I teased you yesterday by telling you that I was going to blog today about cake, haircuts or gerbils. I mean my ottoman. I counted up who mentioned what in the comments and it turns out that you want to hear about my ottoman. There was some interest in hearing me blog about cake, so you may—if you’re really, really nice to me—hear about that tomorrow. But no one cares about haircuts apparently.
So I guess you’ll never hear the story behind this:
So, the ottoman. I guess I’m not blogging so much about the ottoman, which looks like this…
…as about what is stored inside of it. That is what I am about to show you. Bear with me here.
Do you want to know what autism looks like? What it really, really looks like?
(Yes, Stimey, we do. We think it looks like Jack.)
Nope. It looks like this:
Autism looks like stacks and stacks of paper. It looks like reports, evaluations, IEPs, drafts and corrections, folders full of printed out emails from the school, invoices, information about therapies, fliers about events, and did I mention the books on the subject?
I’m a pretty organized girl about Jack’s autism information, but when I started looking at the folders I needed to put in order before Jack’s upcoming IEP, which is in a week and a half, I realized that I hadn’t filed anything for months.
I spent an entire afternoon last week hunkered down on my floor with a three-hole punch, a Sharpie, and my folders. It is shocking how many trees were destroyed by just the little paper circles that I punched out of the papers themselves.
But if you want services and you don’t want to flail for specific papers when you walk into a meeting with the school and if you want to have notes about things that might help your kid?
Well, you kill the motherfucking trees.
Now all those piles of paper are filed away in their correct folders and the folders are stowed away carefully in their autism ottoman.
Also unfortunately, now that everything is organized, I now have to comb through it all to do everything I can to make sure that Jack gets the very best IEP possible.
In an amazing display of “making an effort to work together,” Jack’s case manager and speech therapist at the school are meeting with me this week—a week before his IEP meeting—so that we can create his goals together. Which means that when I walk into the meeting and they hand me a stack of reports, I will have seen at least some of them beforehand and I will have helped to create some of them.
It’s so cool and so cooperative I almost think it’s a trick.
That’s also what autism looks like: mistrust of the system. Why else do we keep all the emails?
But I really think that Jack’s team wants what is best for him. And I am so appreciative that they are including me in the whole process. But before that, I have to put together my thoughts and my ideas so I don’t get flustered and confused by the language of the IEP goal, which always leaves me feeling fuzzy in the head. I have some thinking ahead of me in the next couple of weeks.
So that’s the ottoman story. (It was kind of about an ottoman, right?)