I’ve been getting to experience just a fraction of the complicated bureaucratic disruptions my son has to deal with every day, like he can just take time off from full-time work and caregiving. How could anyone in that position not be overwhelmed?
He’s delegating some admin tasks like appointment scheduling and researching doctors and case management to me, which is something I’m fortunately able to handle to some degree, especially while I’m just at home not feeling at my best. When you add IT issues, legal formalities, and incompetence to the list of otherwise straightforward business, you’re talking even more time he literally doesn’t have. So anything I can do to help is welcome.
Even two-parent households struggle with juggling jobs and kids, but in an inadequate social construct that doesn’t serve or support single Dads of multiple dev-disabled kids, it’s unsustainable and overwhelming. Humans aren’t intended to singlehandedly balance such an impossible load. But in our misconceived, deluded culture, we still expect humans to labor under this illusion of solitary self-sufficient super-parenthood. There’s no place or allowance for a community of mutual aid. Just government or private agencies that are overwhelmed and dysfunctional themselves, or friends and neighbors isolated in the same boat.
I’m not really going anywhere with this, because solutions are hard to come by. Each one requires more time and more money to line up. Multiply that by four kids with four different sets of conditions and demands, states not forthcoming with the documentation you need, a district not equipped to handle your autistic son’s behavioral issues, several schools at once demanding your time, on top of your work that’s suffering, and a household to manage, and there’s not even time for the inevitable nervous breakdown, let alone mental health respite.
Meanwhile, S, who is suspended from school again, was home being sad and stir-crazy at Avdi, so they came and got me and we went to a playground with lots of things to do. Avdi sat at a picnic table and got work done, while I sat and watched S. There was only one incident, in which he kicked a tiny girl in the sand play area for some minor “infraction”, but I managed to get S to walk away, reminded him kicking wasn’t appropriate, and got him to apologize. After that, he played with the kids more cooperatively, even making concessions. He doesn’t quite get why much younger kids don’t behave the way he expects, or that physical aggression is not a solution.
S’s cough was getting worse (he just started antibiotics), and I still didn’t feel so great, so Avdi dropped me back home, where I was able to resolve another [Dr. appointment for S] assignment. Also, some used sci-fi books I had ordered arrived, which is all it takes to make me feel better.
Here are photos of our playground adventure. S likes to strike a pose!