Archive for the job stuff Category

Lost my compass. Anyone seen it?

Posted in geese and guineas, insomnia, job stuff, life, random, this-n-that, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2008 by bosquechica

Drat.

My brain’s gone walkabout again.

Don’t know where, exactly. When I look inside my own head, I see mostly fog.

Maybe it’s the new year making me fuzzy (August is my new year).

The chickens, geese and keets seem more important than writing.

I can’t seem to get enough sleep.

 

Maybe it’s the weather.

 

Maybe it’s my disorganized office.

Maybe it’s my hormones.

 Maybe it’s astrological.

 

Maybe it’s nothing at all.

I’ll be back when I’ve got something to say. Or when my office is clean.

Whichever comes first.

 

(Cross-posted from Cuentos – at Laurie’s suggestion.)

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Chickens with singers’ names

Posted in job stuff, life, names, random, this-n-that, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , on March 11, 2008 by bosquechica
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  Today someone found Trees for the Forest by searching “chickens with singers’ names”. I love that. I wish I had a chicken named Aretha Franklin or maybe Lori Anderson or Bono. I replicated the search (not having anything else to do, apparently) and was surprised to find Moonbeam McQueen at the top of the list. Small world, isn’t it?

I’ll be getting back to work here at Trees. So many things to say. Marriage, family, animals, springtime, woeful feelings, career indecision, poetry, politics, my ongoing discussion with myself about what I want to be when I grow up and I wish it was a beachcomber, like it always says on the Chinese astrology placemats. But enough about me. My main point is I’m trying to come out from under the bed and join in again.

Little moments

Posted in autism, job stuff, nice things, Uncategorized with tags , , on November 3, 2007 by bosquechica

eye contact 

I had a beautiful visit with one of my little boys yesterday. He smiled and laughed and talked and pointed and shared and showed and made eye contact and that was AMAZING because three months ago he didn’t do any of those things. Parents and team crying because it was our last visit, but a good happy visit anyway.

It was our last visit because the system in our state gives families the choice of either sending their child to the public school system (advantage = more hours of treatment per week for the child, increased structure to child’s day) or getting therapies in the home (advantage = home-based, includes parent training and support, very up close and personal). 

In better times, both of these would be possible.  

Grief and the automatic messenger

Posted in job stuff, Uncategorized on September 21, 2007 by bosquechica

It’s a regular part of my life to work with families who have just learned that their child has autism. Sometimes they are given this diagnosis gently, sometimes not.

Used to be an uncommon diagnosis. Not any more. Used to be people didn’t know anyone with autism. Not any more.

When I was 19 or so, I was floundering around making uninformed decisions, trying to figure out how to live my life without a plan. I worked for awhile with a family as an au pair (completely untrained). They had four children and another on the way. I have no idea how I got that job.

Their 10-year-old had autism. He said “lugadabugadoo lugadabugadoo” repeatedly. He rocked on his heels. He knew the names of every radio staion in the Los Angeles area. He liked to run water over his hands in the bathroom while reciting the names of the radio stations.

He and I were pretty good friends. He followed me everywhere; I taught him how to jump rope. Not very well, but still, I felt that we had made a happy and mutual connection.

That was a long time ago, and since then his family will have made decisions about his life as an adult. He was not a kid who was likely to grow up and live independently, but he was fortunate to have a family with the resources and the emotional stability to work hard on his behalf.

Used to be, people didn’t have a picture of what autism can look like. Now they do. They’ve seen the specials on TV, they’ve looked at the websites. They’ve got neighbors and cousins. And the possibility that their child with autism might be rocking, head banging and utterly dependent on them for life is understandably frightening. And is one possibility.

When I had cancer as a kid, my parents were told that I would probably die, and that was probably for the best, because if I lived I would be brain damaged from radiation and hideously disfigured. Which made me, for some time, the official family tragedy.

So unnecessary, so wrong. But while experts don’t want to hand out false hope to young famlies, we can unintentionally be damned generous in handing out despair.

When I hear from my families that their kid just got a life sentence of autism, I know the news was delivered by the fact doctor and not from the heart. Makes me want to smack my colleagues in the head, remind them not to be automatic, not to crank out that diagnosis like we’re working in a fast-food line.

I will probably not use this blog to talk much about my profession. But there is this overlap for me and my personal history, as I try to guide these moms and dads back to their own child, the one whose future has not been nailed down by a stranger with a simple, reductionary label.