Orientation, “to acquaint with the existing situation or environment,” Merriam-Webster
This academic year for my “baby” begins not just with a move to the next school but rather the next state.
Now, towering over six feet tall, the time has come where he stands alone.
Our week-long orientation begins today as he acquaints himself with his new academic environment. However, new school, new home and new people present plenty of opportunity for anxiety, especially so for anyone on the spectrum. Lan confessed to just a few while I’m praying hard not to fuel my own!
I choose to remember God got us this far by grace. Something more is in store. I could not envision this day just four years ago when he began high school. Lan and I have come a long way and if you’re living in the land of ASD you can too. Here are my words of advice for anyone raising special needs kids:
Enjoy the journey. I regret not doing this more. Don’t obsess over academic standards. Faith is more productive than fear. Fear of failure doesn’t encourage a child nearly as much as faith for growth yet unseen.
Laugh. I didn’t do that enough either. Don’t make the same mistake.
“A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
Try something new. Karate, piano and band were gateways for growth. If something doesn’t work you can always quit. This is a great way to uncover hidden talents!
Go with your gut! There was one teacher I didn’t care for but I allowed Lan to stay in the class. Big mistake. When we fall backward, God can catch us up, but learn to heed your God/gut instincts so you won’t have to.
Call in the reserves! People will help you if you ask. You can’t receive the relief you need if you brave it alone. Many people are affected by autism and other disorders as parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends. People can be kind and caring. They will help you. An hour of “free time” can equip you to manage your challenges. Take it!
Don’t give up! Life can wear you down. Just keep it moving! The fastest person doesn’t always win, rather the one who doesn’t give up.
Run your race.
We can’t always outsmart ASD. Setbacks will knock us down. Still, there are times when we recognize the God/good in life that can leave us amazed!
As I become “oriented” to my new role of long-distance mom, my last prayer for parents is that you fight when necessary and rest when you can.
I’ve learned life’s hardest challenges can produce the greatest miracles.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11 [Full Chapter]