The first day of school each year for me was a time of those traditional photographs in new school clothes, with new backpack and supplies – and then getting onto the school bus.
There was a sense of normalcy being a part of the routine of a new school year.
I wake up now on the day after Labor day, and see parents walking their kids in their new clothes to the bus stop – and taking pictures all along the way.
This year we didn’t do that routine.
No private school, no public school.
The new tradition is home schooling for us, as it’s the only level of affordability for addressing our son’s specific needs. The school system doesn’t have the right people to address his Autism appropriately, and the private school cost per month is the same as a mortgage payment. Insurance doesn’t cover for ABA therapy in our state, let alone for ABA in an educational environment. There is an all too familiar catch 22 on dealing with insurance companies, school systems and ABA therapy.
What is interesting is that there is an expectation that society dictates what ‘normal’ is and to dish it out that everyone should act accordingly.
However, in a world where ‘normal’ is absent, the routine and traditions of experiencing a new school year are transformed into something completely different.
One day I may see my son speaking to a group, or going to a college and enjoying classes…
But that is not where we are at now….
Now is the time in our lives where we find our 7 year old son hidden behind the silence of but a few short words that have been a great achievement despite his lack of communication.
He’s there behind the veil of Autism, I’ve seen it before….and I know I’ll see it again.
For now, Normal is just what we define it to be.