Tuesday, August 24, 2010

These Blissful Days of Summer

I know some kids are already back in school, but, for us, this is the last week before Kai goes back to school next week.  I wonder if parents of other kids with autism feel the same as I do about these waning summer days. 

I see them as among the most blissful days of the year. 

Kai seems very happy right now.  He’s enjoying having more time at home, playing with mom and me, going to the park, playing games, watching videos, and splashing around with the hose in our back yard.  As parents, we love to see our children so happy. 

But, I think our bliss goes beyond that.  My theory is that much of our seasonal joy is derived from a temporary lifting of a particular type of stress that seems to afflict parents of kids with autism to a greater degree than the general population.  The scientific name of this stress is Oh, What Is Going To Happen In School Today!?! Syndrome, or OWIGTHISTS as the professionals call it.   

When Kai is back in school, it likely won’t be long before we start getting reports from the school on how he pushed aside another child in line, or used angry, inappropriate language, or tried to bite a teacher, or deliberately hurt himself.  We will get that dreaded sinking feeling every time the phone rings, the one where we’re certain it’s the school calling to tell us of another incident. 

We will try not to let one or two of these incidents get us down.  We will tell ourselves to keep the big picture in mind and know that Kai has come a long way.  And yet, in time, I know that the peaceful bliss we are experiencing now will fade away and the OWIGTHISTS stress will descend upon us once again. 

But, that’s all for next week.  Right now, I’ve got a kid who wants Dad to come play outside.  I’m going to enjoy it while I can.

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