Who will take care of our Autistic Son, when we're gone?!
(Lincoln At The NC Museum of Natural Sciences -- One of his favorite places & rituals -- w/ Cat)
It’s a question that keeps me up, a lot... I toss & turn, I feel sick to my stomach, and can never seem to shut down the worry...
I know I’m not a alone in my worry as a parent, but, I think the worry goes a little deeper when you’re a special-needs parent, and a parent of an Autistic child on the middle-to-more-severe-half of The Spectrum.
(School portrait! He SMILED & LOOKED at the camera!)
I lay awake, and wonder if Lincoln will ever be a able to transfer out of special-education.
I wonder if he’ll ever be able to live on his own, w/out the constant supervision & help which he constantly requires.
I pray for the day that he’ll make eye-contact & be able to easily acknowledge when he’s surrounded by his peers or being talked to—And I’m equally afraid of others abusing him, and taking advantage of his innocence.
When will he stop talking in 3rd person? Will he ever stop talking in 3rd person?
What about baths & haircuts? He still has complete physical & mental meltdowns when it comes to both, and he’s getting bigger, stronger, and harder to control...
Will he ever be able to completely feed himself, or use a real cup / glass?
(Eating an actual sandwich, by himself, for the first time! This was a BIG DEAL!)
Toilet training? Yeah, that’s a battle we’re still fighting, w/ no current end in sight.
Recently, a co-worker said “I just want to live long enough to see my kids grow up!”
I’m terrified of getting older, passing away, and not being there for my Son...
(Another favorite ritual & thing: TOUCHING THIS GIANT BEAR!!!)
Who will take care of him?
Who will understand his rituals & routines?
Who will be able to translate his physical & verbal cues, helping him avoid sensory-overload & meltdown? Will they understand what it means when he starts singing one song over another?
(When upset / frustrated Lincoln will randomly start singing & blurting out MJ lyrics)
The communicative wall known as Autism already cuts him off from a large portion of the world—With his Mother & I gone, will he feel even more alone?
Honestly, the thought & fear of him, one day, being alone, in a an institution w/out real friends, makes me feel sad & numb... I keep thinking of Rain Man & Wallbrook. I want more for my Son.
So, I lay awake, and I toss, and I turn, and I ask God for the love, strength, patience & kindness that my wonderful Son will always deserve...