a hard time at school and the internship
that we took him out of all his other classes
so that all he needs to do is focus on his internship.
It is just a short 2 1/2 hours. 
And usually it's just 2 hours and 15 minutes.
But those 2 hours and 15 minutes 
seem to be 8 hours and 59 minutes and 59 seconds.
He has an aide that goes with him.
Just him.
He encourages him. 
Redirects him.
Pushes him.
Suggest things to him
and is just there.
And sometimes he lets him call me.
He pleads with me
and sometimes it's enough for him to hear me say,
It is ok. Just take a little break. You can do it.
We feel it's so important for him to learn skills
that could help him with his life.
He thought he'd be learning skills 
that would be interesting and important
and that he could use to get a job making big money.
He can't see that he is learning 
to stay with difficult task even if he doesn't like it.
He is learning to work through challenges
even if he thinks it's too hard.
He is learning so much.
But he thinks he's just learning how to pluck dead leaves off plants.
It's hard to know how much to push him
and how much to hold back.
He only has a little over 2 weeks left.
We push and push and push.
Today he called to say he was shaking and seeing things.
I even talked to the aide who told me 
that he had been working hard and then
all of a sudden he said he needed to sit down.
He could tell something was different.
My heart ached and I had to fight back the tears.
Have him rest for 10 minutes and call me back if he can't make it.
I'll be right there if you need me.
I often see kids come out of the school near that time,
when I go pick him up just outside of his school,
smiling and heading for their cars.
The other day it made me sad.
I wish he could come out that door with a group of friends
heading for a place to eat
laughing and talking.
Talking about what girl is cute 
and talking about Prom or plans after high school.
So I go, once again, to pick up that 6 foot 3
shaggy bearded boy of mine.
And again he gives me that crooked grin.
It is hard to know exactly how hard he tries
and what battles he is fighting every day
just to make those 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Today, it was just too hard for him to bare.
It is ok
because he will try again tomorrow.

1 comment:

Kim K. said...

I'm wiping away tears and sending you extra prayers and hugs.