Today was the first quarter parent-teacher conference for Ryan. He is off to a great start continuing where he left off at the end of 9th grade. Everyone said the same things about him. He is a class leader, shows great empathy for his fellow students, goes above and beyond what is expected of him on his class projects. One of the instructors has been teaching time management/planning using the Tony Robbins method. He shared with me a Date With Destiny/Goal Sheet that Ryan created during the first week.
As parents we are never quite sure our kids listen to anything that we tell them. When he gave me a copy of the sheet, right in the middle, was the phrase I used over and over again after Theresa died. I would tell Ryan as humans we can't go backwards and we can't stay where we are. Time doesn't stop, it keeps moving forward. He put down, "Time doesn't stop, why should I". Along with those phrases he listed some of the things he's driving towards and some of the things that are pushing him forward.
- He had a picture of Theresa with her date of death 4/18/16.
- Next to that picture he had one of Nana with her date of death 6/20/21.
- He put an emblem down for his school, Gateway Academy, which he started after moving to Phoenix
- Next to his school he put up a fiery Phoenix because he is a Phoenecian now
- He put a screen capture of his favorite video game
- He put up a basketball picture as that has become his game of choice during lunch
- He put up a picture of Phoenix Children's Hospital for the time he spent there working through some emotional issues
- He put up the date of his high school graduation, 5/25/24
- He put up a picture and expected start date for Northern Arizona University.
I have to say that I had quite the lump in my throat looking at all the things he put down that he has pushed through, that motivate him and where he wants to go. As parents we sometimes think we are talking to a brick wall, but those things we say do bear fruit.
Last week was the 2nd quarter conference (I started writing this a few months ago and never finished it, so now it's quarter 2). All of his teachers had great things to say about Ryan and the positive changes that he continues to show on his high school journey. One of my favorites was how all of his teachers said that Ryan has shown tremendous growth in listening to the opinion of others, expressing his different opinion, and accepting that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. While this may not seem like much, for a kid on the autism spectrum, this is an incredible break-through.
Every day my boy inspires me with his intellectual and emotional growth.