“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
~ Albert Einstein
Okay so I promise to not quote any more Nietzsche in rash moments of angst.
I’ve just come to the conclusion that if I want to get to the bottom of my son’s aggressions I’m going to have to do it myself. Should that have been exceedingly obvious to me a long time ago? Here I am waiting for the professionals to put all the pieces together.
For years, the schools have tried to chart his behaviors, to associate actions with causes, to figure out why he acts out and when – sometimes, even, he aggresses right after he has just been given a reinforcer (reward) or is in the midst of a preferred activity. And he’s gotten worse. And he’s getting older – he’ll be 11 on Thursday. Now he’s figured out that he has an arsenal of weaponry at hand 24/7: a built-in play-doh factory of crap to sling and smear. All of this everything that makes no sense HAS to make sense to somebody. I just have to find this person, these people, the neurologist somewhere who will discover a medical, fix-able reason for all of it. Or do I?
There has to be a reason. Or does there? I know autism itself doesn’t really make a lot of sense, but there is usually consistency within its world. Or is there? I’m questioning everything I think I know. I need to figure out where to start, to really start helping my son. If I can help.
Always I secretly judged the autism parents who flew their kids to doctors all over the country, searching for an answer. I assumed they wanted to “fix” their child or “cure” them of autism. Maybe they are just like me.
When Jonah was at a day school for kids with autism, I secretly judged the parents who “shipped their kids off” to residential facilities because they “didn’t feel like” taking care of the child anymore. Now Jonah is at a residential facility. And of course before I had a child, I had a million notions of parenting that were better than yours.
God does hath a sense of humor.
Now I have to do something or go crazy with the merry go round of hope and despair. I want to help my son.
This past Saturday, Jonah was pretty good: he only slapped me in the face once with a soapy backhand and, minutes later, got out of the tub and ran dripping to grab at my mother, who was sitting in the kitchen. No real harm done in either case, and neither incident lasted very long. Of course, we couldn’t figure out a reason for any of it. We rarely can.
Here are some pictures from Saturday. And a video. I welcome all comments. Suggestions. Judgement. I’m evidently working off some karma.
Jonah’s wisdom at the end: More brownie?