Updated: Aug 22, 2021
As we move through these last days of summer, I think of all those special needs students who will soon venture out into another school year. I think about the parents who wait anxiously for reports home with mixed emotions of hope and fear of what’s to come. Autism and change in routine are not the friendliest combination. It’s hard work, teamwork, for parents, students and educators. For some, this year will mark the heart wrenching decision about residential placement. Here’s an excerpt from my memoir CHOICES about one of those times; the day I left my 15-year-old son at his new residential school.
“What I failed to write in my journal that night was the visceral effect this experience had on me. As I stood watching Ian through a one-way mirror at his new school, my knees literally buckled, blood drained from my head and I almost fainted. I grabbed onto Katie’s arm and she kept me from falling. She supported me as we slowly walked back to the car and I slipped into the passenger seat.
It was a surreal day and a quiet night. The trajectory of our lives was changing, driven by a force larger than ourselves.”
- JM Crawford, CHOICES, Part II Changes, Residential School, p. 81