Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Lay of the Land

I will definitely write about the outcome of what’s been going on with classes, but I need to step away for now.

My son’s school is located less than 25 miles from our house, though it takes about an hour to drive there. We have managed to pick him up and bring him back for most of the weekends he has come home. While not as handy as having Dad pick up and Mom drop off, public transportation is relatively convenient in both directions, and he has taken a bus home.

Last weekend, on the spur of the moment, he decided to come home to watch some soccer that would not be shown on channels available at school. While on the phone with him around dinner-time, we checked the bus schedule and found that he would be able to make the next bus if he hurried. The bus would take him to the subway, which would bring him the rest of the way home.

I will cut to the chase by confirming that he made it both ways safely, though not without a lot of anxiety on my part and a couple of check-in phone calls. On the way home, he got on a bus that was going in the right general direction, but he had to transfer half-way. He managed. On the way back, the Sunday train did not go to the station he thought it would, so he had to pick up the bus the rest of the way in an unfamiliar area. Again, he managed. I don’t know if I was more worried than I would have been had he not had social communications trouble. His trust of people and the fact that he is sometimes unmindful of his surroundings can be a little nerve-wracking, although he’s made huge strides in both of those.

Having navigated these routes for the first time alone, we all have confidence that he won’t have any problems going forward. He has now learned that there are several bus and train combinations that will get him home; he has map-quested the (walking) route to Target from school; he has taken a bus to a mall a few towns away; and he has also gotten on the school shuttle just to explore the other campuses. The seeds of independence continue to grow.

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