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On the Road Again

Three weeks ago I had the opportunity to take my son Zach, who is a sophomore in high school, to look at colleges with my husband. Prior to the trip he was decidedly unenthusiastic to say the least. Apparently none of his friends were going (not true), he would forget all the schools (also not true because his mom photographed every building), and it would take up his whole vacation.

Also not true. Only four days out of nine. My math is rusty, but that’s not even half (I think).

There are other more compelling reasons he pretty much chose to ignore, like the fact that the four days we were gone his severely autistic brother was in school, so minimal child care was necessary, or that our next NJEA break we’ll be in Disney.

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I offered to take him on college tours instead that week next year. He was not amused.

At the end of the first day when we’d seen two colleges in PA (and he’d gleefully told the admissions officer at the second that her presentation had just blown away his dad’s alma mater) I asked him if this had been a good idea.

I was met with an enthusiastic “Yes, this is great!”

Victory. With a teen I will take it whenever I can get it.

I loved every minute of this tour, even when the GPS got us hopelessly lost on a mountain and I wondered if Jeff and I were still smart enough to take our son on college tours.

The jury is still out.

I loved it because I am really proud of my kid, who has conquered many obstacles, most recently breaking his hip at fifteen, losing an entire summer, and being faced with the potential of a lifetime of surgeries. I truly meant the word “victory” in the paragraph above- it felt victorious to see him walking unattended, soaking up the college life, and exuding enthusiasm for something that was previously unimaginable to him.

I also love it because for once I was solely focused on him, not his brother’s needs for the future.

Many of you who know me will not be shocked when I tell you I have a plan for Justin too, one I hope will rival what I believe will be a fabulous life trajectory for Zach. I will write more about my plans for Justin at a later date, but I realized on this trip I am excited about both boys’ futures. One who may follow a more traditional path of college, career and love, and one who will hopefully be placed in an exciting and safe residential setting, with a great day program and lots of trips to Great Adventure.

The future looks bright for both.

I will take it.

Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

For more on my family visit my blog at

Follow me on Facebook at Autism Mommy-Therapist

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