Autism: Endless struggles


November is here, and it is bringing much needed rain to our always thirsty San Diego.

Everyone around me seems to welcome the clouds and find themselves wrapped under their cozy blankets, sipping their hot teas. Nevertheless, I feel surmounted by a weird sense of anger mixed with sorrow. See, as parents of children with autism, we learn to find joy in the littlest of gains, but every set back seems to remind us that joy is overrated indeed.

While I was avidly pursuing options for a better future for individuals with autism, I let my guards down for just a little; I was soon reminded that being relaxed is a luxury our family cannot afford as long as society looks down on people with autism.

Michael has been making great gains since last year. This is not only my impression; it is that of everyone who has been working closely with him. You can then understand the sense of betrayal that overcame me when I received the so called “20 day notice” from his school, informing me he is not welcome there anymore.

Why you might ask? Because the bar was set for Michael and others like him once they received the autism diagnosis. Sadly, we as parents are forbidden to challenge this bar or even attempt to raise it.

A 20 day notice is the price that my son has to pay because I dared one day to ask questions and demand answers.

We are expected to blindly believe that the educational system works. Why not, since it is governed by those who blatantly claim they know it all.

Although it is common knowledge that autism is a spectrum disorder and no two individuals have similar profiles, they claim that their “one size fits all” interventions are effective and they blame their failures on their innocent students.   

As I sit here in my covered patio, watching how the rain washes off the trees and the bushes so they can shine better under tomorrow’s sunlight, I allow my tears to wash off my anger.

It is time for me to take charge of my son’s present so he can enjoy the future I am trying so hardly to build for him

Tomorrow will be a better day. It has to, and I refuse to have it any other way.