The guy interviewing us about the assesment was kind and helpful so that did help. His office accommodating to each of the children's needs. He was understanding when Paisley got overwhelmed by something and had to dust his office with his tissues while we talked. He explained how her OCD affected her and how her having dyslexia as well as FXS and an autism spectrum fight against each other. Yet, he was amazed at how she at only 7 years old has learned to cope and self soothe to the point you can't automatically see she is affected by something.
Then it came time for Seth. We had to go into detail about his issues, especially the behavior. The aggression is our biggest concern right now. During that discussion of the assesment, I had to decide the seriousness of the behavior. The choices to pick ranged from not serious to extremely seriouse, each helping by giving definitions to each answer. The definitions were determand and on how I feel others react or how it affects the public when they see such behavior.
When I answered the first few, the gentalman stopped and looked at the scars on my arms. He then asked me to take him step by step through what typically happens and why I didn't think it was a big deal. I did what he asked and told him I didn't think it was a big deal because I deal with this everyday, some days not as big as others. But it has become normal to me. He asked me to really think about the ansewrs and pointed out the differences between what I thought the situation was and what it really was. I was saying they weren't that seriouse and at most moderately. My reasoning is because of how the public, here in Preston, reacts to Seth's meltdowns and even when he gets "violent". The definitions were, the actions are annoying, cause others to look and wounder what is going on but the disturbance doesn't stop the others from competing tasks, or on the moderate answer that Seth would need to be removed so others can go about without causing a disturbance that is distracting. And we were answering on everything else except for the times when Seth is going to school because those actions are isolated to school.
I had to stop and really think about all of the reactions I get here in Preston, Idaho.
My eyes filled with tears at this point. I explained that there has only been a few times where I felt, by the tests definition, that there was a serious problem with Seth in public. This community doesn't shun, make fun, or be rude to Seth. These people, in Preston, are excepting of him, his issues, and when they see him breakdown, they don't point, whisper, or say mean things. They except him for HIM! They love him. It's when we go out of the area, even as close as Logan or Pocatello, we see the difference in how others see the issues.
Seth walks home from school, by himself. And I know if he ventures off the path of his route I will get a phone call. Our neighborhood knows that Seth's walk home from school his his one thing he does with out a parent by his side. That is his one thing he does indepenantly, as independent for him because pretty much all the houses he walks past watch out for him.
The gentalman was stunned in a way. He couldn't believe how accepting this community is. He asked how the police react to Seth. I told him the same way. They know he isn't a danger to others, unless he is riding his bike down the highway. I didn't add that part, that can be between us. When I told him we lived here, a light went on. He said he had a few others he assessed from here and heard the same thing. He told us that is rare to find a community as a whole that accepting. We finished up the appointment by having us think of reactions in other places and at the end of the test I wanted to get back home.
I hear others say they hate Preston. They may have their reasons and that is fine but I love it here. Yes, it is an out of the way place. I have to travel kind of far to really shop. Everyone does know what I am doing, but I also put it out there. I feel safe here. I can let my disabled children outside to play. And, when Seth does run off, it happends, I don't get judged as being a neglectful parent for letting my kid get out of my sight. I mean, think about it if you just thought, "wait, I haven't lost my child and needed to call the cops before. That is bad parenting."
Do you have to keep a constant eye on your kids? No, not like what I am talking about. You can leave the room and go to the bathroom, throw in a batch of laundry, load the dishwasher, take a shower and not worry your child will walk out of the house and into the road. Your child might know that is dangerouse. Mine doesn't. I have to keep a constant eye and it's not humanly possible. I have to sleep, shower, and take bathroom breaks too. It's during those times they would get out and I wouldn't know. Thankfully, we only had to call the police twice. Everything turned out to be okay, and we were lucky. Lucky, that the police knew us and understand the situation. That is because this is an awesome place to live. I have a little joke I always tell someone that asks how long I've lived here and it is, I was born, raised, and hopefully will die here. I love it here.