Autumn is increasingly showing herself in the garden. A sister to Spring, I have always thought Autumn too heralded new beginnings, certainly she brings change. Very young children begin playgroup, leading to nursery school, primary school and on and on till one day they head off to university or to begin work, setting up their own homes and patterns.
New plants show themselves, hardier and able to withstand the coming chill, others change their coats or put on a final show before they give up for the season. They might do this a few times yet but each appearance is to be cherished, it could be the last for a long time.
Today 14′s Autism and behaviour nurse visited me, for the final time. We first met when my daughter was 4 years old and almost uncontrollable. Teachers despaired, my telephone rang every day, often several times, a litany of issues, what she had done now, whom she had hit, scratched or otherwise made miserable. Then came the spurious illness reports, come and get her, we think she has … name your sickness, someone in charge of my daughter would decide she had it. Years and years of the same thing. It’s hard to blame them, those same days I wondered how I would handle more than a minute ahead of myself. When I dared think of the age she now is I was wracked with a fear she would be in care, or I would.
Several professionals were assigned, there was the social worker with whom I am only now at ease. There was the psychologist who while a lovely woman did absolutely nothing. She talked a good game, each visit would be full of what we were going to do, what assessment was needed and how these wonderful new programmes would help us manage our daughter’s behaviour We filled in forms, we made note of incidents, we monitored and remained calm and followed what little was offered by one person only to be told my a different on that was all wrong and we should be doing something else.
In the middle of all this was the nurse. She and I hit it off from the beginning. She didn’t seem to come with an agenda, other than genuinely trying to help. She spoke up for me in meetings when others dismissed me as only the mother. She understood my frustrations, she slipped me some useful information on the sly to help negotiate better care for my daughter.
Now time has passed, mostly my daughter’s behaviour is manageable. Mostly. Not always but then she is a teenager and she has special needs which include severe learning impairment. Our lives, her life, is never going to be magazine perfect. I can’t take a filter to it like I can to the snaps I take of the garden and soften out the harsh edges, mellow the light and make it look like anything other than it is. Our lives are challenging, we adjust our expectations to meet our reality, our dreams are much more grounded. What we have done, so far, is negotiated a journey that a times took us to the brink of despair. Tears a little further away than they were, mostly.
So today was our last visit. Other children need her more, other parents need her input. Let’s hope for the best.
Sending good wishes your way that your day doesn’t have too many harsh edges in need of a filter.
© 2012, Penbleth / L. McG.-E.. All rights reserved.