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SAHM of 3 wonderful kids, one brilliant one Asperger Syndrome. This is not a living shrine to his disorder, but rather a place to share & discuss the different challenges that came with it and other things about parenting & life in general.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sunk Cost? My aspie's journey home

Sunk Cost.

 This is the only term from the two semesters of Economics in college. But the word is more relevant to me as a parent. My aspie courageously took the big leap to a four-year college over five thousand miles away. He, no undoubtedly, had bumps along the way. I left him alone in his world; to make mistakes and hopefully learn from them. And I didn't want to be a helicopter parent. It was a big gamble, an expensive gamble. After three semesters, during his winter break, we sat down to talk. I knew he wasn't happy where he was and I had to say what I knew he wanted to admit. He wanted to come home.

December 17, 2014. Yes, I remember the date because, the very next day was a very long drive to his school to bring the rest of his things back home. There wasn't much talking on our 7-hour drive to his school. When we got to the big empty campus, the reasons for his wanting to leave was very apparent. I don't know why I did not notice before. I could see how he could feel isolated in an enormous campus. He packed his things and withdrew from the school. My only thoughts at this point were that I didn't see any of his friends. I walked with him to the bookstore to meet his friend.

I decided to go back to the hotel because I was afraid he was being stood up and I didn't want to feel his embarrassment. I cried thinking, he must have been alone all this time and he wasn't telling me. I waited for him and hoped he would be late and he was. His "friends" were too busy to meet him before he left, he said. But when he got back, he was absolutely thrilled. His friend showed up to meet him. His friend came along with a dozen more turned up to send him off. I cried (inside) for different reasons. We drove back feeling relieved and for very different reasons.

Sunk cost according businessdictionary.com is money already spent and permanently lost. They are past opportunity costs that are partially irretrievable and, therefore, should be considered irrelevant to the future decision-making. The cost of 3 semesters of out of state tuition, room & board, books, travel cost, and time is irretrievable. But I can't say all is lost. The life lessons he learned and the connections he made (on his own) was definitely worth every penny.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Finally, all grown up?

College orientation done.
Now we wait.
I planned his birthday, it ended us in NY City. A place he wanted to go to school.

After orientation we head to the big apple
We had to do this, actually, I had to do this.

Yes, we were from the country. Met his 18th birthday at Time Square

Of course, aspie side of him just could let go of visiting the museum

After two days, reality sets in. Time to go back home.
Back home to Hawaii
To see the Sunset

And get ready to meet the future.

College orientation surprise for me & my aspie

I took a gamble.
I left it up to him to pick the school to apply to.
I didn't even look at his essays.
I didn't even look at his grades.
He got into the schools he wanted, not Ivy League school, but close.

People asked me why I didn't arrange orientation on the week of the move in date. I didn't have the strength to tell them about the aspergers aspect. I was too tired and didn't want to explain.

We took the two day orientation to a place with 11 plus hours of traveling involved.
My anxiety went through the roof. My husband couldn't get off the ship so he could only make it to the graduation.

It was up to me to take him there. It was going to be my last trip with him before he went off to college. We left a day early and made the trip worthwhile.

At the school, they said, "Say good bye to your kids because you won't see them for the next two days. Parents will be getting their own orientation. Your kids will experience the dorm life and get a taste of what was to come." My heart sank. It sank even though he was coming back home with me this time.

I held on to my phone, with the charger in my purse, with my dear life. All the questions I had regarding the school was secondary. They made sure all the information was provided to the parents. It was there just to handle our jitters. I was sure he would text me any minute.

Then it happened.


And next day, one text.

"Mom, thank you very much."

I don't think I've been surprised by anything else in my life. I've been bugging him for years to use Korean he's been taught in a separate class for years.

He loved the school, he got all the information and by the time he go home, he was motivated to exercise and then decided to volunteer for a special ed class at his old high school and hospice before going back to college.

He absolutely loves the schools.
Staff was well aware & prepared to meet his needs.
School was determined to get him adjusted to the school in everyway they could.

Will he do well? I don't know.
But he is re-doing his bucket list as I write this blog.

Florence 2013

Planning his new adventure....

Sunday, December 23, 2012

What a way to spend a day, hike challenge by W

It was a challenge from W. I knew I wasn't ready, much like parenthood. I got a few good pictures, well, more like W got great pictures. I had mine handed to me. :) 

My long hike with W.

W's view from top of Kokohead

W's view from the top

Long way down

P.S. I didn't make the 1000 steps. I stopped half way. As I sat on one of the wooden blocks, I fainted. No damage. I am alive. But my steps going down was even longer than my climb. A memorable day none the less.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My aspie's rude awakening

W has had an uneventful life. Our family was revolved around him since he was the first born. Grandparents gave him allowance every week, I would give him money when he went out with his friends, and his aunt would pay him for some of the chores. 

As brilliant as he is when it comes to academics, but he has no ideas about how to handle money. He read about it, but never really learned about money. 

I found he had no qualms about buying things that weren't necessary and paying for his friends when they went out to Waikiki. 

So we decided to cut out all the free money we've been giving him. He applied to 15 positions from cashier, note taker for the disabled students, stocking person, and even greeter at Walmart. 

He couldn't understand why he hasn't received a call yet
. And after calculating his earnings, he said, "I need to work an hour to buy lunch!" 

I said, "Welcome to the real world!"

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Me, the problem?

There have been many changes this year, the good, the bad, and the really ugly. I won't bore you with details, but I am waiting for this year to be over. 

One of the change came as Will began his senior year and his younger brother A started kindergarten. 
You shouldn't compare children, but I couldn't help myself. I found his little brother to be more responsible and able to follow through than the 17  year old. 

Will stopped being a non-verbal child in speech therapy a long time ago, but I was, in many respects treating him like he was. I was nagging him about the same things and instead of teaching him the basic life skills, I was giving him a long to-do list to follow. I was putting his socks for him instead of teaching him how. I lectured him about responsibility, but I wasn't giving him a chance to be responsible. I didn't give him a chance to fail. Everything was done for him and my time was mostly dedicated to him. 

After feeling guilty about my parenting failures, I saw my opportunity to redeem myself. My first challenge came in the form of a boy scout camp. I did the unthinkable.

Yes, I actually let him pack his own bags. I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but do you realize how hard that is for me? I didn't ask him if he packed all he needed and I didn't double check his bag. If he forgot something, he would have to go without it and  hope he would learn something from it. 

I came home with a sense of accomplishment (especially for keeping my mouth shut) but I was still curious about what he left behind, a sleeping bag? a poncho? or tarp? It was hard to tell because I had many duplicate things and he wanted to take a different bag. After looking around, I realized he actually remembered to take his bathing suit to this camp out at the private beach. 

When I picked him up, he was very happy and proud of himself of what he remembered to pack. He went on about his camp and what he managed to get done. I was glad for him, but I had to hide the guilt of keeping him back from growing up. But I am not going to dwell on it.

I'm not perfect, but who is. Will is growing up and so am I. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Instincts of a parent

The school began at the end of July. But A's Kindergarten class didn't begin their full day until the second week.

I saw him walking behind his sister with the back pack as big as he, and he didn't look back.

I made all sorts of excuses for keeping him back a year. A has a late birthday and technically, he could've entered Kindergarten last fall.

I didn't want him to be the youngest in class and I didn't think he was ready. Honestly, he was my youngest and I wanted to keep him awhile longer.

I questioned my decision countless times and sometimes with regret especially when he asked me why he couldn't go to school. Other times I found myself having to justify to other parents of keeping him home.

On the first day, I waited in front of the class along with the other anxious parents. Soon the teacher appeared and began to speak.

A's eyes and ears were focused on her and not me. That was when I knew I was right all along. I was right to wait.
I waved and walked as my life depended on it with a smile. If I stayed any longer, I probably would've been in tears.

It may not be the right decision for everyone for different reasons. I was lucky to have a choice to keep him home with me. And now I appreciate the extra time I had with him even though I wished I had some free time.

As A learns the abcs, I've learned to trust my instincts just a little more and hope I make the best decision for my kids.


I miss taking a nap w him though.

My baby...