Thursday, February 18, 2010

i need...

Ben had a difficult day yesterday.  Dad runs a Homeschool History event monthly at the National Archives in Atlanta.  We have a loyal group of homeschool kids who attend, and Ben has attempted friendships with others he found some commonality with.  It's a good thing.
But yesterday I found myself too busy to sit with him, and act as his interpretor, of a sort.  Those same friends invited him to sit with them, but because there were new people, he was too anxious to comply. So for hours, he was alone in a room of 80 people.  I felt so bad.

Now, Ben hasn't accepted his autism diagnosis since 6th grade, in which time he saw enough of a gift to create a power-point on it's gifts.  He hates it that I am on the Hub, he hates it whenever we bring up what he perceives as his "shortcomings"as a child.  He is also suffering from depression, since seeing the movie "Avatar" and it's make-believe world of Pandora.  Thanks to Michelle Dawson, I now see he saw it not as perfect world, but the world of the Blue people was a world where people of autistic thinking ruled, perhaps.  He saw in the movie all the selfishness and seperation from others, and downright greed that serves as "normal" in this world today.  This world in which the normal people are trying to make people with autism more like the bastards they are. Go figure.

I was so sad, so disappointed with myself for not being there for Ben.  But the good Lord takes care of children and fools, and I figured something good would come of it.  (When you are as big a ditz as me, this  thought gives one comfort...)

I don't know why, but I brought up when Ben was young, and how I had read that there was a 50% chance of him being institutionalized--and only a 5% chance of him living independently. It was bullshit, but I didn't know it at the time. Of all people, Temple Grandin told me in the 60 second talk I had with here when Ben was 7, but she didn't quite put it in those words.

Good Lord, where am I going with this story? (so easily distracted...sorry...)

Anyhow, he let me talk this time.  Maybe the day was so painful, he was open and not on his usual guard. 

"You are a miracle, Ben/"
"You are, you've come so far!"

And I reminded him of the story where he first came to use the pronoun "I".  After getting his diagnosis, I saw a blurb on the news about autistic kids using hippotherapy.  Ben is adopted, and I took it as a sign, knowing his birth mother was so proud of riding horses since she was 3 years old.

Ben used to be so alert after riding on "Cricket".  It was like the world opened up to him somehow.  He had never answered a question directly before when I asked him driving home in the car, "Where do you want to go now, Ben?"

"I want to go to a movie."  I always said we would have taken him to the moon.

He always used to hate it when I tell the part where it was a constant "Iwant...I want...I want...I want.." for the next week until I actually got tired of hearing it.  But, it was a door of sorts, into another world where vocalizations had power.

"I need..." he said, after hearing the story. That's all, just 2 words.

I think we are going into a whole new level.  May the good Lord give me strength, or whoever it is up there who hears a mother's prayer.


abfh said...

The trouble with saying "you are a miracle," even when it's just meant as praise for working hard, is that it seems to imply that most autistic people can't be expected to accomplish anything.

Which is, of course, as you mentioned earlier in your post, bullshit...

I wonder if Ben would be cheered up by reading Avatar fan fiction. The movie was so popular, I'm sure there must be plenty of stories about it.

r.b. said...

I had him read this, especially your comment. He said he was already working on his own piece of fiction.

He's like his ma. He works it out on paper!


Mrs. C said...

It takes a lot of time and effort to help our children understand and accept their limitations as well as their giftings. I know we aren't there yet with our autistic children! G at least has finally gotten to the point where he can tell his teachers at school that he is autistic (as if they didn't read the IEP) and/or needs a break to walk a minute.

For some very strange reason, he gets along WELL with peers. *shrug* But he has trouble in other areas.

I am not sure where these people get their statistics from BTW. We were told when we were expecting that there is only a 5% chance of having another child with autism if you already have a child on the spectrum.


r.b. said...

Mrs. C:

I am happy for you, and your son. I thought maybe Ben would head that direction. He is wonderfully funny, and definitely not a goody-two shoes (although I wish at times...), but his fear still drives him away from trying to communicate with his peers. I have no doubt one day he will be loved for exactly who he is.

ABFH: I hope you come back, I'd like to know a good portal for fan fiction. I remember in the past seeing something on that order, where people make up stories to present to their peers based on books/movies they have enjoyed. I know Bonnie used to have a place for fiction writing, too. Please, do NOT go through any trouble if you don't know one off hand. I can google, too!!! (Thank you for caring about Ben. He likes your name, and I always let him know!!!!!)

r.b. said...

ABFH: never mind...he found it!

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