Autism is hard.
I spent time this morning with a beautiful little angel. Three years old with gigantic blue eyes. Those eyes stared at the posters on the walls, the lights and the numbers on the carpet. I never once saw her look at a face. She made no sounds. She lived in a world of her own. My heart ached to reach her. I wanted to see what she saw. I wanted her to see me. I wanted her to be excited to play with me. I wondered how hard it must be for her family.
Next stop, hanging with a third grader who got sent to the principals office for a “bad choice”. Another discouraged little guy that probably didn’t even know what the choice was.
Next stop, high school. A teacher making comments about a parent and family’s priority. Kids eating alone. Kids walking in circles. Kids sitting at computers, alone and completely in their own world.
It is days like this that I question my job. It is too close. Too personal.
Working on the school district autism team and supporting staff is hard. There are too many kids, not enough staff. Too much focus on academics and behaviors and not enough on learning style and core challenges.
Going home to autism is hard. Wondering why her case manager doesn’t see that her working in a group is valuable and that it is okay that she doesn’t like it. The fact she doesn’t like it is an indicator that we need to work on it. Eating the same lunch every day to avoid talking to someone is an issue. Wearing the same shirt and not wanting to brush her teeth is hard. Being “that difficult parent” that reads the IEP and refers to data and legal rights is hard. Asking questions about programming is hard. Working for the district that my student with a disability is enrolled is hard.
Autism is hard.