October 02, 2011

I Wish it Was the Road Less Traveled

I talked to my daughter Shannon the other day. I had been waiting for the call - no, I had been dreading it.


Our grandson Cameron, six years old, has met all the criteria for ADHD, and for being somewhere on the Autism spectrum.


Cameron, showing his toothless grin


Just like The Boy.


Damnitall.


The Boy thought it was his fault, somehow. But his DNA isn't in this mix, because he and Shannon have a different father. My DNA, however, is involved.


Maybe it's been me all along, passing on mutations to my loved ones.


A gift that keeps on giving taking.


Oh, I know that there are many reasons why Autism occurs, and know that it's on the rise, and more than likely, I had nothing to do with it.


But it doesn't FEEL that way. Being gifted in the all-encompassing guilt department, of course I feel responsible in some way.


Enough about me.


Now Shannon,her husband Aaron, Jordyn and Cameron are on the same path as The Boy and me. We're a bit further ahead, and we have lots of company.


I wish I lived closer so I could tell them about services and vendors and opportunities in their area. We could find a nice place to sit along this path and hold hands and sing Kum Ba Yah. And Jordyn would play the guitar, since she's a future soft rock star.


And we'll build a campfire and make S'mores.


And we'd hug and cry and curse the school officials who don't follow the laws that exist for FAPE and IDEA and children with disabilities.


Then we'd dry our eyes and live to fight another day. We'd raise our glasses of chocolate milk in celebration of small victories and improvements, and strategize ways to help Cameron be the best kid with Autism in the universe (which would cause The Boy to have a gigantic meltdown, because he thinks he IS the best already).


Shannon's trying to find out if her insurance will pay for a formal evaluation, since the school district said they can't/won't do one.


I've scoured the interwebs to find autism resources in her area, and sent the information to her. Since I'm unemployed, I got nothing but time, and a desire/need to help.


My phone line is always open so Shannon can vent, and Jordyn can call and tell me that she loves me and misses me so much - and complain about how annoying Cameron is.


Cameron is doing well academically in first grade, but his behavior has been a problem. He has issues with speech and fine motor skills, so he's already hooked up with speech and occupational therapy in school. 


He loves Disney's Cars, and can quote entire scenes from the latest Cars movie, even though he only saw it once at the theater. 


If a toy has wheels, he likes it. Of course, he might dismantle it, and not be able to reassemble it, but he loves him some vehicles.


I'm equal parts skeptical and hopeful that Cameron will get the support and services he needs. Let's just hope I don't have to fly down to FL and become a bitchy, overbearing, law-reciting Monster Grandma to get the school to do what is right.


2 comments:

  1. Oh … I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm sure it is upsetting, but I do think that at least you can be a huge support to her as she travels this difficult road. Hugs to you.

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  2. Oh June. I will keep you guys in my thoughts and prayers. At least you have that head start that you said you have and can help in ways that someone that has never been through it couldn't.

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