We’re getting advice from several people suggesting that Tommy should stay in high school an extra year. . . or two, to allow him more time to mature, learn social skills and fall under the umbrella of the school’s care. All good reasons, but I just don’t know if it would really help him. We’re being badgered and I use that term only because I can’t think of a stronger word, to have Tommy start working a part-time job now so that he can start learning job skills. The job that the psychologist wants for Tommy to spend his non-school hours at is as a grocery store bagger. I am less than thrilled with the idea of Tommy or any of my children working during the school year (summer is a different matter altogether). For the first time EVER, Tommy is involved in a school club. Once or twice a week he spends several hours at the school LAN club with his NT peers. Not only do I think he needs this time interacting with peers more than he needs to be griped at by cranky customers, I think he DESERVES to have some fun and be a kid. Until high school, Tommy never had a friend, never went to a birthday party, never got treated like everyone else. He spent his childhood with complicated charts and behavior modification systems that meant having to earn the things that other kids get automatically. So, here we sit, perched on the edge of his chronological adulthood with teachers, medical professionals, friends and family all pushing us to do what they think is best for Tommy. They all really do care about Tommy and I value their opinions so much that I don’t want to upset or offend anyone. I feel like, if we choose wrong, we could lose our allies at school as well as the therapist who has been with Tommy during his highs and lows. If only I had a crystal ball.