–A few things I have learned….
*I have learned that all my HFA go through all of the learning stages that other kids do, just later. At the moment, I think my oldest girl runs about two years behind, and my oldest and youngest boys are a bit more. This was never much of a problem through 3rd grade, because teachers and peers are willing to not worry about differences in maturity speeds, but the “box” seems to shrink every year. (My oldest girl started to pretend by 8 years old, and last year she has played by herself for the first time, not right next to me) And that High School seems to be the real turning point for my kids, as in from hard to REALLY hard. These are the trenches we are in at the moment.
*I have learned that I have very “well-adjusted” Autistic kids… I was never very stressed that they could not talk at the standard age, and I began teaching relaxing techniques and bio-feedback and anger-management , forgiveness of self, and how to read the faces and actions of the characters in the movies long before I had a name for their struggles, just because it’s what I saw in their needs. So their stymming, and other standard Autistic markers are very hard to see without knowing them very well.
*I have learned that just when you get one thing figured out, they get older and you have to keep learning more coping mechanisms!
*I have learned that “state help” is not always worth the price unless there is no other option, so I always have to read the fine print and be watchful.
*That most women/moms try to be understanding, but I intimidate them– and most men think I’m making it all up and are much less willing to see past their own judgmental issues. (With a few exceptions that I’m grateful for.)
*I have learned that you can be so stressed and tired that your heart hurts like a knife thrust.
* I have learned that the Lord is not very interested in pampered pets, He is on a quest to raise His children to be mighty warriors.
*I have learned that the the Lord loves these kids very much; and that the priesthood is very real.
—Well, I’d better let you go. Hope some of this is helpful