Spent the night reading the reports the therapists typed up for/after the IFSP a couple of weeks ago, because I stumbled across the pile where I had carefully filed it (read: stashed it under some old phone books and ancient magazines on my desk for safekeeping).
They didn't say anything surprising. We all had already discussed our pleasure with James' progress long before the meeting, and which goals we thought we working, and useful, and which we should ditch, and what we should do instead.
None of this was new.
So why, when I read these descriptions of the kid I see every day, of the behaviors I am as familiar with as I am my own - perhaps more - why does it suddenly pierce me cold with the realization of HOLY SHIT. MY SON IS AUTISTIC.
He may not get any better than this.
He may never learn to talk. Or dress himself. Or... or ever get to be NORMAL. To have any of the things my other kids can take for granted, like friends, or days when everything isn't a freaking teachable moment.
I find myself hoping that if he can't go one way, he should go the other: be SO autistic that he won't notice the stares when the behaviors that, at 2, can be waved off by strangers,aren't waved off anymore, and people shun him openly.
And they will. My glorious experience in the field has taught me that, oh yes. Ask anyone who has a visible handicap; the world is a nasty place, and unfeeling, and often downright hostile, especially for autistics, who frequently don't LOOK handicapped, and so their behavior seems to offend all the more when they have the gall to be themselves in public.
And my heart breaks for this beautiful sunny little guy of mine, who has a mother who wonders if maybe it would be better if he never got past this age, mentally, so he could always be sunny.
Dear gods, what is wrong with me?