Thursday, October 24, 2013

Conversations about autism

I realise where I went wrong with my post about being misunderstood at my daughters pre school.  I can't quantify how much was their stuff, but I'm starting to decipher how much was mine.  I will break it down into stages....

1.  It is really, really, really hard to say to yourself, "There is something wrong with my child."

2. Times this by a million to say to a close friend and then again, and again, and again until you get to the bit where you're saying to a complete stranger, an unquantifiable unknown and quite possibly a hostile audience - your child's teacher.  How do you communicate the most vulnerable part of yourself in that most public of settings?  Of course if you do have a disabled child, you have to commit this act of self exposure, many, many times - to every psychiatrist, paediatrician, doctor, nurse, teacher, social worker, DLA worker, ANYONE who is involved in this situation. Imagine that - every time you set out the front door and your child's behaviour threatens to rip the sky from the earth (or so certain onlookers would have you believe) and then some.

3.  So how DO you say this most intrepid of questions, and more importantly, can you be sure you will be heard?

4. How does the teacher/social worker/health visitor/family friend/paediatrician broach the subject with you?  Will they be calm, reassuring, direct? Or will they fudge around, nervous, bound by professional regards?

5. Will you be able to understand what they are saying? What is being asked of you? Can you fill in the gaps between implications? Will you recognise the traits as difficulties if you yourself share them?  Will be able to cope with the bluntness or will you breakdown and surrender to tears to drown it all out?

Now I get it.

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