Sunday, June 24, 2012

And Again With The Refrain

I'm a bad, bad blogger.

I know it. You know it. We all know it.

Oh well. I guess it's something I'll have to just accept.

I haven't posted in ages. I can't really say why. Maybe I've been so swamped I just haven't had anything left to share. It happens.

So, quick catch up:
I quit my full time job as a prosecutor a few weeks ago. A lot of you guys who follow my blog (or did before I quit posting) know that Middle Kid has been struggling since he was  just under 3 years old. We've tried and tried to help him, and to make things easier for him, but it's been an uphill battle for us and for him. We've suspected Autism for a while now. 

He's in pre-K at the local public school and had gotten to the point where he'd try to make himself sick every morning so I wouldn't take him to school. He hated going that much, but with his communication issues, we could never figure out why. He'd just say, "School bad, teacher bad."

Then we found finger mark bruises on his upper arms. I quit my job, made a police report, and took him out of school.

He's been much happier since. I don't know who, but someone was being mean to him at school. We've been trying to find a good way forward. Part of doing that was to get a formal evaluation, because without a diagnosis we couldn't make the school system give him things we know he'll need to succeed in kindergarten.  He was evaluated on Thursday by a team of child development professionals after being on a wait list for over 3 months. 

The verdict was what we expected it was. He's on the spectrum. One test came back as straight Autism, the other placed him on the spectrum but not quite in straight Autism territory.  Either way he is high functioning (average or above average intelligence), but he has a multitude of problems (beyond his communication issues) we're going to have to help him face. 

Even though I expected it, having my fears for him realized pretty much crushed me. 

Don't get me wrong. He's a beautiful, loving, super smart kid. But having the diagnosis confirmed my fear that he's going to have a long struggle ahead of him. I'm afraid for him. Already, I see the trouble he has connecting with other kids socially. I see how they withdraw from him almost immediately, even without any overt misbehavior. It seems almost instinctive. Every time it happens, I hurt for him. And I know it isn't going to get easier with time. 

I'm hopeful too. With a diagnosis, we can have access to therapy. There has been a lot of buzz about how well ABA therapy works for Autistic kids.  Speech Therapy, which he's been in for over a year now has worked wonders. And there are other therapies and interventions we can access as well. 

So. I miss work. But I'm glad I have the flexibility all the therapy is going to require. I'm still working part time as an attorney from home. Funnily enough, I make more working part time for myself than I did working full time for the State. Sad, but true. Regardless, prosecuting was never about the money for me. It was the utility. The knowledge that if I didn't show up for work, it mattered.  I guess I still have that. But now it's my kid at stake. That makes it scarier. 

Writing wise, I've been working on my "The Pass" manuscript. It's the first in a projected series of urban fantasy novels set in El Paso Texas. I'm loving the story, even when it comes hard. I also co-wrote a novella with a friend. Its a romantic comedy kind of novella--fun, quirky and fast paced. We're sending it out into the harsh world at the end of the month. I also have plans to re-work If careful Doesn't Cut It. I love the story and don't want to give up on it, but I do want to fix some plot and structure issues. So, I'm planning to take it apart and put it all back together again. 

I'm so glad I have writing and books in my life. They help me refocus, and relax when everything seems like more than I can handle. 

So hi again guys. 
Sorry it's been a while. 
But I'm glad to be back.