Always Hunting

Because I have a child with a visual impairment, and multiple disabilities, I’m always hunting. Often, it’s for anything that will improve Eddie’s life, no matter how big or small. This could mean the perfect pair of elastic-waist jeans, because some would call him well-fed…AND buttons are still a problem. More likely, I’m hunting for something a little more complicated.

At the moment, I’m hunting for a new diet for Eddie. This is not only because of the “well-fed” issue, but also because he has many digestive struggles. I’ve consulted doctors, friends, relatives, and other parents of children with special needs. I’ve read books…and walked the aisles of many grocery stores. Sadly, this hunt won’t end with someone handing me the perfect answer. The hunt will simply continue until Eddie feels better, which will mean success.

Another hunt I’m on is the pursuit of alternative therapy approaches to help with communication. The strategy for this mission has included seminars, internet research, and again many consultations. Like the diet hunt, I probably won’t be handed a fortune cookie with all my answers inside. It’s more likely that I’ll simply just eat a lot of cookies, until we find an answer, which will mean success.

After getting home from one of the above-mentioned seminars, I found myself hunting again. This time it was for my toothbrush. As I’ve said, my son is an explorer, and right now the bathroom is his jungle. He clears the counter, hiding every item somewhere else in the house. That night, all the toothbrushes had been removed, and mine was placed on the fireplace mantle. Obviously, the hunt was a success (not found in toilet), but it also took some time.

Finally, more on a subconscious level, I’m always hunting for positive comments about my son. I hear negative comments often, even if it isn’t intentional. It can be the smallest bit of communication, even a tiny look of pity, or simply that one word…behavior…tied to his name. This hunt for good things, which may be the most important, was highly successful this week.

…When we picked up Eddie from school, his classroom aide wanted us to know that Eddie could spell September…which he then did immediately… “S-E-P-T-E-M-B-E-R September.”

…While talking to his new speech therapist, she told me that she loves working with Eddie and that she sees great potential.

…His teacher of the visually impaired was excited to show me how much progress he had made on an assessment…and shared again that she had a good time at Eddie’s school.

…I got a very funny surprise book in the mail that makes light of the fact that not everybody understands autism, which means that somebody does.

Even though I’m always hunting, it’s OK. The thing is with hunting, the season may end, but there will always be another one. (I know this because my in-laws are hunting experts.) Just because I don’t bag a trophy this time around, doesn’t mean it won’t be worth it in the long run. Each hunt will only lead to a better future for Eddie…and more positive comments from everybody else.

What are you hunting for?