Looks Like Travis is Going To College This Year

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Hound dog, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I posted this here instead of PE because I think for parents who are still neck deep in the trenches with their own difficult children it can be huge to see a light at the end of that long dark tunnel. I know it always was what I held on to.

    Some back ground for folks who don't know.....Travis has been attempting college for about 3 years without actually making it thru the process to get there. Somewhere along those lines a little birdie told me to stay out of it Mom, if he wants to go bad enough, he'll make it happen. This little birdie happens to be the little voice inside of me that I don't always listen to often enough. lol This time because I was so fed up and tired of having to tell him thru out the last years things he is unable to do due to his blindness.... While all along I hoped and prayed at one point he'd make it.

    Not being able to drive hit Travis hard. Terribly hard. He didn't want to accept it, wouldn't accept it, still has trouble on days accepting it. I think it was the spring board to college.

    For those who don't know Travis, take a look at my sig. He has many issues to go along with the autism and blindness. There was every reason to believe he would never be able to live out on his own, let alone go to college. The autism and blindness are large enough challenges, but add in the cerebral palsy and brain damage.....

    If it wasn't for a dedicated staff at the tech school he attended the last 2 years of high school, the boy would not have graduated. He had trouble with class changes, mega homework issues, classroom issues (not behavior, acedemic).......it just overwhelmed him.

    At 18-22 Travis was in no way ready for college. Social, maturity, Learning Disability (LD)'s caused by the brain damage. Travis is highly intelligent, it's just the brain damage makes it very difficult for him to function in a classroom setting and actually do the work.

    But the kid tried on his own to make it happen. First year he filled out the FASFA forms and such, but forgot to enroll in a school. By the time we figured out this is what he'd done, it was too late to enroll. Second try he had gotten further along in the process but it kind of fizzled out along the way.

    Now with the 3rd try.......and yes, this is ALL on his own folks........he enrolled, completed his FASFA forms and also make sure the college got his transcripts and all necessary documents. He took and passed the entrance exam and got accepted. He's been in close contact with the college via email for months. He goes to them with his questions. He is still working on the housing........and FASFA is supposed to cover a dorm.

    He completed all of his placement tests except the math test which he is doing today at the college. I was stunned when reading his essay for the english part as this has always been such a troublesome area for him. Organization has always been a huge issue with the brain damage and it shows up everywhere......and quite boldly when he's trying to write something like an essay. Sentences are out of order, paragraphs drift off because he forgets where he was....... But not this one. I read it, easy child proof read it and made minor and few suggestions. OMG It was a college level essay, well written, made sense. I don't know where or how he learned to do this.......except I know he's been writing short stories for a web site of his with his friends online for about 3 years. Evidently they've helped him learn in a fun way that stuck, when teachers nor I could manage it. :)

    Like I said, today he goes for the Math placement test. easy child and I are taking him to Dayton. I'm going along only because easy child doesn't want to be stuck waiting with 2 small kids with no one to talk to. lol And we'll make sure to stop off at the disabilities office while we're there. This is something Travis has basically been avoiding. (and I'm afraid he's setting himself up to fail to not have any supports at all in place)

    Will he succeed? I dunno. I do know that during his lifetime my son has never ceased to amaze me. And he is doing so once again. He is going thru the process to attend college all by himself, has managed each step with little or no help. This alone has been a wonderful learning experience for him.

    He may walk across that stage 4 years from now with his whole family standing up in the audience cheering him on. He may come home after the first week so overwhelmed he can't cope. Sounds almost like any other kid going off to college.

    Travis will forever be a difficult child. Life delt him that hand and there is no "fixing" him. But he has never let it stop him. And I'm mighty proud of that. His self pride may drive me crazy at times.......like when he won't take welfare insurance or file for SSI.........But on the other hand, you've got to admire his don't quit attitude.:D

    I think back on the last 23 years. Wow. His infancy was a nitemare, his toddlerhood made me wonder if he'd survive to adulthood, childhood was the biggest rollercoaster ride (maybe that's why I don't like them anymore), the teen years were full of being forced to accept what couldn't be changed. And the years post high school have been wondering and worrying if he could manage to function in the normal adult world.

    Today I can't keep the memory of Travis' birth out of my mind. Heart stopped in utero during labor. Wasn't revived until well past the 10 minute limit once docs finally had him out. Seized non stop for 8 plus hours after birth. Coma for 10 days. Over and over the only prognosis I heard was death. Odds a million to one he'd survive.

    My miracle has spent a lifetime proving docs, specialists, and teachers, everyone "in the know" wrong. It appears he may be getting ready to do so again.

    Even if he doesn't make it this year, or next, I believe he will eventually graduate from college. Travis has never failed to do something he has set his heart on.

    All of that.............

    And I find that now that it looks as if it IS going to happen.......I'm scared to death for him. Most especially if he does not get a support system in place with the disabilities office. But I'm more scared for his physical well being than the acedemics of it.

    He doesn't know it of course. I can be one hellova actor when the situation calls for it.

    Sorry this got so long. I'm a bag o' nerves this morning and it's showing I guess.:( I want so badly for him to be able to make his dreams come true.
  2. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    what a story, Lisa, very inspiring! I didn't know of the difficulties with his birth, what a frightening time for you! Congrats to you and Travis, I admire his perseverance! He is a great role model for not giving up even when the odds are so stacked against you.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hope you can get the disability office on board. If...no when...Travis makes it through college we are going to throw one helluva party here on the board! Im so very proud of him for working this hard.
  4. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Excellent news.
    One step at a time. As long as he completes what he sets out to do with those one step at a time mentality he will get there.

    I'm cheering for him.
  5. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    You said it all. He is doing what we all want and hope for our children. Any child.
    You should be so proud no matter how or what the outcome.

    So happy for him for coming so far!
  6. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Oh wow, Lisa,

    I want Travis to make his dreams come true too! He has certainly beat the odds so many times before.

    I'll be rooting for him...keep us posted.
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Wow, wow and wow!:D

    A miracle indeed.

    His tenacity will see him through!
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That is awesome. What college is he applying to? We just went to difficult child's college orientation at Kent State. They stressed that college are happy to make accomodations for students with disabilities but it is important to get those in place before the semester starts. and not wait until there is a problem. He said that some students want to try it alone at first and then find themselves in trouble.

    I hope it works out. Good for him to make the effort.

  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Awesome! I can't believe how many of our difficult child's are trying to take the next step this year. Travis sounds R E A D Y! ;) I'm thrilled for you. Like you so eloquentlystated......it's a long, long road.

    Today we got the CPT test results from the local community college. Reading and English are aok for Freshman courses. Math :sick: is "too low for the regular remedial class". Geez! The kid managed to pull out C's in
    Algebra and Geometry but he's "too low". Weird.

    I will keep your son and your family in my thoughts.
    Congratulations on a job well done, Warrior Mom. DDD
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DDD my difficult child scored so low on her math placement tests at the community college that she would have to take three non-college level math courses before she could take college level math. And she got decent grades in algerbra and algebra II but struggled in geometry. Of course when you never bring your book home or study it's no wonder. Makes you wonder though what is happening in the high schools.

  11. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Let Travis know how proud this board Auntie is. :D

    You're such a good mom.
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Travis scored high enough today to take a remedial math course. :) Surprised the person giving the test as he'd expected worse since Travis has been out of school for 5 yrs.

    Get this.......... easy child dropped him off at the library. DROPPED HIM OFF! lol With instructions to ask questions if he got lost. Test was in the library, but it's an awfully huge building. I kept my mouth shut. (aren't you proud) We went shopping, he took his test. Then took his paperwork to the student Union.

    No disability office today. He finished quite late and didn't want to go. easy child has suggested he take a tour around the campus while stressing that even she found this quite helpful. She even told him if he doesn't feel comfortable touring with a group of freshmen that she'll take him on a personal tour herself.

    He's almost there. He should be getting his housing info in the mail this week. We can do the disability office when he goes back for the tour. easy child wants that done well in advance before the start of school. So maybe she can get and keep him talked into it.

    He can work at the Meijers store which is right next to the dorms and apartments or several other small shops in the immediate area. He can do work study to earn cash to live on.

    As long as the housing is a go........there won't be anything holding him back.

    This is Wright State University. A college built to accomodate hadicapped students, and who do a superb job of it. Actually they have a high population of students with disabilities. So I couldn't ask for a better environment. They've already done a wonderful job working with him to help him thru this process.

    I'm just doing the Momma scared thing. Weird as I didn't do it with easy child....nor am I feeling it with Nichole. Thankfully I'll be too into my own schooling to do much worrying about his.
  13. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Hug Lisa. I cried with happiness when I read your post. I know you're scared for him, but I can also see the pride beaming all over your face. Way To Go Travis (and mom).
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh, I had tears reading this. How exciting!!!! Way To Go Travis & you too. So great that you let him do it all on his own!
  15. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    I figured it was WSU. Good for Travis (and mom!).
  16. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member


    This is so exciting. My niece went to Wright State. I am thrilled and very excited for him.