We have good days and bad days. If she had her druthers, they would all be bad days. She tries hard to make it so! Seems she has become hard wired to only know how to be challenging, stick provoking, and refusing to follow any direction. It's going to be a hard adult life for her which is disappointing because I have tried to give her the tools she needs to be as successful as she is capable of being.
The timer is counting down to 18 when things begin to shift. She's had an updated psychological evaluation by social security which has determined her eligible for disability. (That is always nerve wracking for me because I know she's disabled but will the federal government agree based on their paid cronies that analyze the results of their prescribed reviews?) That evaluation gets sent to a host of entities in our community that are purported to offer assistance programs like vocational rehabilitation and the department of mental health and developmental delay. The plan is to find an assisted living type facility. The ideal was to have things move before 18 but the cogs of the wheels turn slowly so it may be another year yet. *deep cleansing breath*
She is working with another community service specialist that is teaching her life skills. Sissy still refuses hygiene of any kind and would rather pretend that she is five and live her life at that speed indeterminably. Of course, her therapist and I have reassured her 1,000x a session that she WILL be 18, she WILL be an adult, she WILL need to be responsible to some degree.
Her education is a bone of contention. I see no value in her continuing until she achieves a diploma and at the rate she is going, that won't be until 20 or 21. She won't be a wage earning tax payer beyond some cursory vocation that earns her a marginal wage that doesn't interfere with her social security income. And to that end, even though she has the ability to do a task that requires some intellectual prowess, she won't. The thought has come up to just let it go, let her move on to a facility without ever finishing her education but some of these facilities insist on a completion of education in some fashion. The other thought is that Sissy may have the ability to finish her education with a GED instead. It's not a mystery, she is smart enough to do that! But WILL she?
The core issue to all of these things as Sissy approaches this huge milestone is her WILL. She is hell bent to make sure that her WILL won't match her ability. There has been many moments when her therapist has had to step back and breathe because she has wanted to walk away in sheer exasperation with Sissy. After all of these years, we have finally gotten ourselves a therapist that is able and willing to go the distance with us, two years and counting, Ms L has become family.
The more "beautiful" moments with Sissy in therapy include her squeezing her eyes tightly to force tears, covering her ears and screaming, "leave me alone!" Ms L and I try not to get angry and irritated at Sissy's flat refusal to participate but many times Aspie Boy chimes in and tells her to stop and just do her therapy like she's supposed to. Of course, that often incites further riot followed by "Shut Up Aspie Boy! This is MY therapy session! Butt out! It's none of your business!!!" Followed by Ms L and I replying almost in unison, "Oh, but Sissy you make it EVERYONE's business when you scream and shout and refuse to be different, actively continuing to bring harm to your family." And Sissy says with venom in a calm, controlled tone, "So you're saying I'm TRYING to hurt my family?!?!" Then Ms L or I will say to one another, "look at that, all the tears are done..." It's funny when you're not in the moment but it's not funny when you're seated at the table with her, repeating this exact scenario every Monday evening for two straight years.
But who's counting?