In 2012, Liam was diagnosed with high functioning Autism, also known as Asperger's. He's a bright, brilliant kid, with a passion for cars, Keane, and Minecraft, but the last few years have been a tremendous struggle for all of us.For three years we've worked with the public school system here
, doing everything we can to get the best out of his education. While we've attained his IEP and worked with the staff, we realized it wasn't working out. No one was happy. Not Liam, not his teacher, not us. School is nothing short of torture for him, and his teacher tearfully told us, integrating him into the classroom is a daily challenge to the learning of other kids.
This is the biggest challenge of having a child that's high on the spectrum. While he was initially excited to be attending gifted classes, he quickly became frustrated because he knows he's different. The prospect of being pulled out of class more sends him into a panic and tears.
As he's entering the third grade we can see that while Liam is well above average in his potential, he's still struggling tremendously in his day to day. He can hardly manage the basics: Sitting still, following directions, replying to his name. And he's aware. He's talked about harming himself, having no friends, and feeling as if it's all pointless. He's unhappy beyond belief, and it breaks our hearts.
It also spurs his moments of violence and anger, making everything even more hard in our day to day.
Liam's teacher this year said to me through tears: "If I had a child that was struggling like he is, I'd want to know. If I had more time with him, I know we could do great things. But I have 22 other kids to teach..."At the end of the school year I decided it was enough.
We need a village to raise our son, and we scoured the area to find a school that's good enough for him, that will work with him and will give him the resources and additional he needs to become the amazing person I know he is. We found that place.
Liam has been making huge strides at his new school. It's an upward fight, for sure. But it's something we're working on together, with an amazing staff. We're no longer alone.
But it's costly. And with Michael out of a job, it's harder than ever.
Since we've had friends and family ask how they can help, I've set up this page for just that. Michael and I are just getting back on our feet financially after a long and arduous trek that started with student loans and Liam's initial hospitalization after he was born, but it's worth it if it means we can go to work knowing that he's taken care of. That he's with people who understand just how special and gifted and maddening and hiliarious he is. Want to know more about Liam? I've written at length about our struggle together. And our connection through music.