This week I have had a number of, what appears at any rate, futile searches. I am sure I will find a solution at some point; but the pain of trying to find a work around, when there really isn't one, is a little demoralising. I like being creative and finding bizarre solutions to problems, so when I have to trudge through a mundane alternative - well that just sucks bigger than the cast of a Twilight movie. (I had to get a Halloween joke in there somewhere!)
So I have two futile searches going on this week. The first is trying to find a Behavioural Consultant for D. When D was under 6 he underwent an intensive round of behavioural therapy at a "one-stop-shop" Autism Centre. This was great at the time as we only went to one place and D had Occupational Therapy, Behavioural Therapy and a host of other services. Now he is in school, the challenges he has and the support he requires is different - Not to mention the finances; we only have a quarter of the funding available now. Yep, don't go there as to the "Why?"; that's a whole other futile search which is to big even for this post!
As D is in school it is becoming quite clear he is developing some form of Oppositional Disorder. Put in simple terms, he is saying "NO" to everything and will do absolutely ANYTHING to ensure he doesn't do what he doesn't want to do. It's quite common in Autism - a kind of learnt behaviour which because of the way Autistic people learn it's hard to break.
It's showing up in school BIG TIME. At home I have the ability to negotiate and alter my plans, at school there isn't that sort of luxury. You have to do jobs you don't like to do and you just have to suck it up, (again like the cast of the Twilight movie - I know I am using the same joke twice, it's called recycling!) So there has been screaming and tantrums and on a couple of occasions some aggressive behaviour, all borne out of frustration and the fact that he has learnt that when he has to do something he MAY hate he'll say NO before he even tries.
This week I have been trying to find a Behavioural Consultant that will go into school and evaluate his behaviour and provide work-arounds. Not as easy as it seems. Either they won't go into school, or can't because of their work-load. I am ringing around chasing lead after lead with no success. There is no novel solution to this. I have to find someone who is registered on about 3 different lists to get the funding to pay. I can't fix this with craft paper and glue and it is frustrating the hell out of me. Hey, craft paper and glue - perhaps I could create the DIY Behavioural Consultant. I mean how hard can it be? ;)
The second futile task is finding winter boots. Let me rephrase that: Finding Minimalist Winter Boots. You would have thought with the increase in popularity of minimalist footwear over the last year or so, someone would have thought, "People don't just like to run in minimalist footwear, they want to wear it all the time because frankly, heel's hurt! When winter comes, they will need boots..." Surely I can't be the only person who doesn't live in Southern California?
Okay, I accept that finding zero-drop, flexible soled, waterproof boots that were warm was probably a long shot, but I really didn't think it would be so hard. I checked the internet, asked friends, walked fruitlessly around the stores. Nope. I was even willing to pay, but still no luck. Anyway, my search attempts were scuppered by a sudden down-pour during lunch recess on Friday. All of the kids - who were wearing normal running shoes etc - got drenched and a message was passed on that as of Monday all kids should come to school in waterproof boots.
I count shoe shopping on the top part of "will only do if the security of the universe depended on it" list. I hate it. Add in a 6 year old who has inherited my dis-interest in shopping for shoes (and clothes and anything that improves appearance generally). The only things I like shopping for are bright, sparkly and probably have a half-eaten Apple logo on them. I am such a man sometimes!
Yesterday a very un-interested Mum, dragged a very un-interested 6 year old around the Mall to find a pair of winter boots. Only to discover that it wasn't the right season for it! I was too early. Seriously! I could even buy a normal pair of winter boots let alone a pair of minimal winter boots. The irony.
Eventually in the fourth or fifth store, I managed to find some kids boots that were calf length, waterproof and suitable for temperatures of -15C. Sorted. I had to concede on the ground-feel; 2 inches of rubber does not allow an intimate relationship with the ground. There was only a small heel - the overall 2 inches on the bottom probably negated that. They were also stiffer than a 60 year old conservative at a political party meeting. However, D tried them -they were at least one size too big- and declared they were fantastic. I have to admit that the thought of a cookie at the coffee-shop may have influenced his decision, but frankly I was about thirty seconds from losing my last remaining sanity. They were also on Sale.
As for my winter boots? I went back out again after dropping the spawn back home and found that the shop assistants were more interested in looking at the Merrell Dash Gloves I was wearing than actually selling me some shoes. I need to remember to wear boring shoes!
So after some liquid brain fuel - COFFEE, the saviour of over-ambitious missions - I am back out again this morning to try and find some winter boots I like. For someone who hates shoe shopping I am spending a lot of my weekend in shoe shops.
So my call to the universe is this: Please help me in at least one futile search. Either find me a Behavioural Consultant who is willing to go into school OR help me find a pair of winter boots that won't cripple me. I am willing to take my losses on one of my impossible tasks. I'm not greedy after all ;)