Last week my boyfriend had a vacant look on his face (probably after I’d talked him to the verge of death) and so I asked him what he was thinking about.
‘Absolutely nothing’, he replied. Apparently this is something that some people can actually do. Nothing. Zilch. Nada.
There is always something going on in my head. Rik Mayall quotes, Rolling Stones songs, shopping lists……I plan things months in advance. On the rare occasion that there’s not something actively going on (other than sawdust), the ‘screensaver’ to my mind will be playing. Currently this is ‘Pen Pineapple Apple Pen’; the Deathnote version.
One question that worms its way into my mind on occasion is:
What is going to happen to Owen when he’s an adult?
Hand on heart, I try not to think about it. It is one of the few things in life that terrifies me. Along with fire alarms and wasps.
Realistically, he could need to live with me until I peg it. On the day of his diagnosis, I was handed a pile of leaflets and paperwork about warden assisted accommodation for adults with Autism and job schemes etc. There are other options out there. He may even be able to live by himself. At his school, there’s a room that has been made into a studio flat, to give the children the opportunity to learn how to make the bed and cook dinner. Important life skills. One of my friends wondered why I had taught Owen to set the washing machine. In my opinion, if I can teach him these life skills now, it’s one more tiny step to an independent adulthood. It’s also jolly handy for when I don’t have a magic kettle to wish for extra arms a la Neil in the Young Ones:
He may never have a full time job. There is a very low number of adults who have an ASD diagnosis who also have full time jobs. I think it could be along the lines of 2 in 10. With cuts in benefits for people with ‘mental’ illnesses happening constantly, it’s another huge worry. Hopefully he will find his calling.
Who will look after him when I’m gone? I’m sure he will be perfectly capable of looking after himself but who will he have? Programs like ‘the Undateables’ give me some reassurance. He may find love and have a family.
Before I had Owen, I wanted lots of children. Lots of sons – Malcolm in the Middle style.
I still ache some days for this and I’m very aware that I’m 30 this year. I get broody . I think about what having a brother or sister would mean for Owen when he’s an adult. Someone who would love him as much as I do, someone to keep an eye on him later. On the other hand, I wrestle with the idea that I can’t have another child solely to be there for Owen. I’m not sure I could handle Owen and a baby at the same time and with Owen being six this year, going back to ‘day one’ is a very daunting prospect.
But enough with the worrying – I’ll have to up my dose of Omeprazole if I think about it too much. At the rate he is progressing, he’ll be absolutely fine, I’m sure.
My boyfriend totally agrees and there’s a reason his mug at my house says ‘Mr Right’ on it…