Birth Story/Ma naissance
Growth/Je grandis
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Approaching Eight

Dear Victor, It's been quite the ride for the past few years and for the most part, I haven't written here, but elsewhere, often in protected entries on Livejournal.

You were diagnosed on the autism spectrum when you were four, which gave us a lot of answers about your behaviors as a toddler: the extremity of your tantrums, your anger, your sensitivity, your difficulties with speech. It was difficult sometimes to come to terms with that diagnosis and a struggle to help you get by from day to day.

Over the past 4 years, you've grown by leaps and bounds, not only physically and mentally but emotionally as we've finally settled into the right set of supports for you. You attend a special school where they're able to help guide your behavior over the course of the day and you're now able to thrive academically because of it. You have a wonderful MT (Mobile Therapist) who comes to see you twice a week and helps you to work through social situations and guides you when things are tough, helping us to help you too.

You've grown tall (4'5"!) and strong and in spite of continued struggles, largely with sensitivities to too much noise, odors and strong feelings, you're flourishing. You continue to be sweet and kind in spite of the rigidity that comes along with that spectrum diagnosis. You're generous and helpful and your way of looking at the world is interesting and insightful. You're also totally hilarious with a quirky sense of humor that has your family in stitches most of the time.

As we near your birthday and the end of another school year, we're trying to figure out what the next steps will be for you. You're just finishing second grade and we're trying to decide whether you should stay in the school you're in or if it's time to move you back into your home school district. You get good marks in math and even on spelling tests, though you're still struggling to read on your own. Summer school is also a big question that we need to figure out, along with camp.

Either way, next year you go to third grade right on time, which we didn't always think would happen. You tell us that you'd like to be a scientist some day and invent machines and also travel in outer space. We'd love to help you get there.

Love, Mommy

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