This month has been frustrating. My parents are moving five hours away, therefore I’m losing a lot of support. In addition, while I was planning to transition Buddy to more intensive therapy and homeschooling over the summer, I am getting so fed up with his school I’ve decided that it can’t wait.
Lately, potty training has been challenging for him, and the school’s solution is to put him in time out when he goes, something that EVERY book I’ve read on the subject says not to do. Monday they told me he was being defiant and going more often just to spite them. He had diarrhea and turned out to have had a stomach bug, he wasn’t trying to spite them, he was sick. Yeah, I kept him home today.
I feel like talking to them gets me no where, I feel like they don’t understand that he has autism and does not process things the way we do, and that they are reading the most negative interpretation of his actions that they can. And I feel that this is harmful to him.
A few weeks ago I started trying to get him in a new place. However, my emails, phone calls, and online applications went unanswered. I have tried every place in the metroplex, and as of Monday none have contacted me back.
Then Sunday night happened with the off roaders in the park. Sunday evening I emailed the parks department about the situation and then contacted every local hiking group, the local Sierra Club, every place I could think of that would be interested in the problem of off road vehicles tearing apart parks. The city didn’t get back to me and the only message I got from people was good luck. I said I was trying to find some support because it was a complex problem that would require a lot of people to speak out against it to get some action done, and someone told me, in what I’m sure she thought was inspiring, not to underestimate the power of a single voice.
How I took it? Screw it, I’m fucking alone in this.
These past few weeks I have been frantically trying to get help for my son while losing a major source of family support, on top of it, I feel like I’ve lost my sanctuary in losing the park right beside my house, so I took on the off road vehicle battle, hoping to find other people out there who were fed up with them, and nothing.
After hearing nothing from the city department last night I emailed the mayor and all of the city council members. I knew, being in Texas, they weren’t going to care about the environmental devastation, so I played up the fact that one of my children could have been run over and that the area I was in is often frequented by children and if those off roaders are allowed to continue there it will only be a matter of time before one is hit.
That got some action from the city today. They called to tell me some of the strategies they’re working on but didn’t sound too optimistic. I’m still just devastated by how little momentum there is in Texas to do anything about this. I thought surely there had to be an organization fighting the off road vehicle problem somewhere in a state as large as this, but there isn’t. And frankly, I suck at finding like minded people who care as much as I do. Only thing I can think of is to canvas the park and the frisbee golfers, whose area the off roaders are destroying, and find people affected by it and interested in doing something. I’m going to do it, but talking to strangers when I don’t know if I have anything in common with them is extremely anxiety producing for me.
The best part of today, though, that finally gives me some optimism was that one of the therapy places finally contacted me back, and they have a more intensive program for Buddy (I think he needs more hours of therapy than what he’s getting at the school). Of course, it will cost us, I’m still building a client base so money is tight, and I’m still miffed that I had to make a career change so I would have the flexibility to get him to therapy in the first place (this was why we held off so long, with two people working full time there was no way we could take him to and from a therapy program that was 9 to 3. The school only worked because they had bus transportation from his daycare).
The strange part of this was really having one of my first really trying times since becoming a counselor. I’m used to telling people to wade through the bad times, the things you are worrying about now you most likely will not be worried about three months from now. Yesterday I just kept telling myself those things over and over again to get through the day. Hoping today is a turning point in my luck, which seems to have been going downhill for awhile. Perhaps if I’m really lucky when I canvass the park I’ll find a lot of other people just as pissed at the off roaders as me.