My autistic son Luke was discharged recently after a month in a Washington State King County Evaluation and Treatment Center. My understanding is these treatment centers are partially funded by the State of Washington. They do short-stay commitments for clients who present with severe mental illness. Luke has now returned to voluntary placement, although with extreme changes that include living in a hotel!
The irony of my title is fascinating on several levels. It reminds me perhaps most of having a sense of control. With a head’s up on a situation that needs a thoughtful answer, I can usually work on a responsible solution. When my autistic son Luke was hospitalized , I was out-of-state and felt out of control of the circumstances. Fortunately I do not have a learned helplessness mentality. My fighting spirit keeps me positive and the idea of developing a problem-solving strategy to deal with life’s difficulties is no stranger to me.
On 3/1/18, my autistic son Luke was placed in a group home. Luke is 25 years old and needed more support than his parents could sustain. I have shared past posts on my blog about Luke and his life. It is no small feat to navigate the Department of Social Services in matters of mental challenges and neurological disabilities.
(Disclaimer: Original post written 12/2012). When I was growing up, mental illness was shunned. We did not talk about it in my household. The first time I was exposed to the mentally ill was when I visited my two aunts at their job. They were nurses in a mental hospital for chronic patients in Kentucky. As a young girl of 17, I was immediately drawn into the strangeness of this new world. ( Today a person would not be allowed to visit like I was able).
Having an adult son with autism has hard and complicating challenges. My first time hearing Luke’s diagnosis in 1994 made me numb. It did not seem real.
We need to learn to let go. We hold onto things way too long that needs to be released. I decided recently I need to start judging. Yep. You heard right. Judge.
After carefully thinking through this, I am judging it all. How you taste inside me? What drew me to you? Where this will take me? It is true good or bad and now I am OK with judging. Watch out. I may prematurely put you to the test.