Reading Far from the Tree, again, which is so long that it’s taking a full year… I am saddened right now. I am in the middle of schizophrenia chapter, and it scared me to think my little one may be growing into that. It made me sad to read the statistics on prison population of mental illness, when those people deserve treatment not jailing. It made me sad to remember insurance is in charge, and how much of a fucking mess that is.
I read the autism chapter, and felt sadness too. I felt sadness because people believe that ASAN is not relevant to their children who are more significantly impacted — when it so, so is. I felt sad to read of small children living in residential centers, of families who feel hate, and of the stressful, unique challenges that each family faces alone. Why do some families make it? Why do some families collapse? It’s not just severity. And sometimes it seems wealthier families with more at their finger tips have a harder time than some of the low income families I know.
Then I wondered — am I doing enough for my Little Man? For my diva? I certainly do not drill skills from their arrival home until bed, and I definitely don’t wake up early. We don’t even get outpatient OT for Diva, or speech for Little Man.
I think, though, that is the philosophical difference. I am an acceptance groupee, not an awareness pusher. I think that the current moments we have at hand are infinitely more important than those that may lie in the future, and that happiness in these moments matter. The idea of working nonstop sounds exhausting to me, and not like much of a childhood for either of them. And I have children who are significantly impacted. Quite significantly. I am not saying this from some privileged, “well your child is in inclusion and gets great grades” standpoint. Little Man has been hospitalized TWICE in six months. Things are hard. They get a whole lot harder, though, when I get caught in the cycle of needing to FIX things. A whole lot harder. Maybe they won’t gain all the skills that they could gain, but we are an intact family, and that works for me right now.
Disclaimer: I am so not disparaging the choices other families have to make, not do I think that “everyone would be fine if they would just accept this”. No way. This is HARD stuff. I am simply working through the thought stream that has led to the best decision for my family for right now, and reminding myself of that.