I could sit here and write page after page of all the things I miss about my son Alfred. I miss the sound of his “Ernie” laugh at the dinner table. I miss telling him that a dress shirt with sweatpants does not go together. I miss the way his face looked when he was getting ready to tell me a funny “Alfred moment” story. I could go on and on, but I will never miss fighting for him. I explained to Al from age 10 on that he was unique. We talked openly about how some things were harder for him. I never for one second ever taught him that he couldn’t with anything. We always were just looking for a different way. Sometimes it was me showing him, but a lot of the times it was him showing me. When Al started back in regular school ( 7th grade) he had his first IEP. This is when I started to become fluent in what is now my second language. I have been lucky enough to have never had a bad IEP meeting. There have been many times when I needed to speak up and disagree. In the end we always had Al’s best interest in mind. Alfred never knew he had an IEP in place. I knew just how smart Alfred was, and if he knew there was a written file of things he did or didn’t have to do…. let’s just say it was better this way 😊. I never expected or excepted anything less then his best from him. I knew when I needed to be tough and when I needed to be understanding. I made sure his teachers knew this about me, but also that we both needed the same from them. I knew the better team we could build to support Al, the better success he would be. I can’t express enough just how far patience and understanding really can go.
When Al was in 3 grade I was invited by his teacher to attend a school assembly. I am so happy I was able to attend. I was as clueless as Alfred, but is was an award ceremony. Kids from all different grades levels were being called to stage and given certificates. Math awards, Science, Spelling ..etc. The children would stand up, bashfully smile, everyone would clap and they would get their certificate from the principal. Then the time came for the award for “Most improved grade in a Subject”… and Alfred’s name was called…. Now if you have ever seen contestants “Come on Down!!!” on the TV game show The Price is Right?!….that’s exactly what Al’s reaction was.. he jumped up both fist in the air…yelling and giving out high fives all the way to the stage. It was comical to see and the small time success made me very emotional. I treasure still all of my Alfred’s ” Come on Down” moments. It’s in these moments as a parent of not just a child with Aspergers, just as a parent… that life’s simple joys are just that… so very simple, but leave the biggest marks💙