2,068 miles, one week outpatient, one week inpatient and two more weeks outpatient, Nathan finally graduated from his program today! He was actually very emotional about it. The staff informed me that on a couple of occasions he cried and they thought he was very overwhelmed at the idea of leaving. The other patients made cards for him and he was the special helper for the day. It has reiterated to me that he has thrived on a structured program and that he desperately needs it to continue. Thank God school starts next week and the structure will continue. We have therapists lined up for future visits and they and the school both came out to the hospital to see how the program works so that they can use the same techniques that he has been using this whole time. I think he felt a huge sense of accomplishment and we are so proud of him for being able to complete the program successfully. He has learned so much in the short time he was there (although it felt like a lifetime to me), I hope that he can carry these skills with him for a lifetime.
It has been a huge change to our family being on a regimented schedule. Everything for Nathan is through visual pictures Velcro’d throughout our house. He has a difficult time reading but has very large icons that show him what he is expected to do from time to time. His schedule changes about every 30 minutes, so you can imagine when something out of the ordinary pops up, it can be very disruptive. We are working on the idea of how life sometimes throws surprises at you and you have to “go with the flow”, but we have not mastered that yet. He will get there.
Jay is off to the mountains tomorrow for a boys golf trip. I am happy that he has a chance to get away for a couple of days to breathe. He has been working so hard and we have not had a single minute of down time this entire summer. I want him to come back refreshed. Madison and I plan on going to a hotel next weekend for some girl time and our chance to breathe. I am returning to work on Wednesday after being off since June 15th. It was not the way that I wanted to spend my summer, but my little boy is back and I couldn’t be happier.
This time has also been such a huge healing for our family. I don’t think we realized how bad off we were until things started to get better. At the time I did not think we could survive it, I know that we were carried on Angels wings during this process. I also know that it was through all the thoughts and prayers of everyone that we made it!! The outpouring of support that we have received is overwhelming and some of you I don’t even know have shared words of encouragement and it means the world to us! Again, thank you all for everything and for your continued prayers for our family during this adjustment period.