Second Full Week

Posted: June 6th, 2010 under communication, education, life on the spectrum, parenting.
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Last Sunday,  M- left his keys up here (50 miles from where he now lives) and so after church he had to go to the apartment offices and be let in to pick up his spare keys.   Wednesday, when I was going to the city anyway, I took his keys down to him and tried to get his router hooked up properly.  Had to call for help from techie friends.    By then he had been two class two days.   Thursday,  I took him grocery shopping in the evening–wasn’t time on Wednesday, thanks to problems with router.    I often drive to the city two weekdays, once for voice lesson and choir, and once for fencing practice.  But it had rained, so the yard wasn’t good for fencing, and I did the grocery shopping with M- early enough that I was almost home by nine pm.  This morning, R- picked him up from the apartment to drive him to church.

Aside from those contacts, he’s been on his own all week, going to class, doing his homework, etc.    He sounds happy.  He says he’s sleeping better now that he’d used to the place.   He’s got the bus route from campus to the ice rink figured out (as well as the bus route out to the bus terminus 20 miles from us, where we could pick him up.)     Email’s working back and forth…he sounds confident about his math class, and at least happy (so far) with his writing class.   He sounds motivated–emails about his work, his homework, etc.

I coaxed him into setting up Thunderbird (mail client for those of you who don’t use it)  with his new ISP himself–just sent him the detailed directions,  including the server settings–and he did it, and was very proud of himself.

So–granting that two weeks is just the tip of the very large iceberg of learning to live in the city–it’s going well so far.

On the parenting side, I’m having to discipline myself not to call all the time, not to check up on everything point by point.  Parents of NT kids have the same problem, but it doesn’t take as long for their kids to get to the “no more apron strings” stage,  so we (I in particular) have had longer to form the habit of control.


  • Comment by Karen — June 7, 2010 @ 12:19 pm


    Sounds like all parties are adjusting to M’s new reality. What you are going thru is much like I did when K- moved to Boston (just as a reference point). When I left, I requested a check-in phone call in the evenings. Calls received: one. That evening. And that was it.

    I learned a valuable lesson: K’s “no-apron strings” adjustment period was a heck of a lot shorter than mine. Even tho I’d spent a lifetime of training this child for independence, letting go is not instinctual to the human mother.

    Kudos for reinforcing M’s independence by giving him the tools to set up his own email. Standing back is a lot harder than doing-for.

  • Comment by Elizabeth — June 7, 2010 @ 12:32 pm


    Yes…the hovering hand is always ready to grab the tool and do it faster/better/somethingorother.

    R- took him ice-skating after church, then grocery shopping, then went up the apartment with him to see if a glitch that’s shown up with T-bird was easy to fix (t-bird isn’t accepting the new ISP’s SMTP server as default…) but it wasn’t. However, he said M- seems quite happy in his new situation. Will need to see how the grades go (ahem!)

  • Comment by Karen — June 8, 2010 @ 6:54 am


    “Will need to see how the grades go (ahem!)”

    Just like any other parent of a college student.

    I think about where he was 5 years ago, and he’s grown so much. Joyfully, congratulations again.

  • Comment by Source of Trouble — June 16, 2010 @ 12:04 pm


    Your comments about keeping tabs while away reminded me of my mother’s parting words as she was ready to leave me at college in Colorado (from Michigan). “I’ll expect to hear from you when you want something.” Or, of course, if I had something I wished to share.

    This was a confidence builder for me, and so much nicer to know she felt I could ‘do it’ than the parents that called the dorm each week if ‘Suzy’ hadn’t checked in with home.

    Congrats! to M- on doing so well.

  • Comment by Elizabeth — June 17, 2010 @ 12:32 pm


    My mother wasn’t as relaxed about things, but maybe I wasn’t as reliable a kid.

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