May 13, 2010

love, friday (asperger's edition)

(This was originally posted on 5/7/10 over at my main blog, yogurt & granola. "love, friday" is a [semi-] regular feature over there.)

Love finally coming to the end of a very long journey, even though we know it's actually just the beginning of a new one.
Love having answers about our son's quirks, abnormalities and otherwise atypical behaviors.
Love Willow House preschool for the gentle ways in which they worked with Jackson and first alerted us to some of the things that seemed unusual.
Love our school system for the intense evaluation they provided and the loving embrace with which they delivered their findings.
Love our pediatrician's office and the connection to a first-rate developmental/behavioral pediatric doc who concurred with a medical diagnosis after spending time with our boy and reviewing page after page of interview detail and school reports.
Love that Jackson will receive placement in a private, mainstream preschool next year with our public school system footing the bill, since he qualifies for special services now. Love that there will be a special ed. teacher on staff to support him with his specific IEP to achieve his goals for the year for 20% of the time, but the other 80% of the time will be spent just acting like a preschool kid.
Love that busing is included in this incredible gift for us so that Amelia will get her afternoon naps since I won't be shuffling her brother all around town.
Love the spectrum.
Love my son's brain and finding new ways to learn how it works.
Love this blog post about toasters and hair dryers. (Read it. I'll wait. It's fascinating.)
Love finally knowing that Jackson is an Asperger's kid. Asperger's cannot be cured, it isn't a disease and it's not even a defect. It's a brilliant gift that provides another way to see this world.
Love that my boy isn't flawed, but rather, is enhanced. Love that his memory capacity is almost off the charts. Love that his cognitive ability is extremely high. Love that he's predicted to excel in academics. Love that his language is beyond his years, even if he does sound a little weird to his peers. Love that his capacity to love is deep, even if he has trouble finding ways to share it. Love that his hearing is so amazing that he notices the faintest songs playing in the background when people are talking and starts to sing along. Love that his intense focus (INTENSE FOCUS) on whatever he's doing suddenly makes sense.
Love that we have such a huge network of friends and family who are already reaching out and showing their support for us in person, over the phone, via email and yes Dad, even on Facebook.
Love that Jackson's future seems brighter now, not darker. He's the same exact boy now as before we received the diagnosis, but now we can better understand how he learns and help him grow and love and be happy and successful in this world.
love, friday (aspergers edition)

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