Hmmm, this week has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, which I wasn't expecting at all!
Dan has had a Summer School at his intended University this week - Derby University puts on a lot of extra support for those students who may find life a little more challenging. Dan falls into this category because he is on the autistic spectrum (he was diagnosed with Aspergers, when it existed - now he's just on the spectrum!).
We never intended to get him a 'label' in the first place, but it was insisted upon when he was at Primary School - 'no label, no support' is one of the many rules in the education system. It was useful when he was younger because it helped him (and us) to understand why he didn't necessarily conform to the societal expectations foisted upon young people!
Whilst it continues to be helpful to have a 'proper' diagnosis in order to gain student support, it hasn't helped Dan so much in recent years because he 'just wants to be normal' and to all intents and purposes, he is 'normal' (whatever that means!!).
However, there are situations where despite my NLP training and all the reframing in the world (he's shy, he's a teenager, he's naturally quiet), he sometimes struggles to find the tools to empower him in every single situation that might arise...and it breaks my heart.
Summer School highlighted this AND also reminded me how resourceful, flexible, intelligent, aware, courageous and resilient my son is... he had his own way of finding out the information he needed to know and he achieved the outcomes for the Summer School, just not necessarily in the way they intended!
Letting go and trusting new support systems, a long way from home, is a big challenge for me as his mum...and now my beautiful son is an adult and has successfully navigated the very conformist school system, I believe that he will continue to grow and flourish in an environment that is both supportive and challenging, nurturing and empowering.
'Normal' has a much wider meaning at University and I can see that he will be more empowered to utilise all the resources he already has to achieve his goals.
Now we just have to wait for A level results day because my courageous son turned down his unconditional offer in favour of a conditional offer at Derby...yes, I really can hold my breath for another 3 weeks, 5 days, 23 hours and 26 minutes!!