Friday, March 15, 2013

Re-Evaluation

We are in the middle of Wil's 3-year re-eval. Fortunately, it just never gets old filling out the millions of forms outlining in excruciating detail, all the things he didn't do, can't do, and is likely never to do.

I recently met a woman who told me her daughter is now 27, and she "grew out of her autism." Call me skeptical, but I don't think so. Learned to adapt? Yes. Matured? Yes. Gained skills? Yes. Found a job that perfectly suits her unique set of challenges and talents? Yes. (Of all things, she's a massage therapist.) Grew out of autism? No.

To me, the whole re-evaluation process is just one giant jumping-through-the-hoops. It's a huge waste of time, money and human resources. He qualifies. Handily. Ask any of the 17 assistants it takes to get him through a week. Ask any of his 7 teachers. Ask his parents. Ask his sister. Ask anyone that's had more than a one-minute conversation with him. He qualifies. Can we just check some box, sign and move on? No.

I will say this, I have gotten better about being less triggered by the whole thing. I'm choosing to look at it as a nuisance, and not as a stressor. I guess, if anything, the re-evaluation process has been a chance for me to re-evaluate my relationship with autism and where we are today with it. We are where we are.  We will continue to pave the way for Wil, to advocate, to design and implement plans for his future, but we are really all done with trying to change the fact that he has a pervasive developmental disability.

He just does.

2 comments:

kario said...

I think you need to borrow Elizabeth's hatchet. She posted something eerily similar today ;-).

Love you.

One Mom said...

We're going through the 3-year re-eval with our girl right now, too. I'm nowhere near as experienced as you are with this stuff yet...this is our first re-eval, and she's turning 6 next month. I know we have so far to go and grow within this system, and it's really overwhelming sometimes. Thank you for posting this. It gives hope to those of us who are still muddling through the beginning of this journey.