Thursday, 12 February 2009

One day at a time.

This morning was a good morning, last night I was organized and had everything set out last night as our eldest daughter was going to school in fancy dress today, which means a change in routine, which means -for her-stress.

The advantage of having a children's nurse as a mother is that I can get her cool stuff to dress up with, so she went decked out in a scrub top, with a proper stethoscope, pen torch and even an ID badge (my ID card holder with her library card in it, there was no way I was sending her in with anything I might actually need for work at some point!). The disadvantage is that she can sometimes get dragged down with the long-term viewpoint.

She suffers from autistic spectrum disorder and although we can see she is relatively high functioning we can also see that she is going to struggle to become independent, if she ever does. So when she said to us this morning that she thinks she would like to be a doctor when she is big I'm afraid my heart was sad not uplifted by her ambition because I seriously doubt whether she will be able to carry out any employment role.

I am certainly not writing her off, in fact she would make an excellent doctor, with her photographic memory she'd fly through medical school, her frighteningly good ability to spot patterns where no one else can would make her a fabulous diagnostician and her ability to function without sleep never ceases to amaze me. However, she remains (currently) unable to grasp the concept that the next thing you do after drying yourself when you get out the bath is to put on clothes, or that you should dry your hands after you wash them, or that when there is an inch of snow on the ground you will need your coat on and not just your shoes. It's these 'simple' skills that are letting her down, and cause her frequent outbursts of frustration.

Sometimes when I stop to wonder if she will ever develop these skills the enormity of the effect her condition is having and will have seems huge and overwhelming, sometimes I feel sad thinking of the things she might not be able to achieve, will she ever be able to manage money, time, relationships? However, she constantly amazes us with her ability to overcome whatever hurdles exist in her brain, for example at the age of 6 she has a fantastic vocabulary but did not speak her first word until she was almost 4 years old, and just the other day she scolded her father for asking her to get dressed before she brushed her teeth because might get tooth paste on her uniform, something that had never crossed our minds before! So for now we'll just continue going at it one day at a time and stop trying to guess the future!

1 comment:

*-~EIGNA~-* said...

EL seems such a bright girl and its great she has the ambition of being a doctor or anything else (if she changes her mind like children do between childhood and adulthood), i can only try and understand your sadness at expecting she wont be able to do things she wants to do yet i agree that taking one day at a time is the best way, you are a great mother G and you have 3 great ,lovely children! I suppose if you look at reality, things behond your expectations will arise as happy bonuses and i hope you capture them all, not only in your memory but also in your wonderful photography!