And so it has begun … the last year that Zack will attend public school. After this year, then what? It feels like we are slowly walking to the end of a gangplank with the final step looming on the horizon.
I have to hold on to my faith to prevent panic. God has gotten us this far … He will not leave us now, or ever. He promised this in Deuteronomy 31:8, which says, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
As has happened before, there may be something so much better ahead than I can imagine. I hope and pray so.
In the meantime, ABA therapy has ended. Zack’s work assignment at Goodwill starts on Monday–1.5 to 2 hours a day during school when he and a few other students are supervised by a job coach. This year, an observer connected with DVR (Division of Vocational Rehabilitation) will be there through February, noting the skills Zack has for possible future job placement.
In February, it’s my understanding that the person assigned to us starts trying to place him in an actual job that he will have after school ends. Other parents who have gone before us tell me that most kids work about eight hours a week once they have finished school.
What do they do the rest of the time? That’s the dark void I try not to think about.
I know I’m sounding a bit melodramatic about this … but it is HUGE. The school system is an enormous safety net for people with children on the autism spectrum or with other disabilities. It is a safe place for our kids to be for seven or eight hours a day. It makes working possible for us. It keeps our sanity intact.
So now you know how to pray for Jay and me … and Zack … and all the other families who have children with special needs … this year.