Tuesday, October 13, 2009

a place to live - 6

october 13 2009


One of my sons has PDD-NOS, an autism spectrum disorder, and wants to live alone in a protected setting.

Yesterday we had a meeting at the new place.

It's a large building with apartments where people live from the organization for protected living, and all sorts of other people.
The organization is a department of a psychiatric organization that has all sorts of levels of admission and ways of training to live independently.

We had no choice than to opt for this organization, because it's the only opportunity for him to live near his friends and his family.

The guy who was leading the meeting felt the intense need to rub it in that my son will live under the support of a facility.
It was irritating and one of the main reasons my son rejecting living there last month.

The guy was not kind, far too business like, and impersonal.
He made me ask him whether he objected against a mom being there too.
When he said "no, not at all", he didn't smile.

People like that always make me wonder why they want to keep people at a distance.
He's in a position where he needs to be able to facilitate relationships, not burden them.

Like in the mails he made my son and I feel we were too much.
He repeated what he stated in the mail and then I told him that I knew they hadn't dealt with autistic people often before.
So I told him why my son had certain questions: because he takes things literally.

It broke the ice and soon the guy was smiling and invited us relaxed to see the "little house".

Well, it has everything of a house.

A small hall (larger though than we have here), a small bedroom (bed, chair and wardrobe.. no place for more), a newly tiled bathroom with loads of space, and a very nice room with inbuilt kitchen.
The kitchen was new too, with an inbuilt fridge. The washing-machine arrives later this week.

Me, oh my!!

When he wants to stay home I'll move in there.

The guy I mentioned above turned out to be very nice and we had a short chat about a couch. Just some chitchat. He didn't resemble the person he played before.

When we were sitting in the meetingroom again my son was asked whether he wanted to make a decision now or wait a few days.

It's a yes.

We went home with an appointment for Thursday to get the key and the permission to move in next week.

Not too long after we came home he stumbled in telling me they called him to tell him he was allowed to start to move in Thursday.

It's about a year after we started the whole procedure, so we've been able to live towards this moment.

Still I feel double.
OK, I'm happy he's able to realize his dream and make the move. Especially after this weekend I'm not sad to see an end to the turmoil he causes when he's having a meltdown. He's the one who makes a terrible mess in the house and who can undo what took me three hours in 5 minutes.
But he's also the most social of the boys, the one who walks with me the neighbourhood watch, who loves to see the stars and the varying skies above the lake. The one I've traveled most with, shared the most feelings with when he was attending the ballet academy.

Well, we'll see how life changes for all of us.





to be continued...


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