The school year is ending. There will be a new school next year. Anxiety is running high (among the parents — even higher with the son.)
One doctor thinks he should stop taking meds. Another thinks he should continue.
Behavior is very trying. Lots of resistance and outright refusal to do what has been asked. Lots of yelling, cursing (always the cursing) and other outburts. Favorite activities are limited or taken away.
Apologies are issued. They are hollow because he tells us they are hollow. The child who has always had difficulty lying admits that he only apologizes so that his consequences will be lifted.
Summer, and its lack of structure, is looming. There is camp several days a week, but what of the other days? Will they be spent like this? In a constant struggle with Ryan, trying to draw him out of his room and get him to disengage from repetitive activities that only make him miserable even if he can’t stop himself?
Somehow, some way, this will get better. But it’s hard to know the right steps (where is my parent-to-a-child-on-the-spectrum-manual again?) Hard to know when to draw a line in the sand and when to allow a little leeway. Hard to know how to balance letting Ryan be Ryan with discouraging activities and behaviors that only make his social difficulties more pronounced.
Hard to feel like you’re locked in a constant struggle that you can not win.
Hard to see a child appear so unhappy so frequently.
Hard that there are no hockey games to at least provide us three hours of distracted, gloriously normal, family time.
I know that nothing is guaranteed at that all forms of parenting can be difficult. I know that Veronica and I will work together to figure out the right path for Ryan, for Riley, for our family.
But right now, this is hard.