I was saddened to read the struggles that Thomas’ family had to go through to get him into school [“An Unexpected Life,” March/April]. I am 72 years old and living with my son, daughter-inlaw, and my two grandsons, and no, this is not how I expected to spend my retirement. My daughter-in-law works in another state five days a week, so the daily care of Nathan along with the interaction with the school have fallen primarily to me.
Nathan was diagnosed as “highfunctioning autistic” as he entered first grade. We are blessed! The Richardson Independent School System (Richardson, Texas) and specifically the math, science, and technology magnet school has been and continues to be exceptionally supportive and understanding about my grandson’s needs. Nathan is mainstreamed and is at or above grade level (third grade) in all subjects. He is a loving, happy, witty, wonderful child, and the school administration, his classroom teachers, even the parent volunteers continue to help him succeed. I was touched by Thomas’ grandmother’s comments about the books, tapes, tears, and prayers. Been there, done that. She is right…love and enjoy the child for who he/she is!
A DVD that I purchased may be of help to Thomas and other autistic children (thetransporters.com).
The DVD has been developed specifically for autistic spectrum children in association with the Autism Research Centre Cambridge University. Nathan’s third-grade teacher informed me about the sites (autismresearchcentre.com).