Well, for Janey, better than expected. She is happy going to "summertime school". She seems to look forward to it, and almost always seems calm and in a good mood when I pick her up. The teachers and aides are sweet and seem to love her, and her classmates seem like a good mix. There are about 7-8 kids each day, all boys except Janey and one girl from her class during the regular year (who is head and shoulders ahead of the other kids academically). I think it works for Janey because it's pretty low key---she can move around the room, she has breakfast and lunch and snacks and takes a lot of walks inside and outside. The day is pretty short, essentially 10-2. I don't think she will learn a lot, but that is often the case whether a lot is being taught or not. She is getting some socialization. I am still not happy with the facilities, but I have come a little to terms with it. It's how it is---there's not a lot I can do, except send in some toys and books for the room, which I have done.
For me, not as great. Summer is never easy for me, and I've been feeling quite down this summer, more than most, probably. Partly it's just the same things as always, but I think each year it gets a little harder as Janey gets older. I think somewhere, somehow, even though I'd tell you otherwise, I thought she'd "grow out" of a lot of things. Maybe because William changed so radically, maybe because although I outwardly scoff at a lot I read, I do know some kids with autism do get better. Janey isn't. Her talking is steady, with maybe a touch more responsiveness but still tons and tons of delayed echolalia. She spends long periods of time lately looking at her hands, which she hadn't done in a while and which I hate to see. She can be very content just being held while holding a blanket and twisting it around---calm times for us, but not a sign of a lot of progress. The toilet training has tiny hints of progress, but yesterday again was a horrible smearing diaper around incident. And I don't see what I can do to change things. I guess I can't change things. I know that, I knew that all along, but it's still hard. And I know my own personality, which tends toward lethargy and mild depression, doesn't help. Our extremely, extremely tight money situation doesn't help---we are at the point this summer of going almost no-place unnecessary, to save money for the essentials like food and the pile of bills. I am letting things like ebay working and laundry get ahead of me, while I am tired---always tired. I do have a physical coming up, and maybe my thyroid isn't good, or my blood pressure medication needs changing, or the asthma is worse (allergies have been awful), but I tend to never allow myself to think of the problem as physical---I blame myself, not my body.
And yet, these are wonderful years. I am seeing my boys grow into men, I am seeing my beautiful girl grow up. We have times when we all laugh until we cry. I can't see these years as bad years. They are tough years, and hopefully, some years will be easier, but they are important years, the core years of our life as a family. I need to always remember that.