Muta, the cat, wants to sit on my chest as I type. He wants to lick my fingers and get closer. He purrs very loudly. I’ve put him down twice. There is little time for reflection right now and I should not let this go. Still, is it Muta who really knows what I need?
Yesterday, I drove to the burbs of Chicago to see Julia’s Optometrist and Cognitive Therapist. Dr. Z’s staff did a batch of eye tests with something akin to computer games, replacing some of the more traditional looking testings. Using a computer allows for a record of the tracings of Julia’s eye movements as she reads or follows directions like looking reft to right as quickly as she was able. The results are startling. I wish I could compare it to my own eye movement tracings to Julia’s. Of course, just seeing Julia’s results and having them explained are enlightening. The testing provide some of the why’s of Julia’s challenges.
Dr. Z’s prescriptions, lens changes, colored lens and/or prisms are always out of the ordinary. Yesterday was no exception. She put a small piece of tape on to a corner of Julia’s left lens. The tape is to block information from getting to one spot on Julia’s retina. The retina, at the very back of the eye, has cells that are sensitive to light. The cells trigger nerve impulses that pass via the optic nerve to the brain. This may make a difference to Julia’s mood. Dr. Z’s research is not always easy to understand and for many, not easy to believe. I love the research although I hang on by the tips of my fingernails to understand it. For some, a change of lens or a piece of tape produces a quick miracle. For us, it has been years of slow work but Julia has shown progress with every visit to Dr. Z.
This is a therapy, that I stumbled across during a deep internet dive. It is not part of ‘best practices’ and in the years since we’ve started working with Dr. Z, her therapy has never been recommended by anyone else that we’ve seen but I do believe that it is a direction that will eventually be an integral part of growing people we define as on the spectrum.
Amazingly enough, when I asked Dr. Z if anyone out east does what she does, she gave me the name of someone in New Hampshire, about 45 minutes from Boston. And I am very grateful.
Muta perches on the couch back watching me type.
I put one foot in front of the other every day. Today, after driving for hours yesterday, I am exhausted. Julia will be going to A Night to Remember, a prom-like dance for people with disabilities, later this afternoon. She has been pretty obsessed with the idea of going to a prom for a few months. At West High, only seniors are eligible for prom. Lower class-people can go only as dates to seniors. Julia wanted to be asked by one of her crushes. It took many tellings over a few weeks to get her to understand that he was not going to ask her because she wanted it to happen.
A Night to Remember was not a bad consolation prize when we first signed up. It has taken on a momentum of its own. She picked out a sparkly dress (a Sun Prairie church gathered hundreds of dresses and Julia being a small size tried on 10) and we found shoes with heels and bling. This is the first time in a long time that Julia will participate in an event for the disability community, the first time that adults will be the principle focus of the event. She is pretty pumped and also admitted that she was somewhat anxious (There is a great step forward! So much better to admit to anxiety than sinking into behavior.) Lots of pictures later.
The pieces of moving fit into the every day puzzle of living. United Van Lines will show up at our Madison house on June 26 and deliver in Newton sometime between the first and eighth of July. I resumed packing in earnest after last weekend when Cheshire was out to go through her stuff and help me move some nostalgic but not useful to me pieces of clothing, furniture and china. What to do with a wedding gown in great shape but last worn in 1948 remains a challenge. I have 7 weeks to figure it out.
The finding of a new abode remains to be done, as does insurance, therapies and summer activities. The latter three seem easy at the moment compared to home finding. My practice right now is to let go of my anxiety around finding home. Honestly, I am looking in a part of Newton that has less rental stock than the surrounding communities. The final three schools I considered were Arlington HS, Newton North HS and Newton South HS. I do believe that Newton South is best for Julia, but the Newton South school district is full of smaller one family homes. For the moment, I am believing that I will find the 2-bedroom apartment within my budget that allows a cat and has ample closets, a decent kitchen, storage for bikes and bins, on premises laundry, some outside space and a small amount of charm, character or uniqueness as well as off street parking will appear.
I just need one possibility. Hear me, Universe?
I put my feet on the couch and Muta is now napping happily on my feet.