Accept Failure, Not Defeat

The other night, B I had someone come up to me and thank me. B What a glorious feeling, he was thanking me for my blog, for sharing about H. B He was grateful that he was not alone, that someone was talking about how challenging it is to have an Aspie. B And, while I was brought to tears with thankfulness that sharing my story, my challenges with H was helping someone or at least making someone feel less alone. I was, also, embarrassed and ashamed, B Ashamed, coz the last couple of weeks have been rough, so rough that I havenbt spoken about them, havenbt been honest. B Frankly, I am in a place, that I have no idea what to do or who to turn to…
H was asked to leave the wonderful, fantastic new school. B sigh. B I was so angry, disappointed and felt like I failed H, again. B The school, was wonderful, they did everything they possibly could to help, to guide and to work with us. B It just didnbt work, H wasnbt successful. B Grades dropped, behaviour steadily became worse and now we had fighting. B We were asked to leave.
H, is 12, now and he is responsible for his actions, no matter what. B There was something driving this new behaviour and I didnbt, donbt know what and nothing I tried redirection, reprogramming or cajoling worked. B The first day he was home, I couldnbt even deal. B We sat at home in our jammies, him angry and sullen and me so dejected and distraught. B I had given up, reached my breaking point. I was failing my child and worse, he was failing and I was helpless, other than to sit and watch.
I spent that day, dejected, questioning everything, running back what I could have done, what could I be doing, embracing the fact that I am a horrible mother…. the only answer that came to me was nothing. B I had to accept, to realize, that H is going to fail. B GAH, even now, typing that out, hurts to my very soul, breaks my heart. B As his mother, his biggest cheerleader, it was time to realize that perhaps even giving him all the support and tools in the world wasnbt going to prevent a failure. B That, I should realize, this isnbt about me, itbs about him.
The next day, heartbroken, I called his old school, the school that I hate, that I donbt think is great for him, that I worry about sending him back to and ask to re-enroll him. B Ibm bitter and angry. B Angry,B I donbt have choices, that I am helpless, that I am not sure that I am doing the right thing. B Yet, I have to suck it up, have to quash all of those feelings and put on my shiny, bright, positive face and pretend this is a good thing. B I have to go through the motions of what, I think, B is a step backwards and work this to the best of my capabilities.
H is too perceptive, he emulates me, my behaviour too closely for me not to smile. B He is me, in personality and style. B For an adult, being aggressive, strong and outspoken, usually equates to success, for a child that doesnbt have filters or control, that makes him a bully. B And, letbs not forget to toss in the Boy-Teen hormones. B Oh yes, we have been hit by the hormones and after consulting with some of the Dadbs I know, we will get through this as well.
I realize that this is not about me, this is about H. B How do I help him? Will he become the type of adult that is happy? B I donbt know. B Again, I am at a loss. B Therapy isnbt an option, he is too smart, he manipulates, outsmarts and out plays every single therapist he has ever seen. B Social skills play groups, he isnbt ready to try that again, he has slid to far back. B For now, my plan…settle into the new school, find a tutor to help him get caught up and go back to the basics. B Reteach the basics of social skills, hope that we can lose some of the snark. B There is a new IEP in place, he has been reclassified, not as Autistic but as Emotionally Disturbed. B Yes, thatbs right, to get him the help he needs, we need to classify him, put him in a specific box that fits in with the statebs categories. B In case you forgot, H was diagnosed with Aspergers, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Sensory Integration. Note, none of these is recognized by the powers that be to determine assistance in the school system. B I have fought that diagnosis from the school for years and to do what is best for H, I must swallow any words I have and accept. B I need to play the game, work with the system, not against it.
I want to curl in the corner and cry, we have taken steps back and I havenbt found my footing yet, I am not able to see where we have started to move forward. B I realize this is just a moment, that both of us will learn from this failure and be stronger. B I know that I am not a horrible parent. B Knowing those things and believing them, right now are impossible. B I, also, know that I am not alone, that is almost as comforting as the boxes of thin mints Ibm consuming in consolation.
So, this is where we are, H is at a new school. B We are just going to take things one day at a time, ok, I am going to take things one day at a time, with a smile and positive attitude! That is the best that I can do.

2 thoughts on “Accept Failure, Not Defeat

  1. First thing, Everything will be okay.
    Its not your parenting skills that caused this. Its a part of the Asperger’sThis was a very difficult lesson for us to learn. But once we learned it, it calmed us down. Now its the other way.
    We are very lucky to have a school that has been pretty helpful is dealing with the Boy unit. They give him lots of sensory things and breaks throughout the day. While he hasn’t been pulled into anything serious this year (at 7) as he gets bigger, if we can’t stop these things, he will either turn into a bully or get his ass kicked. I would like to avoid both.
    He is content in his Star Wars, and Mario and Space and Legos, but a person cannot survive among these things. He will give affection when he realizes it (or when he wants something). He will rip his sister to shreds vocally but we let her but the hell out of him for now. It keeps him on his toes.
    Someday I’ll be ready to tell more of the Boy Units story, I am not there yet. Not that I am ashamed of him or anything, its just not time yet.
    Thank you VERY much for sharing your stories. Have you read “Look me in the eye” by John Elder Robison yet? Its a pretty easy read and is an optimistic tale of how an aspie life can be.
    They are going to change the diagnosis for AS next year, will that get him reclassified in the school? Emotionally Disturbed ticks me off just thinking about it.

    1. Oh, I know, as a parent though we are the first to look at our actions and doubt and question everything and thank you. Yes, I love the obsession with Star Wars and World War II, makes it very easy to distract him. I appreciate your words. “Look Me in The Eye” was one of the first books that I read and loved. I know that he will be fine and eventually he grow out of the behaviours and it will be a different challenge. I don’t think changing the diagnosis is going to change anything in the schools, since they don’t recognize Aspergers in the first place and yes, the ED portion, I’m just not even going to say anything about that.

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