Tuesday, October 13, 2009

On Being Optimistic


That is the word I try to keep in the forefront of my mind as I live my life. I am not a natural worrier but yet I find staying optimistic a chore some days. I make an effort to see the best in everyone, to give them the benefit of the doubt. I am not instantly skeptical of motive and intention...I prefer to think that everyone is doing the best they can in life.

All that being said, some days life sucks and people stink.

We spend the majority of our waking hours translating life for Gavin. We work very hard to explain the way the world works to him and explain to the world the way Gavin works. Its a two way street and everyday we have fender benders and near misses with head on collisions.

We expect to do a lot of explaining to friends, family members and random strangers who have the privilege ;-) of witnesses one of Gavin's 'moments' - what we don't expect is to have to explain the ins and outs of Asperger's Syndrome to professionals in the school system. And yet we do...almost daily.

Since Gavin entered the school system in 2005 we have worked with a variety of classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, principals, resource teachers and scads of folks with note pads and an "-ist" attached to their title and yet I am still stunned when I have to explain AS and what it means for Gavin.

When he was diagnosed I foolishly expected that the professionals we would encounter during his educational career would have a basic understanding of Autism and Asperger's Syndrome. Not the case. Every time a new person is assigned to Gavin's case we have to explain AS all over again. And from each new person we hear a stream of reasons and excuses why Gavin can't be helped by them, why he doesn't fall under their jurisdiction or area of specialty or their funding guidelines. So we trudge on looking for the next option, the next person who might be able to give Gavin the support he needs to live a full and productive life. (But that's another rant for another day)

And days like today when he needs help and support and doesn't get it, optimism wanes and life sucks and people stink.

But tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow will be better.