I had another meeting at Wade's school last week. Without going into all the jargon, every year I meet with his diagnostician, principal or vice principal, teachers, school psychologist, speech teacher and anyone else who gets invited to plan for the next 12 months. Right now, we're trying to set some things in place for next year, when he'll be in junior high.
The diagnostician asked me what my greatest fear is for next year. I had to think about that. I have a long list of fears, but my greatest? To me, fears are a lot like sins -- we do our best to define them, categorize them and rate them in order to make ourselves feel better. But isn't one just as bad as the other? And in the end, doesn't it always seem to be the ones we don't think about, fret over and plan contingencies for that seem to jump out of nowhere and bring us to our knees?
I think having a child with any kind of special needs forces you to look into the dark corners of the future where fear tends to blur all the lines and distort your view. On the one hand, you fear the future because you’re reminded all too often that the present you’re currently living in was once one of those dark, blurry cavities of the life you hadn’t yet walked through. And you know just how easily it can overtake and engulf you and rip everything to shreds. But on the other hand, you respect the future because you can’t imagine living any other present. You’d rather live in the ruins with all its ugliness and uncertainty because that’s where your strength, your humor and your joy lives.
I don’t know. Maybe that’s how life is just supposed to be, with or without autism.