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Autism: Invisible Disability

17 Mar

Really, it would have been a difficult day all on its own. I certainly didn’t need all of the “extras” to cause me to fall apart – but when one thing comes, many others are sure to follow, I guess.

All we wanted to do was to pick up disability papers from the income assistance office. How hard can that be? After that, we had shopping and library to do – regular Monday errands, that I don’t always have to attend, but I had to get those papers.

They weren’t even for me. They were for my son – but since he doesn’t drive (and won’t voluntarily leave the house for more than his walk most days) that was up to me. If I had a choice, I wouldn’t have gone out at all that day. If I had a real choice, I would have been “back home” with my family, mourning the loss of my grandma – for the visitation was that day.

It wasn’t lost on me that while I was trying to explain to the people at income assistance that all I wanted was blank disability papers for the doctors to fill out for my son, the rest of my family was at the funeral home, where I should have been. Only we couldn’t get the papers. It doesn’t matter that they were blank forms, since we were not the clients (or whatever they call them) we couldn’t pick them up.

Did I mention that I am once more reducing my Cipralex medication – which means I am being shocked, dizzy, and nauseous once more? Not that it really went away, but it was mild for a while, and now is getting worse by the day (despite the fact that I am only reducing from ¼ of their smallest dose.) Not only that, but being in the vehicle was causing severe motion sickness, and I was already (frequently unsuccessfully) fighting back tears.

So we had to return home, and convince my son to come with us. He did – but it threw off his routine, and right away he felt that. When we got back, he had trouble talking, so I did most of it for him (as I often do when with strangers.) But they wouldn’t give the papers to him, either – because apparently he has to have an open file in order to get them.

He did apply, but he had a list of things to bring in before the file could be opened. One of these was the letter stating that he would be applying for disability – which is why we were there trying to pick up the disability forms. The person didn’t really know what was going on, and was trying to talk to the person in charge of my son’s case, but they were closing for lunch. So they asked us to come back with the rest of the paperwork on my son’s list.

We went to do our shopping and library stuff, and then returned home for lunch. However, my son then refused to eat, as he hadn’t yet completed his morning routine. Not only wouldn’t he eat lunch, he refused to get a snack to hold him over, as apparently he doesn’t snack. There is no middle ground for my son. That is the Aspie in him, I suppose. Meanwhile, it was 2pm, and we had to take him out again.

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And then that, too became an issue – since he didn’t have the disability papers that he was supposed to drop off with the rest of the paperwork, he was also refusing to take in the rest of it as well. It took a while (and a strong reminder that if they lost the paperwork, we could just print it off again – for he had no trust in their ability to keep it together) to convince him to bring it in. He was in shut down mode, and had retreated to his bedroom.

We did get through it – we got him back to the income assistance office, dropped off the paperwork, brought him back home where he was able to complete his morning routine, and have lunch several hours late – but it was far from easy!

And the thing is, that when he goes into the office to talk to these people, all they see is that he is calm, quiet, and polite. It is getting him there, just as in getting him to do pretty much anything (and he is not defiant, he just can’t handle the pressure or anxiety) where the real disability is shown – and since we really need this help, I am concerned that they won’t see it.

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1 Comment

Posted by on March 17, 2016 in Autism: Out in Public

 

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One response to “Autism: Invisible Disability

  1. threekidsandi

    March 17, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    He and you have my sympathy. I hate days like that with a bitter passion.

    Liked by 1 person

     

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