I was all set to write a post about calligraphy and my desire to practice more in the coming year, but then I got a phone call that has likely derailed the whole rest of my day. I’ve been attending a “Positive Parenting Program” provided by a local agency as a free group course that provides parents of Autistic children a variety of skills and techniques to manage our children’s behavior. It also serves as sort of group therapy for us parents who are usually overlooked in the world of therapies made available to the Autism community as a whole.
Once a week we get together and are given different techniques to try at home that may or may not work with our kids. And while I have found that this course, on the whole, has been very helpful in improving my ability to care for the peanut, it’s coming to an end soon and I feel like that because my son is on the mild end of the spectrum, in that he doesn’t have any of the destructive, dangerous or harmful behaviors that many families have to deal with, that because our needs seem so small compared to some of the other families, that I’m not fully benefiting from what this class is supposed to provide to us. They say try this technique or that technique, and are disappointed when I report back to them that this or that wouldn’t be useful to us, or that while we tried a certain thing, the results have been meh at best because one major characteristic of my son’s autism is that trying new things with him takes months and months to see any benefit. So as I come to the end of this course with all these tools in my pocket, and very little actual real time to implement them because our lives are so busy, I feel like I’m failing my son again because this course hasn’t been life altering for us. Not that it was supposed to be. I just feel like I HOPED it would be.
And of course I know I’m contradicting myself by saying that the peanut changes very slowly over time so how could I expect major changes in a few short weeks, but my heart is sad that everything we try to do with him is just so hard and takes so long and I’m just so tired. And this will never be easy, and that hurts my heart.
I feel constantly overwhelmed at the amount of things I wish I could do for him, therapies I wish we could afford but can’t, free services with wait lists longer than he is old, and a reality that means that this is an uphill battle that I’ll be fighting with him for the rest of our lives. It’s a lot, I can’t lie about that. All I can see is the long road ahead of us. The uncertainty and fear are the elephant in the room, with me everywhere I go.
I wish I could feel more positive about life in general when things start to get me down, but it’s hard some days.
Today I just wish that Walmart would just deliver the Thomas Train I ordered for him a week ago already so that I don’t have to go hunt down another gift in time for my work’s kids holiday party tomorrow night. Yet another thing I thought I had under control that turns out, is completely out of my control.