Honesty Does Hurt

form

How can you be honest when it breaks your heart?

Today, I hesitate. There is a multi-page assessment sitting in front me waiting to be filled out. Within the pages are questions about my autistic son’s abilities, whose 18th birthday is only a few short months away. The questions range from communication skills, self-care to leisure. All 300 of them must be answered honestly. His future depends on it.

Honestly. That word has never seemed as big or scary to me, as it does right now.

While handing me the assessment, my son’s case worker stressed, “I need you to answer these honestly; meaning only mark down what he is proficient at today, not what he did a couple of times two months ago. So, from the time he wakes up to the time he goes to bed, these answers must reflect what he can do on his own without prompting.”

With tears welling up in my eyes, I lowered my head and sighed deeply. “That would probably just be…waking up.”

I’ll admit, that’s a terrible statement to make, but it’s the truth. The painful truth, that each day for the past 17 years I have tried to keep from consuming my mind.

Sure, he doesn’t get angry. He doesn’t mistreat people’s belongings. He is responsible. Those questions, he will score high on. However, the others – the skills that are essential for success and independent living – such as communication, social skills, self-care, and self-direction will score low, quite low in fact.

As much as I don’t like to admit it, that is the honest truth.

It’s nearly impossible to make me cry, but any meeting that pertains to my son gets me every time. It is so incredibly difficult and saddening to be honest about my son’s many weaknesses, when all I want to do is tell the world how amazing he is. He is amazing. Just not on paper.

So, with a deep breath I will complete that assessment. I will cry and I will keep going, just like I always have. And he…he will be just fine.

 


Hesitate

Advertisements
Posted in Autism - Within the Walls | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

200 Mugs – One-Liner Wednesday

mugs

“I eat it because it has a lot of potassium in it,” I told my son.

Curious, he grabbed the container to read the nutrition facts on the back.

After giving him a moment to read it over I asked him, “So, how much potassium does it have?”

Turning to me with a proud smile, he replied…. “200 mugs.”


This post is for One-Liner Wednesday, hosted by LindaGHill.

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Alone

alone

“It takes nothing to join the crowd. It takes everything to stand alone.” ~ Hans F. Hansen

 


One-Liner Wednesday

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

He Doesn’t Get Angry

man

“You know how hard it can be to control your emotions, especially when you get angry, right?” Perplexed, my son had no answer to give when his speech therapist asked him this question. After a few moments of silence I jumped in, “He doesn’t really get angry. Actually, in all his 17 years, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him angry.” 

Throughout my son’s life, I’ve constantly bounced between two thoughts – My son is missing out on so much, but not everything he’s missing out on is bad.

He’s been disappointed and frustrated, but one would never know it other than the look in his eyes. Aside from his tantrums at a very young age, he’s never been angry. Even then, I’m not so sure his tantrums were out of anger, but instead driven by fear and overwhelming circumstances.

He did talk back once, however. Just once and it was barely audible. I laughed, inwardly. It was his first typical kid moment and it thrilled me. He’s never yelled or behaved in an angry manner. He doesn’t have mood swings or grumpy days.

His mood is very steady, one of happiness and contentment. Oh how I wish I was more like him.

Autism is either viewed as a blessing or a curse. I view it as a little of both, but primarily a blessing.

The fact is, my son may never hold a full time job or drive a car. He may never get married or have children. He may never live on his own.

But, he’ll also likely never skip school, secretly have a girl over, try illegal drugs or drink alcohol. He doesn’t make fun of people, bully them, get revenge, or purposely hurt others – emotionally or physically.

Since he knows that things are wrong and that certain choices can be bad for him, he’s never been and will likely never be a victim of peer pressure. He’s never been one to follow the crowd, seeking after popularity or acceptance. He simply is who he is.

He doesn’t allow others to think for him. He thinks for himself. So although he may be missing out on a lot, he’s also been saved from many common pitfalls of life.

He’s not perfect either. Trust me, he makes mistakes and has plenty of areas that need improvement. But one thing I can’t deny is that, even without trying, he’s got life figured out whole let better than most.

And I can only hope to be a little more like him one day.

Posted in Autism - Within the Walls | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments