Wow-On Saturday difficult child graduates from high school, on Sunday we are having his open house, Tuesday he turns 18, and on Friday we are leaving on our first ever real family vacation (to Disney World). Quite the milestones for my kiddo. When I think of my first dark days here, I'm not sure that we would ever see the day where he would be graduating. I've said before that this place has been a lifesaver; it has been. Looking at difficult child now, it is hard to believe he is the same child he was when I first came here (11 years ago) and the same child that went through six hospitalizations. As many of the old timers know there were times we wondered if difficult child would be able to stay in our house because he was so violent. Thanks to a wonderful village including here, his doctors, and some amazing teachers he has come so far. He is graduating with honors (although the classes are modified due to his learning disabilities). He is working part time still at a restaurant where he has been busing tables and dish-washing for almost a year. He will be attending extended school year this summer and his new case manager has already found him an additional seasonal job. He will go back to high school for the next three years on the "out" team where they will help him learn vocational and living skills. I think it's kind of neat that for his open house other than family he mostly has invited former teachers. He has had some amazing ones over the years and the new case manager coming up has a tremendous program that he has built up over the years. He still doesn't get invited to do things often with friends but has a few friends that do come over to hang out with him for a couple of hours once in awhile (which is huge). The kids at his school do seem to genuinely like him and he did get invited to one open house (a former student of mine). The important thing is he feels he has a few good friends (this is huge because the old timers will also remember that difficult child was never invited to hang out at a friends). He is still a difficult child in so many ways but the progress on his journey thus far has been nothing short of amazing. I am sure there will be bumpy and some dark days ahead but I have hope that he will continue to make a lot of progress. Just wanted to share because right now I am very proud of my kiddo (and, yes,I am still knocking on wood-always hoping the other shoe isn't going to drop).