In my last entry, "Everybody Loves Nathan" I detailed some of the challenges and disappointments involved in how people view and react to him. It is without hyperbole that I say that Nathan "has no friends", at least among his peers. This is Amanda's concern, and to a degree, mine as well. In a setting where more kids were "like him", he'd find more acceptance.
When we drop Nathan off at MedCamps every year, the difference in how he is greeted and interacted with is stark. He's loved and valued as Nathan. The kids who are "more like him" view him as an equal. Just another kid their age. His standing is equal. No one likes him because of what liking him "says about them". This sequestered setting is safe, pleasant, and fun. Unfortunately, it's a vacation spot. Reality is far different.
From an emotional perspective, I fully agree with my dear partner's assessment. Socially, he'd find more acceptance and reap the benefits that go along with it. It would certainly provide some temporary relief for us as his parents. Repeatedly facing this is a crushing heartbreak for Amanda and me.
From a pragmatic perspective, I believe that our greatest job as parents is to prepare him for the adult world that he must someday live in without us. He's a stark minority in that world. What he's experiencing now will, to some degree, be a "life sentence". Sequestering him in a safer place will only make the transition harder. He has to learn to "swim with the sharks" as early as possible. It is what it is.
This weeks "Confession of a Tourettic Mind" is that the constant struggle to balance his day-to-day enjoyment of life with "the greater good" for him makes my head spin. Oddly enough, Amanda and I come down on different sides of this balance as the decision points change. I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this particular topic.