Monday, January 11, 2010

The Present.....

Todays bolt from the blue was a phone call from Enable Ireland to ask would Matthew be starting school in September this year? and if he so, he needs to see the educational psychologist. Bearing in mind, Matthew hasnt even had a single OT or Speech and Language session yet since entering their was a bit of a laugh out loud and 'ya what' moment!!

So that brings me from 'The Future' neatly to 'The Present'.
The Present: 4 - 5 months on from Matthews diagnosis of ASD by the famous Prof Fitz one warm late summer evening. From reading some of the Irish Autism blogs, it strikes me just how many of us encountered 'the shed' of Prof Fitz and how many lives have been changed as a result, sitting in his office, crammed to the rafters with books on Freud, Jung and the psychoanalyst elite.

Pre diagnosis, to be blunt, we were in crisis. Expectations for Matthew were still on the neurotypical scale.. I expected him to be able to function and talk like his older siblings and that any day it would click into place.

The older he got and the less likely that started to happen the more panic started to set in. As I mentioned before, Matthew is a force of nature with a wilfulness and a strength of character that can be astonishing, so for me, I often find it very hard to reconcile it with some of the realities of his autism ..but 4 months on and a change of perspective has opened my eyes to the individuality that all our children have, yours, mine - everyones, but especially those with ASD.

It has changed me, no question about it. Its taught me that you have to be prepared to use different methods and different means to get to where you are going...and its sink or swim along the way!

So, going back to the phone call from Enable Ireland this morning... well, it was strange, Matthew is probably light years from being able to start school at this moment in time ...I couldnt even begin in a 1 min phone call to think, did they mean an ASD unit, mainstream with an SNA..what? (I have to tell The Future to feck off in a minute and stop annoying me with phone calls like that!) but at the same time, Matthew is light years from where he was.

I'm happy with the equalibrium, the little haven that is his ABA pre-school is as much a haven for me as it is him, and slowly but surely helps us towards a new set of expectations, for him and us.

It struck me over Christmas, the difference to this time a year ago was the sound of laughter, a new laugh makes itself heard, guffaws, giggles, chuckles, he never used to laugh, there probably wasnt much to laugh about as everyone expected him to be a different way rather than himself I'm ashamed to say ...sure, there's still regular tears and tantrums when we find ourselves unable to get on his wavelength and understand but to hear it punctuated with laughs inbetween is great for The Present.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Future....?

So... The Future kept me awake last night...

The Future decided to rampage around my thoughts, posing questions about Matthew that dont often surface amidst the sea of optimism about how well he is progressing since 'the diagnosis'

The Future had the cheek to remind me that Matthew will be 4 in a few weeks time and it decided a timely little jolt was in order to remind me that when Matthews older brother celebrated being 4, there was all manner of celebration and words to tell him what a big boy he was and all manner of replies back, that 'yes, indeed he was' all said with a big proud grin and that he would be starting 'big' school in a few months to follow.

Matthew, however... is the Quiet Man, a boy of few words which we now know is part of his diagnosis of Autism ..yet, one look in his eyes, very often says more than what 50 words could try and express. Blessed with a wicked sense of humour, beautiful eyes and a spirit that gives him more character than any words could capture, Matthew is a force to be reckoned with.

So why was it then, that The Future managed to have its wicked way and run rampant through me, questioning all the unspoken worries for Matthew? Why does it make my heart ache wanting to be able to see inside his head and know his thoughts when the smile on his face often says all I need to know?

Matthews daddy and I often talk late into the night about the little fella, the same way I guess most parents of Autistic children often do, the conversations and expectations always being different to the ones about our other children always comes back to the same thing.. sometimes it seems like one look, one smile, speaks volumes, yet the words never follow.

Anyway, I managed to get The Future under control and tell it to mind its own business and ''we are all doing just fine and dandy, thankyou very much'' and let my mind ease and calm and push the thoughts back to remembering that the smile on Matthews face speaks for him in a way that he doesnt need words.. the smile came from a place it wasnt before and the words if they need to, may follow...

So The Future can run with us, rather than us run with it.