An Uncertain 2017

aggression-656795_1920It’s been a grueling two months. First there was the election and it’s aftermath. An acquaintance called it similar to a pandemic: sudden, shocking, and widespread. It’s the best description I’ve heard so far, although I’d prefer an element of self-infliction because I can’t help feeling we brought this situation on ourselves. My chapbook was finally released after a long delay, and I threw a fun launch party. Even so, I’d barely rallied by Christmas. Shopping for ten kids and nine adults nearly did me in.

Two days after Christmas my daughter and I both came down with a particularly nasty cold/flu. We were shaking and feverish for three days and barely left my bed. Another four days until we felt somewhat human. A second week until our energy and appetites returned. Even Katie was wiped out. When my restless and ever-hungry child has no energy or appetite, you know something is terribly wrong.

By the time we were more or less well, the President Elect’s cabinet picks were threatening my mental health. And Nate and I were cycling through an on-again-off-again relationship, unable to decide how to proceed following our breakup. It rained nonstop. The arbor just outside my living room came down in a storm, crushing several shrubs that had managed to survive the drought. The sunroof in my aging car started to leak. The faucet in my shower broke. It seemed anything that could go wrong, did.

child-865116_1920The only ray of sunshine in this bleak, stormy time was my fabulous luck in finding a wonderful tutor/aide/sitter for the two days per week that Katie does not attend Open Mind School. Katie and Melissa immediately clicked, and Melissa dove in and began learning the basics of rapid prompting method. She will pick up where the terrific summer school aides left off with reading, writing, and math, plus use materials provided by Open Mind School.

In the afternoons, Katie plays with Melissa’s two daughters. Her speech and social skills are already improving. Audrina is getting some much needed exercise, while coaxing Katie to try new things. Bella is facilitating communication at the park. Our husky loves the extra attention. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

As we move forward into an uncertain 2017, I’m feeling a degree of hope. While I’m not sure what’s going to happen in our country or our world, I finally feel that I have a program in place that meets my daughter’s unique needs. It was an exhausting ten year struggle, but in the end, so worth it!


For the first time, I’m feeling confident for Katie’s future. (Wait! Did I just say that?) I wish I could say the same for the rest of us.

Until next time,

About Cynthia J. Patton

Writer, Editor, Advocate, Speaker, Special Needs Attorney, and Autism Mom. Also the Founder and Chairperson of Autism A to Z, a nonprofit providing resources and solutions for life on the spectrum.
This entry was posted in Autism, My Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>