With my son's CSE meeting to discuss possible assistive technologies coming up in the next few days, I've got my brain in hyper advocate mode. Honestly, I live in advocate mode most times, but I really ramp it up prior to any meetings. And it's exhausting.
It's easy to feel alone and burdened in the pursuit of information when you're so desperate for that magic piece of knowledge that will take us in the direction of happiness we are seeking. Much like Mr. Wonka's Glass Elevator, I'd love to push a button and soar to the factory room with an all new and amazing device that will instantly print, edit, organize, record my son's thoughts, and assist him to know what to write! Wait, strike that, reverse it. Despite not finding that wondrous device as of yet, I continue to seek it and anything similar.
But as I said, it can be very troublesome to have your brain tuned into one train of thought so heavily and to know that so few others around you are going through the same thing. How do you put your mind to ease?
Well, I have found a few ways.
Laugh, smile and breathe. I laughed as I fell in the snow with my kids. I smiled watching my son zip down a hill on a snow board on his first day of trying. I enjoyed a beer amongst good company on a Saturday night in a bar that had historical prints of Benjamin Franklin next to the entrance of a strobe lit dance floor.
I found the humor in the hoards of women seeking endless freebies and discounts while wearing big stickers stating their purpose in the world ("bride, maid of honor, mother of the bride, bridesmaid"). I closed my eyes and breathed in and out before bed... letting it all go for just a few minutes. And sometimes, I feel better when I smile for no reason at all.
Support! Find some! Yes, I talk to family and friends, but I've also found that you can gather great strength from others going through the same thing. I joined the local Special Education Parent Teacher Organization and have strengthened my advocate skills, extended my knowledge and shared/received advice with other parents. I also joined the website MyAutismTeam.com. It's kind of like Facebook for parents and providers of those on the autism spectrum. You can seek advice, whine about your day, rave about your day for that matter, and their provider section is fantastic for learning about and rating services. It's a really great site and has even better intentions.
Music. Find what works for you and go with it. Let loose (See Day 1 The First Smile Big Smile) . I personally like to sing and dance along and I pity the person who would ever think to ask me to stop. You'll know if it happens as there will be a large mushroom cloud above my house.
I know I won't lighten up on the researching until I'm satisfied. I don't give up easily after all. Even little Charlie Bucket found that last golden ticket when he thought all hope was lost. The key is that Charlie had hope and smiles despite his struggles and I intend to do the same.