When he first was diagnosed in May 2010, I held on to the belief that he would follow my subconscious timeline of development. The diagnosis was all new to me and I was still, and am still, learning about what it means to be an autistic person. Everyday is a different day and despite consistency, I'm always surprised about how a day ends for him.
Then I look back to the previous year to see how we, as a family, have changed. 2012 brought about another heartache, 2 in fact. Chloe was also diagnosed in April with PDD-NOS and in October, after 8 years, I lost my job. I don't know which blow was worse.
So now here I am with a full plate and trying desperately to sort things out. I'm faced with how to manage a household on unemployment and not go absolutely mad as I shift things around.
Life strikes back a lot and I often wonder, why with such brutality? Then you get the optimists telling you, "It all happens for a reason. It will make you stronger." Who knew melting down every other day would make you stronger? So far, for me, it hasn't.
I'm not your typical "I need help, I need to talk" type of person. I'm sure it's part of my problem. It feels too damsel in distress for me: another of my many flaws.
But I don't think anyone can truly understand. How can they? We are not in the same boat. Point me to the direction of two unemployed parents with 2 special needs kids and a normally developed child that is acting out at home because she feels left out. Then I can say, "Okay, let's talk other family." But that's not going to happen.
My mom tells me, "Have faith." My dad tells me, "I worry about you." Two very different messages and their words stuck in my head floating in my emotional limbo. These two people who worked so hard to make sure I had what I needed to get ahead in life, let down. By me. They'd tell you different, but I know it's true.
My biggest concern is that Daniel and Chloe will remain stunted, forever trapped in Autism as it ravages their development. Granted, they are both in school, receiving their therapies, etc. But today I can honestly say, I don't know how else to help them.
And all of this bring me back to Kindergarten. Will he succeed? Will Daniel, as he goes further in his education, ever someday be "normal." Not a child without autism, but a child that is able to function independently of it. Will I be able to help him get there?