one thing I find that is particularly poignant is the strange way my time is distributed among my children.
on the basis of sheer mathematics one would assume that the time would be equally divided among the number of children present at any time or in general. If that were true then each child would get 1/4 of the time that I put directly towards the children.
However, that is not true, as every child needs different things, different amounts of attention at different times.
Most children under 2 are designed to absorb as much attention as possible, those between 2 and 5 generally prefer a fair amount of independence with lots of praise and cuddling. It is between 5 and 8 that the different needs of the children clearly begin to show, and it is also this age when many children are able to use other internal and external resources to get their needs met. They start to have friends, teachers and other people to look to for approval and attention.
And then there is Galen.
His list of external sources for approval and attention would overwhelm almost any other child. He has a large variety of patient and special teachers and paras, but somehow..... when his autism is rearing it's full head, none of that makes any difference.
The challenge comes that he often rejects attention when he needs it most (or that is, when we spend the most time with him getting him to do things we think he should be doing at this time).
And the biggest thing that pisses me off, is that nobody, not even mommy, knows what to do to help him find balance and happiness again. And of course, when the autism is fully rearing it's ugly head, you can't get him to talk about it. You can't easily find out if there were some social or emotional issues playing into the current situation, or even if it is a reaction to how his body is feeling. All we have to go on is his behavior (and any other clues we can paste together).
If autism is a puzzle, we don't even know what the final picture is suppose to look like- half the pieces are missing, another quarter of those pieces have been chewed on, and another few pieces have been hidden in the vegetables that he was supposed to eat.
And us mothers (parents, teachers, ect) are holding on to dear life for those few pieces of the puzzle that we have, hoping that we can hold the child, (and the world) together long enough to manage to put the puzzle together.