It's graduation time. Going back over some older "Journey with Grace" blog posts--mining their contents for my current book project--I found this post I'd never published....I imagine that especially for families who have typically developing siblings in addition to a child with special needs, graduation time can bring some pangs of grief. The grief cycle is like that. (See my post: The Ebb and Flow of Grief.) I've had my own pangs over this issue and here's the conclusion I reached:
Every other month, as I walk families through the journey to wholeness and acceptance post autism diagnosis of their child, I say this very thing. In my own grief process I woke up when Grace was about five--after grieving the realization that she was probably not college bound. I then realized that a college degree is not a stamp of a human's worth. While more and more people with autism are going on to earn college degrees, many, such as my daughter, will not. I chose to grieve that. And then get real about what it means.
Photo: Grace with her teacher, Angela Cernyar, after graduation ceremonies at Peabody College. Taken by Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, this photo originally appeared here in this post, "The Blessings of Compassion."