I would never have imagined that the last year could have flown by as fast as it has for my special needs family. It was a difficult decision to step down as the volunteer coordinator of the parent-led autism support group which had occupied the last three and a half years of my life but, spending more time with my family was more important to me. Unless you had any prior knowledge about the autism diagnosis that my youngest son, Nathan, received almost nine years ago, you wouldn't be able to tell that he was any different from the rest of his classmates. He is currently taking Pre-AP classes in all four of his required core subjects in eighth grade and is receiving compliments from his teachers all of the time. His older brother is also doing well with the advanced classes he is taking as a freshman in high school.
While spending more time with my family, I have made it my goal to be a good role model by working to finish my college education. In the last twelve months, I have completed seven college courses towards my associate's degree which I should acquire by the end of my Spring 2018 semester. That fall, I will transfer to a local four-year college to finish my bachelor's degree in Psychology. I love learning about the brain, what makes people do what they do, and how we can help them correct certain behaviors. The information that I have learned from my Psychology courses in the last twenty-four months has given me the insight to prepare Nathan for situations he has, and will, encounter as he approaches adulthood.
The adjustments that we have made have been challenging but, I know that I can always count on the support of my husband. I love him more now than when I married him almost sixteen years ago. He is ten years older than I am, so keeping him healthy is important to me. Our family has been trying to eat healthier, to exercise more, and to maintain a stress-free schedule. It's not as easy as some might think but, we haven't given up! I remind myself regularly that as humans, we have to recognize and acknowledge our limitations. We also have to set realistic goals to accomplish what we want in life. Please make time to take care of yourselves, as well as those whom you love and want to be in your lives!