In my last post, I shared why I desperately want Evie to be able to communicate.
My beautiful friend, Deanne, of the blog, Small But Kinda Mighty shared this video in her comment. It is only one minute long…I hope you click.
For those of you that won’t/can’t click, the video is a disabled man using technology to communicate that he has not been fed and that he waited and waited. No one came. He was afraid. A woman’s voice asks if he needs help handling the situation.
Nope, he does not. He is handling it himself.
The ability to communicate empowers.
The ability to communicate keeps us safe.
Every morning, I play one of those trust games that you see at team building retreats. I first push my child off and I don’t know if she lands in safety or not. Then I fall backwards, myself.
The truth is that I have no idea whether of not Evie’s team will be waiting to break her fall. And because she is my child and her well being is everything to me–waiting to break my fall.
I trust that no one will hurt her.
I trust that the will feed her and give her water.
I trust that those taking care of her will keep her safe.
When Evie can communicate, I will know that there is a safety net waiting to catch her–even if her team is not there.
If I seem impatient to get Evie communicating in a more sophisticated way, it is because I am.
If I seem obsessed with her safety and care, it is because she cannot afford for me not to be.
If you are tired of hearing about Autism and disabilities and the injustice of it all, imagine pushing your kid off a cliff every weekday morning, every time she is not within your direct line of site. Imagine hoping for the best but never really knowing whether people catch her or not.
Communication will not break the fall. But it would make people working with Evie think twice about not catching her.
It takes incredibly bravery to do what you do every day. ((hugs))
Thank you for sharing this. Yes, you are very brave!
What an exciting video!
I work with children with all sorts of special needs, many of whom have challenges in this kind of communication. I know that my work with them is a serious, sacred task and I so appreciate the trust that their parents put in me when they send their children out the door. (I also love my work and the kids!)
Sending good wishes to you and to Evie!
Emma thank you for being mindful of the enormous responsibility that you are entrusted with. I appreciate that most educators do have the very best intentions and take good care of their students. On a side note–I just took a quick peak at your blog. Your photography is gorgeous!
My daughter is 15 now. She’s verbal, to a point, can now get across her needs where she could not before (thanks to some speech therapy), but I completely understand. It is exhausting, worrying about whether or not the staff will understand what she’s saying when I am not there to act as translator (and sometimes I don’t know either). We’ve been incredibly lucky that she’s had awesome staff, but one of the reasons why we moved three years ago was because our high school wasn’t very supportive, and she was about to become a freshman. Our new school district is much better supporting, but sending her off to high school, even in a special class, was nerve-wracking. Thank the stars she’s more courageous than I am. She sailed off like she’d been doing it forever.
You know what else is exhausting? Trying to keep your child from cluing into your fears, locking that worry and fear away so what they see is a enthusiastic and open parent who sees them off every morning, and greets them when they get home. It’s hard, harder still when a lot of people don’t get it. I do. Others do. And knowing that we’re not alone in this fear helps. (I hope it helps you, too.)
Thanks for replying Wendy. If you’re daughter is anything like mine, she is one hundred times more resilient and brave than I will ever be. I guess, kids in general, are like that which is why we see them doing things that adults wouldn’t be caught dead doing. I share your exhaustion and my daughter is only in first grade! Kudos to you for being such a strong mom and advocating for what your daughter needs.
I wish that every teacher could understand what they are entrusted with when parents send their children off to school. I remember that over-the-cliff feeling, an every day trauma, that teachers cannot recieve.
Oh, my. What an honest awesome post you’ve written. Yes.
I’m Jay and I came across your blog from Yes, That Too. I’m an Aspie myself, though most people would never realize it and I wasn’t diagnosed until recently (I’m 20). Everything was attributed to me being gifted and slightly odd.
I’m sure this is the last thing you need, another stranger throwing out opinions, but have you ever considered a service dog for Evie? She’s still a bit young for one, but I know you’ve mentioned several times how concerned you are about her lack of understanding of danger. I actually have a service dog myself. I got him for PTSD, but he’s essentially self-trained himself to mind me and keep track of me when I forget that I’m supposed be an adult. I know there’s several great organizations that specifically do service dogs for us Auties and Aspies. I know it can be a lot of added responsibility, which isn’t what you need, but it can be really worth it. Maybe something to consider for when she’s a bit bigger. Just my two cents.
Thanks for replying. I especially love it when Autistics throw out opinions–to me they are the most valuable. We have actually considered a service dog. We actually bought a golden retriever with the intention of training her when we saw how long the wait lists are for such beasties. She is a service dog training drop out and my training skills are sucktastic. We will definitely be exploring this again in the near future. I’m so glad that you are a service dog owner who seems happy with his decision!