While sorting papers from years ago. 15 to be exact. I came across an interesting list. Written when I realized Kirsten’s life was taking a different trajectory. All those things I’d taken for granted were fading away. All those dreams, those expectations, came into question.
What IS her future? What do I WANT for her future??!
But MY child. My CHILD. Is still the same! The same little girl I loved since the moment I laid eyes on her. The same little girl I cheered on as she took her first steps… spoke her first words. Such potential! So bright!!
And then… regression.
Yes, things had changed. But my goals hadn’t. I still wanted her to have a successful life. My responsibility, right?? To provide the knowledge and guidance needed to succeed. I would do everything within my power to get her there. Which brought another question…
What is needed for a successful life?
And that got right down to it. The crux of the matter.
If you’re an autism parent, I’m preaching to the choir here… but I’ll go ahead with it anyway. You see, when you take away all the “givens” an entirely different list forms! Am I right??! Right!
I can narrow down the writing of this list to one very well-defined moment. The day after our first IEP meeting. The school stated two goals. “We will teach her her name and 3 colors” still rings in my head.
They didn’t even discuss MY biggest concerns: tremendous anxiety, meltdowns, insomnia, no longer finding joy in life (seriously …smiles nonexistent!), loss of language, not connecting with people… and that’s the short list! Aaaaand… she already knew her name and colors. Ultimate IEP fail. This list was me playing King of the Educational System for the day. What would *I* focus on???
That’s it for today. Yep. Stopping mid-stream…
I have more to say on the matter. What I would add… take away. Where we have succeeded. Where we have failed. What I wish I’d done differently. But I’m saving that for another day.
Today, I want to hear your thoughts. What would be on YOUR list? At the most basic level – when it comes to character traits and education – what is needed to create a successful life? Have some fun with it!
Can’t wait to hear from you