We have reached the top of a very long mountain. Years and years of climbing a steep slope, stumbling over boulders, paving new trails though thick terrain, and now we have arrived. More weary than I can describe and sadly, very much defeated. And quite honestly the view is anything but beautiful.
You see, here we are in the final weeks of public education. Seventeen long years of IEP meetings and advocating. Years and years of trials. The reality is the efforts that a team of people have made over the span of her education cannot overtake Autism. It cannot overtake an Intellectual Disability.
Despite all of the tears shed, meetings attended, moments of begging, fervent advocating and insisting on vocational programming versus academics since 7th grade, she was withdrew from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Program today because she does not have enough job skills to seek paid (supported) employment. This means that she will have to find meaning in volunteer work or adult day programming.
As a mom, this mean a giant let-down and an enormous fail. It means that while I paved new trails, they lead to nothing. I scrambled over boulders simply to be met with the face of disability. It means that no matter how hard I tried, or she tried, the reality is the reality. It means that our system sucks. It means that in order for her to have meaningful work, she must show an interest in working while facing the core challenges of the disability, and that appears to not be happening. It means a painful reality check of the future.
It means Autism wins. At least today.