In part 1 of the series "On The Spectrum: Expanding the Classroom," Briggette Sayegh introduces us to Cindy Herriman and her 4-year-old son Ryan. Ryan has autism, and for his mother, every day is a struggle to make sure that her little boy is receiving the best possible care, both at home, and at school.
HIGHLAND, N.Y.-- Cindy Herriman's 4-year-old son, Ryan, has autism. So mornings in her household are a bit louder, and more hectic than usual.
"Some days he's really great so. So far it seems like, yeah it was just him waking up this morning. A little grumpy, but that's a normal thing," said Herriman, the mother of two.
She admits though, some days are harder than others.
"There are days when it's really rough. When he goes to school thats when I go into a room and ball. There's definitely a side where you try to be strong for them, but wooh," she said as tears built in her eyes.
From the time she wakes Ryan up, to when he steps on the bus, it is one battle, after another battle.
Since Ryan is on the spectrum, for his mom, even the most basic tasks, like brushing his teeth, take every ounce of energy, and patience. A patience that Cindy has come to master.
"We just have to push through the fits that he has, and he gets upset and just say, 'no you have to do it.' Even if its 100 times he takes his shoes off, he will eventually stop taking his shoes off," Herriman said.
Cindy considers herself lucky, and is thankful to have a place to send Ryan during most of the summer.
"I can't imagine if he didn't go in the summertime, what he would lose. And it's not good, so it's really good that he goes in the summertime and keeps that routine and structure," she said.
And as she helps her baby boy on the bus, she says a little prayer for him. Even though she knows that where he's headed is helping him in ways she never before thought possible.
"He goes to the bus, makes me short of breath, but I wouldn't take it any other way in the world. I love him," said Herriman.
This is part one of a series titled "On the Spectrum: Expanding the Classroom."