Monday, July 2, 2012

Autism After 22: Nat's First ISP Meeting

Susan Senator

We had Nat’s ISP meeting today, which is basically an IEP for adults. Although there are fewer requirements for the service providers to fulfill for their clients, Nat’s service provider and also his dayhab/day program staff seem more than eager to outline comprehensive goals for him. Clearly charmed by his intense work ethic as well as his sudden smile and the occasional surprising flash of violet-blue Bambi eyes, his entire team wants to watch Nat soar.

Everything I heard pre-22 told me that Autism Adulthood would be the dregs of the universe, but it has been the opposite for Nat. Yes, it is true that Nat has Priority One funding (because of occasional intense episodes of frustration that can become self-injurious) and so he has enough support in his life. He is lucky in that way, lucky in the way that would otherwise be considered unlucky, for this means that he also has an IQ that measures pretty low. (Although that reality is not shameful, it is nevertheless an acrid, poison-tasting reality that IQ is tallied in a way that is completely anti-autistic in nature. If you don’t see the forest, nor the trees, nor the bark, but instead you are listening to the quietest of animals there, you will presumably have a tough time choosing which thing doesn’t belong. I hate the IQ as much as Theory of Mind. Anti-autistic biases.)

Yes it is true that we live in Massachusetts, the land of choices, open-mindedness, and opportunities. And yes, Nat has a couple of championship fighters in his corner. Ned and I have been through Rocky Balboa-like training, punching everything in sight instead of sides of beef to get what Nat needed.

But, the other side of the equation is that the service providers are indeed out there. Today, I experienced the beautiful reality of that. [Continue to the full article at Susan's Blog.]