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Nat Notes From 1997

Posted Oct 05 2012 8:41am

Cleaning out drawers today. Old old Nat stuff, scribbled on the back of envelopes, scraps, whatever paper a flustered mother had at hand. Desperate pleas to help him, work with him while he was young. Extinguish self-talking, arm-biting, urinating on floor. Help him read, he is beyond kindergarten age. Make him respond, make him play.

I was very absorbed in these historical documents — true primary sources for Special Ed researchers about the state of autism education in an otherwise excellent school system, or for mothers who will find grim satisfaction in noting that some things have not changed at all. I don’t usually feel this cynical. I hope this motivates you.

There was nothing for him, so little known. These messy papers took me back to how much I had to do, every day, how exhausting our lives are. How exhausted Nat must have been. Nothing but disappointment for him, or the fanning of hopeful sparks, so much pressure on him to be who he now is before he was ready. Oh, my heart. My utter desperation for my firstborn child. Help him, help him, the world is leaving him behind.

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