I spent over two hours today with my son's teacher. My son is autistic. He has major issues with communication and connecting with people. He is 14, in the eighth grade and all of his book studies, except reading comprehension, are on target for his grade level. We think the comprehension issues are more to do with his communication problems than a lack of understanding what he has read. This year he has really matured and settled down, but he is still one of the smaller kids in class and we are considering letting him stay at the Jr. High. He can stay at the high school until he turns 21 and we have accepted that he will age out of the system.

We had planned on setting up the classroom for some more hands on experience for all the kids with shopping, money, and using mail as a way to learn weights and measurements. We ended up brainstorming what other life skills Kenny should be trying to learn and master. His teacher said, "I can teach him algebra, and he'd learn it, but I don't think that will be as relevant in his life as being able to navigate the grocery store with a list things to pick up or knowing what change he should get back."

So I'm starting this weekend with teaching him how to make rice in the rice cooker and load the dishwasher and he will continue with this mixed into the rest of his week at school. This is so hard. I'm really OCD about the dishwasher. Even when my husband loads it, he doesn't run it until I can come through and rearrange it. I know I should be making him do more things around the house, but most of the time, I'm just trying to do things fast and it's easier to do it myself. If I want him to do anything I have to wait right there so he doesn't run off because he doesn't want to. I know he needs to learn things so I'm not doing them for him forever and, if anything happens to us, he's not a burden for other family members that would step in.

I've just had this realization of how old he is and I'm trying not to have an anxiety attack.