Psyching Myself Up for the New Academic Year

The walls are closing in on me. I need to shut down before I burn-out. And here I am. Exhausted at 6am – the anguish that comes with preparing for the academic school year when dealing with somewhat dismissive attitudes, while counting down the days to my leave.

My son is entering Gr.5 this year. His books have been covered, stationery labelled, the study area is sorted and our word for the year has been chosen, “self-care”. He knows the plan, even though I’m not quite sure how I’m going to fund that extra academic support for the first term.

He did so well last year, receiving a certificate of acknowledgement for his “Perseverance” – which unbeknown to the school, was our word for 2017!

Me – I contemplated not registering for this semester to save on costs, but was informed that if I fail to register for four modules then I would have to reapply for admission. Then there’s also the risk of losing my momentum.  Especially after passing all four modules last year, one with distinction even thought I really struggled with executive functioning.

Considering all this, I found two economically (financial and time) viable modules.  One of which is a portfolio exam with no prescribed textbook. At least this is what it said online a week ago, and then . . .


I logged onto my student portal; and there it is, a prescribed book for the module that had none listed! The cost? Depending on the retailers – anywhere between R550 and R950, and not all official booksellers stock it.

This, a day after I bought the “one” prescribed textbook, a whopping R600 investment into my education – still costly, even at a 52% discounted rate, cheaper than what it’s going for second-hand.

This new information that has cost, and time implications, has left me feeling a bit frazzled. Entering the academic year tired. Financially depleted. Yet, excited at the prospects. A year of change, new experiences and some very direct conversations about advocacy and disabling attitudes.

I will own this year and make things work. 

I will not bow down to mediocrity, nor will I accept any limitations imposed upon me, or my son, by others who are placed in positions where they have an opportunity to be part of our liberation as an autistic parent and child.


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