Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Imagine the posibilities
Today I was in the waiting room at Kay's therapy place talking to a mom that also has a son on the spectrum and second child with speech delays. We had spoken a couple times before about different things. Today's subject happened to be alternative therapies for kids with Autism.
I could tell from the start that we shared similar opinions on many things and had read and researched similar things, but we were very different on our lines of treatment. We were also at very different stages of development with our kids, her son, 3 and my son, 9. I began telling her the therapies we had tried and she told me some therapies that they had tried, some we hadn't even heard about. When the subject of whether or not we had had our son tested for this allergy or that allergy or metal level or oxidative stress levels, I said no. I told her we didn't have a DAN doctor either. She looked at me in horror. I told her we couldn't afford one. I said we could certainly afford the consultation, but when it comes to paying for all the alternative therapies, tests and what have you, we had to be realistic. I also tried to impart that we have three children that all have special needs. We could maybe afford to pay for therapy for one, but we certainly could not afford to do experimental treatments and tests for all of them. She shook her head in agreement and even teared up a bit as she listened to my story. I told her that I would love to send my kids to the best therapy money could buy (who wouldn't?), but that just isn't reality. I told her I just do the best I can with what I have to work with and that I try not to blame myself or worry about what I could have done, should have done, or couldn't afford. I told her I haven't given up on the hope that my son will, at some point lead an independent life, but I have to also have the hope mixed in with the reality. There is a good possibility that my son will never live completely independent, but that's ok, none of us truly live independent from one another (just trying to spin the positives, hehe). She said she admired my positive attitude as I admired her tenacity for trying to do everything possible for her son.
The more I talked to this woman I could see the walls and her judgement of what she perceived of me when I first began to talk to her were beginning to break down. Just as my initial opinion of her as being a little bit of an extremist (just being honest) began to breakdown. She began to understand and appreciate our situation as different from her situation. We even exchanged a recipe and I gave her the name of a cookbook to check out (typical me). All in all, it ended up on the positive. I learned from her about oxidative stress levels and some enzyme therapy to check out.
I guess my point of this story is have empathy and appreciate others and their unique situation, even amongst people who are in a similar situation. We are all different and lead different, busy lives. We all have our own ideas on things. If we would stop to really listen to each other every once in a while, we would stand to learn so much more. We are all guilty (me included of course) of wanting to tell our story and judge other people when they tell theirs. It's just human nature, but if we could commit ourselves to being more open even half the time, imagine the possibilities...
-- Post From My iPhone