A family first? Or not?

As we regroup after last week’s health struggles, from which Melissa is feeling better but not all the way back, we realize that a long anticipated event is sneaking up on us.

This coming weekend, our autistic son will spend his first night away from home and without us. (Melissa and I have had a few nights away over the years, but always with someone to watch Joey in our own familiar home.) This time, we will make use of a respite night through his community program, in which he will spend the evening in one of their apartments. The staff are taking him over to see it and talk about it during the week. He’s grown in his ability to understand information about upcoming events.

This is a family first, and part of our overall preparation for the day when he will move into a permanent residential placement.

But lots of question marks accompany the plan:

Will he hate it, and go bonkers the next time we try it? Or will he love it and not want to come home?

Will any health emergencies complicate the weekend? Joey still has the occasional seizure, for instance.

Will Melissa and I be able to have fun at an event planned for that night? Or will our own depleted energy levels pin us down at home?

Care giving? It’s, like, always talking in, like, questions? You never know, like, how things will turn out?

It’s like this guy is running our lives:

2 thoughts on “A family first? Or not?

  1. A coworker transitioned her child into an apartment like you are referring to this summer and the journey has been quite exceptional. Her child is doing amazingly well, by comparison to what we all thought it would be. The parents cannot believe all the things they did that the child is now taking over. It has been 7 months for them. They have been amazed at how they have transitioned into their life as well and now have their child over for dinner and weekends, while this has not changed their child’s condition, it is so much different than before. I pray for the health of both of you and your son and that your positive journey starts with this weekend.

    • Thank you so much for this encouraging message. We are very blessed to be living here and working with some excellent people to give our son a good quality of life, and your message and prayers mean a great deal for this journey.

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