Thursday, March 9, 2017

I've Always Wondered....#FridayReflections

I've always wondered what my brother in law, Bil's life might have been like if only he had been born today instead of in the 1950's.

An autism advocate once told me "don't dwell on the past. Only think about the future. What's done, s done."  But, nevertheless, I wonder.

What if my mother in law's concerns about her son had been addressed and not ignored?

What if her son had been evaluated when he wasn't staring to talk, instead of blaming her for it? Or when he showed other behaviors that weren't anything like what her older children had done, at the same age.

What if the United States, in the early 1960's, had Child Find?  

" Child Find requires school districts to have a process for identifying and evaluating children who may need special education and related services, such as counseling or speech therapy. Even infants and toddlers can be evaluated. They could then receive help for learning disabilities and developmental delays through the government’s early intervention programs. These programs help parents find out if their young children are on track. Then, if needed, the programs can connect families with appropriate services early in the child’s life."

But Child Find, and IDEA (guaranteeing children with disabilities, a Free, Appropriate, Public Education) did not exist.  And Bil did not get the help, the therapies, he needed.   Instead, he got bullied.  And, although he tried to go to college, he quickly floundered and had to leave.

He spent years and years working for less than minimum wage at a sheltered workshop.

He's never had a romantic interest.  

He's missed out on so much.

So here we are now, as he approaches age 60.

I can't help it.  I don't take that advocate's advice. I've always wondered.  How could things have been different?  What contributions might Bil have made to our world?

I just can't help it, although it does neither him or me any good.

Come join Corinne, at Everyday Gyaan, and post at #FridayReflections.

8 comments:

  1. Yes, I would always wonder about that too. I wonder about myself and if would have made any difference knowing when I was younger... But as you say, it doesn't really help.

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  2. Things always look different in hindsight. I personally believe that things happen in our lives the way they are meant to happen and we are just led to situations and circumstances that take us further in our life's journey. I know this may sound fatalistic and possibly defeatist to you but having gone through a fair bit in life, I have discovered that many of the plans of mice and men .......

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    1. In some ways, I agree with you. I find situations that earlier experiences in life have trained me to deal with. It does make you wonder.

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  3. The 'could-have-beens' are always tough...while it doesn't help, it's not easy to not wonder either.

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    1. What I am going to try my best to do is look ahead, look forward - including to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

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  4. I can see where your thoughts are coming from. I can see how things would have been so different for Bill today but alas, time has gone by when so much could have been done. Too late in the day to worry about it now. Nonetheless, I can feel what you are trying to say.

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  5. You're right - we have to move forward - what is, is, and we have to use the present reality as a starting point. With major changes (for the worse) possibly coming with funding, my family is going to be quite busy working with the present and not dreaming about the past!

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