Cooper rocked it. He wore his costume and went to 10 or so houses. He even grabbed or took candy and even waved to every candy giver when asked. Towards the end he would get in the stroller in between houses but refused to stay in the stroller when his cousins went up to the house. It was pretty damn great. Little stuff like that means a lot to me. Towards the end he started trying to peek by the people to see if he could sneak in and watch tv. One track mind that kid.
I met with Cooper’s psychologists last week and it was one of the most enlightening conversations I have had in a long time.
First realization, I need to step up my game. I am an Autism mom, whether I like it or not, and my life is different than other parents. And I need to accept that it is hard and that I need to do more. No way around it.
The meeting was good though and we get to meet with them as much as we want as long as Coops is at Fraser.
Right away I learned that Cooper still has autism. I know, I know, that sounds ridiculous but part of me is always secretly hoping that maybe he doesn’t have it. Or maybe they will say…it isn’t that bad. That didn’t happen.
Both teachers were very open and honest. They said Cooper is doing amazing. He is an extremely loving and sweet boy and that they are confident that he will learn to play with kids and participate. I teared up. That’s huge.
They also said that they believe he will communicate with us at some point…verbally that is. He is getting moved up the waiting list for speech and OT. So, that was interesting to here. Remember, I don’t get to amped up about the verbal stuff.
One of the first things they told me is that when Cooper doesn’t want to participate in an activity he goes to the beanbag chairs and rolls around them. She said, “that’s the autism part. It’s the manipulation of toys for other uses.” I have never heard someone say, “that’s the autism part.” I liked it.
Then it was my turn. I talked a lot about the struggles that we are having at home. It was very conversational but I noticed that I was acting a bit desperate. I talked about how meal times are absolutely awful. Dinner is a fight again and the hardest part is that pre-move we worked a year to get meal times to a good place. And I talked about how the kid is obsessed with TV and movies and we hide remotes and THE THROWING is out of control and that NO doesn’t work and blah, blah, blah. I started a word vomit of sorts. They never interjected and I just kept unloading.
They listened to my whole rant and then they gave me ideas to try to make it better.
I got mad. Yes, furious actually. I didn’t want ideas of things to try. I wanted them to tell me that it’s ok that I give up.
I don’t want to try anything else. I want to give up or have my life be easier. One of the two. I am so tired all the time. Tired of the struggle and the fight.
Looking back I think I wanted sympathy and for them to acknowledge how hard it is to have a kid with autism and that it’s ok if I don’t do structure ALL the time. They see kids for 4 hours a day and they are done. I wanted them to know how hard it is the other 21 hours of the day.
But they didn’t say anything like that. They gave me even more ideas and told me that they will be with us every step of the way. It was a tough love moment…and exactly what I needed at this point in my life.
We are moving into a new house this weekend and starting fresh. It’s time to take control.
I get it now. My life is different. And I need to suck it up and try harder.