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Friday, December 9, 2011

College?

We're driving past the local community college campus when Red asks, "Is that the college I'll be going to?"
"I guess so...unless you live down in Austin and go to a campus near where you live?"
"What do you mean?  I'm going to live with you...right?"
"Maybe...maybe not." If you can't be respectful of our home and our rules...you're out on your keester buddy! 
Of course, I'm not going to just kick him to the curb...but I want him to think that it's a possibility.

He is stunned...stumped...confused to say the least.  I am actually trying to shock him a little bit into reality.  I go on to explain that he could have his own apartment with a roommate.  He can't even imagine that.  He wants the best of everything...all of the comforts that will come along with living with us, instead of having to work hard to take care of himself.  He must have a big screen t.v. and a really nice computer.  He may not be able to afford all of that on his own.

"Community College only takes 2 years Mom.  I may not be ready to move by then."
"It could take 2 years if you are carrying a full load, but since they don't make accommodations like you're getting now...it will probably take you longer because you will have to take less classes."
"What do you mean they don't make accommodations!?" he asks incredulously.
"Going to college is a privilege not a right.  You have to study for test.  You have to do the assignments as given.  You will have to do homework and you will have to take some classes that you may not like if you want a Bachelor's degree.  They may assist you with some things, but there will be no modified curriculum and shortened assignments."

He looks at me like I'm from another planet.  He can't believe the audacity of these schools...making people do all of this work! Why should you have to take classes that you're not interested in?  Why should he have to do all of that reading and work on his own time...at home.  That's ridiculous!  You see Red really only wants to do what HE wants to do.  Anything that he doesn't really want to do seems overwhelming.  I really think that if he could just sit back and take handouts from us for the rest of his life...he would.  However, that offer is not on the table.  He is smart.  He is talented and he will have to use those talents and put them to work to pay for this grandiose life that he wants.  

"You can do anything you want to do." I tell him.  "If you don't want to go to college and take classes you don't like...that's fine.  You can into a technical program where you learn more about graphics and film editing.  You can still have a good life if you take your skills and make them better and be willing to work hard.  Laziness is not a part of your disability.  That is a choice you can make, but be prepared for a meager life."
Later when we get home...the conversation continues.
"So If I don't go to college and get a Bachelor's degree, can I still be rich?" Rich???  This kid wants to be rich without the work that's involved.  Now THAT's rich! 
"I don't know if you'll be rich.  But if you work hard and focus on your talents...you will be able to take care of yourself and hopefully some day, be able to take care of your family.  Many people with Aspergers have good jobs.  It is not a sentence to a meager life.  It's all about choices.  And I can't make the choices for you.  You have to make them yourself."

This boy really scares me!