I am so tired of waiting for someone to change Dane’s circumstances. Waiting for him to figure out how to attend a class, waiting for someone to hire him, waiting for the seizures to stop, waiting for him to move out. YES he will move out. The two years have just been a whirlwind. Preparing for me to go to Africa and leave him here or that advance LA place was a road of its own. He hadn’t had seizures for years, he got a job and was being diligent about taking care of himself independently. I was so proud and saw such a bright light at the end of the tunnel. I would get to live alone with Gary. I would get peace and quiet. I would get my own life outside of Dane. What I got was 10 weeks in South Africa and a return laced with devastation and despair. The seizures were back and he was a mess. The disconnect of everything and not being able to grasp things had returned. I started all over preparing for his life again. Nurturing when he was sick to whipping him into adulthood when he was well. It is such a tightrope dance Dane and I do. Last night he says I love/hate you. I said I feel the same. It is true.
Here we are March 2015 and he has a shopping compulsiveness that is off the charts. He is bored. How many people shop when they are bored? Probably A LOT. I am working on replacing the behavior with his art business. What I have learned from him is that unless I find a replacement behavior that gives him as much emotional stimulation as the one he is doing, it will never end. So, the launch of Dane Capo Art gave him that input he needed. It was like he was on a good drug. He was flying with confidence while gliding through the crowd with excitement that the people came to see him and his art. He worked the room like a master. I saw light again at the end of the tunnel; and so, I jumped in.
We went and had cards made for him to sell at his art show. He sold them, well, so now what? We are having reproductions made and some reusable shopping bags that he will sell at his booth at the farmers market Friday. I am doing some all the footwork and letting him do the rest. So now we are back on the tight rope. What can he handle? What is too much? When can I not do this anymore? Will he ever fully invest and take over or will he be onto the next scheme of his. I don’t know. What I do know, is life is better than it was in many ways. He has come so far from where he started.
Our journey is filled with determination and courage to keep forging the way. 90 percent of kids with autism are unemployed. 90%!!!!!! They have hopes and dreams and skills and talents beyond measure but 90% of them never get to shine. I am so grateful that even if just for a moment Dane has made his own path, and is using his skills and talents to further his independence and his life.