Thursday, October 23, 2008

Meghan on Sunday: Meghan update

We saw Meghan on Sunday, our usual day for visiting since she has school 6 days a week. When we walked into the house we found her coloring with a teacher, one of her favorite indoor activities, so I was not surprised. And fashioning a big smile, which I was glad to see. We sat down and visited with her and some of the other girls and teachers as we chitchatted for a while. You can really get to know how much a teacher really knows your child by the casual chatter. It’s refreshing to learn and "feel" as though the teachers really do care about your child, and they do seem to know and care about Meghan and all the girls, for that matter. It’s using a gut instinct (and overall perception of knowing) and logic (reasonable understanding of the environment). Then again, these teachers should be enjoying their job since they are following their career of choice. I guess it’s like a daycare (or 'round the clock care, in this case) that the teachers are not there to love your child but to accept, respect and essentially “raise” your child. It is a tough thing to admit, that the school is helping me raise Meghan at this point in her life; but it’s true no matter what I may think or choose to believe. What does she think? I wonder. She is old enough for any child to attend boarding school, and I’ve talked to some typical women who had attended a boarding school when they were 12. Of these two women, they both had told me that they loved it. They were young enough to be tough and resilient—as a lot of kids tend to be, and that they adapted to their environment without a hitch. They also admitted that it was the best experience of their life and it taught them independence. So I wonder if Meghan is having the same experience of finding inner strength and independence. I tend to think so, but that would be using my gut instinct (only) to discern.

The logic behind it all is that Meghan needs the assistance of a team of trained teachers around the clock. One man cannot do it alone. She is 12 and still very behavioral--2 x per day is her average in exhibiting behavioral outbursts. Having trained teachers who do this for a living and who are not afraid to work with her is the most important part in helping Meghan become all that she can be. What’s even more impressive is that it’s working--and Meghan loves it.

She was all-smiles when we took her out for a drive. Actually, I’m shortchanging the truth: she was giddy and making high-pitched, excitable sounds from deep within the minivan. She made us smile. And when we drove to Ben and Jerry’s for ice-cream—even more smiles, but that was to be expected. As we were leaving the ice-cream shop with our (even bigger) smiles and happier, chocolate-filled stomachs, I held out my hand for her as we crossed the road and she grabbed it the same way she had always held my hand, with a firm, loving hold as if she had not forgotten; I’m still her “Mum” and that I had made the right decision for her. I left thinking that it’s the same as it was before, just better and within a second set of four walls with an extended family to enjoy; and a happier spirit and a smiling face to show for it.

... And still waiting for our town to organize the bus for Meghan to come home on alternating weekends. A snag or school system politics (bullshit)?


Tanya @ Teenautism said...

Beautiful! It sounds like Meghan is in a positive, nurturing place, and that is worth its weight in gold.

Anonymous said...

"I guess it's like a daycare". You can say that again!