Thursday, August 22, 2013

ABC's of Autism - E

E.  Eeeeeee.  E.  What to write about for E.  How about expert?

I find there really are no experts when it comes to autism.  I mean, there may be experts in the FIELD of autism, or in sensory issues, or ABA, or occupational therapy or whatever, but I've never met an expert in autism.  I used to say, when Anthony was little, that I didn't know anything about babies but I knew everything about Anthony.  I still feel the same way about autism - I don't know (relatively speaking) anything about autism, but I still do know everything about Anthony.  I mean, EVERYTHING.

Lately, I have been sort of doubting myself because of this insurance/school question.  For a long time, I have been against Anthony going to school, because I think he's not ready.  But then - like today, this morning, this happened.  Mike and Maria left for school and I was getting EVERYONE ELSE IN TOWN READY (bitter, overworked) and I said to Anthony, okay buddy, let's get your socks and shoe and braces on.  This is something Mike always says to him so I was basically just parroting it, kind of planning out loud what I was doing.  And I will be DAMNED if Anthony didn't walk over to this big bucket of shoes that we have in the livingroom and get out his braces!  This afternoon, Janelle (his morning therapist) was telling me how great his listening was today.  She said she'd say things, just off hand, and he'd do them.  Then Pam and Daniel (his old time and new afternoon therapist) said how great he was today - he initiated to go to the bathroom four times, once with the IPAD (!), and Daniel said when they called over the PA "Anthony to the front", he got up and headed toward the door.

So I think maybe I do underestimate him, but I feel like I am just trying to protect us from expecting too much and having our hearts broken.  I guess this is where the experts would come in handy - because an expert wouldn't care about their heart getting broken!  This is why we have to count on people who are not Anthony's mother to get involved.  Mike keeps pointing things out to me that would be good about Anthony being in an education setting.  If he is supposed to use a typewriter type thing to communicate, he'll have to learn to read!  To write!  I'm using so many exclamation points because this didn't really occur to me until he said it.  Maybe together, Mike and I can work with the experts and that will be our best plan of attack.  Because we have to love Anthony enough to do anything for him, but we have to be smart enough, EXPERT enough, to know that if we do everything for him, we are doing just the opposite.

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