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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Present to Past....

......The present.... It has been nearly a week. I survived a challenge that I hope never comes my way again. I have been reading a book titled "Codependent No More". I have had this book for 10 years at least and this is probably my 3rd or 4th reading, I do not remember exactly.
.....I believe in Providence. It was no accident that I picked this book up again. I read through it completely in about 3 nights, then I began to go back, chapter by chapter, and do the exercises given at the end of each one. This is something I did not do in past readings.
.....Being a caretaker means that I am a codependent. All that means is that I am someone who is in close relationship with someone who suffers with some kind of disability, whether it be one that is self inflicted, such as drugs or alcohol, or one that was given the person through some other venue such as genetics, physical or emotional trauma, or some unkown source, as it is with autism spectrum disorders.
.....How I respond to the effects of that relationship is where I have to keep vigil on a moment by moment basis because things can go awry in a split second and leave me feeling a multitude of different ways, depending on the event which takes place.
.....Last week, we had an episode that involved an unfriendly neighbor and 3 policemen in their cruisers. Our son was confronted by the neighbor and exploded with vulgar language in an angry tyrade that shook the court. The neighbor called me with threats and I assured her that I would do everything I could from my position to diffuse the situation. Then the police came to our door, which terrified him. I thought they were going to arrest him and so did he. I related to them that I had spoken with the woman and settled it as best we could.
.....I had a residual ache and sadness in the pit of my stomach for the remainder of the week, even into the weekend. There was nothing to do but just "feel" it and wait until it subsided. I had no idea when I married and had babies that I would someday be facing these kinds of things and feeling the horrible way it feels when they happen. My husband worked out of town last week and I was totally alone in the whole mess.
.....I started this blog to help myself to deal with what I have experienced, knowing that there are many others out there who have "been there and done that" and there are those who have younger children diagnosed with Autism in one or another of its forms who may learn from my mistakes.
.....Back to the past..... ..... School was always hard for him but he worked like a trooper to do the best he could and we were happy and proud that he accomplished what he did. By the 8th grade, he was behind in math but his reading skills were on target and we found a cottage school offering a new program for kids with learning disabilities and we hoped that it would work for him. It was a very challenging program the required our assistance and it lasted only one semester. He worked hard and did not complain about the school work, but the problems came when the kids were left to eat lunch without adult supervision on a few occasions. Some of the boys were physically roudy and he, being larger than the other boys, got too rough with one child. Other accusations were made and we were asked to take him out of the school. We tried another private school program but due to my husband's job loss, we brought him home. We found out later that the headmaster of the school had molested some of the boys, so we consider it a blessing to have gotten him and his brother out of that school. That was the last of our dealings with private education for him.
.....I continued to teach him at home until he was 17. He decided then to pursue a GED and we encouraged hm to do so, using GED workbooks. When he was 19, he was evaluated for a vocational program where he tested a very high 12 grade, 9th month level in reading but a dismal 5th grade level in math. We thought he was dyscalcular but have since found that he has dyspraxia, which involves almost anything involving motor skills such as writing. He has never had good handwriting and math obviously requires a great deal of it to work out problems on paper and it creates a great deal of anxiety, causing him to either get act out or quit. We had used a computer at home to adapt for that need but the adult GED classes required handwriting. He still has not acquired the GED and as years go by, becomes less interested in it. All of his evals with vocational rehab have been negative, so training and holding a job is not an option at this point, but we would like to see him get the GED.
.....more to come..... How we discovered Asperger's Syndrome.....

1 comment:

  1. Holy swiss cheese whiz! Was the evil neighbor Barbara or Toni?


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Hi, I am Teri West, a wife, retired home schooling mom, 2nd year breast cancer survivor, crafter, musician, and primitive artist living and working in Kentuckiana, (the Louisville, KY and S. Indiana area). My family heritage is in the hills of Eastern Kentucky and Southern Ohio. I grew up in Louisville, Ky and attended Eastern KY University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, graduating with degrees from both in education. I married in 1979 and have three grown children, one a degreed artist, one a techie/artist, and an autistic one, a photographic artist. Hubby is a techie. I work out of my home creating primitive items for friends, family, and you. My loves are American folk music, primitive crafting, and American folk art which all emanate from my devotion to my faith, family and friends. I belong to the Louisville Dulcimer Society and I play mountain dulcimer, guitar, violin, native flute, tin whistle, bowed psaltry, and ukelele as well.