How did we manage that?

Filed Under (Single Parenthood, To Get To The Other Side) by Estee on 23-11-2009

How did I manage it, I think as I sit in an assessment for Adam today for a new AAC device. I want him to be eligible for government funding for it. I arrive at his school tired and disheveled in my leggings and baggy sweater that I rushed to put on, and my hair is whisked into something I can’t quite call a pony tail or a bun. Adam has not been sleeping the past couple of nights and I wonder how he can seem so much more energized than me. When I arrive he is reading and answering comprehension questions and he is doing so well sitting studiously, pointing to correct answers, his cherub voice affirming his choice. I sit low on a child’s chair watching from the right.

How did I manage to go through a separation and do all that and heal and still be on top of everything for Adam, I am thinking without coffee, watching my child work so well with the same sleep deprivation.

You see, I’m quite dumbfounded thinking how the year sort of just whooshed by and I was in a daze. I think when people go through separation and divorce, it is typical to heal for a year or two, and indeed I’ve felt sort of paralyzed. I remember thanking everyone around me profusely for their incredible support for the first eight months. I learned the importance of reaching out, and I sit now watching, less nervous and anxious than a few years ago when we would go through the same assessments.

When I look back on the past year, I can’t help marveling at Adam during his assessment today and think about every evening when he comes home from school when he reads to me about what he’s accomplished at school. He has learned to read out loud. He has learned to become an independent typist, and now he is drawing like never before. Yes, we have our challenges too — he is more rebellious these days, knowing what he wants, not unlike many other seven-year-olds.

Sometimes I wonder if children also rise to the occasion, and I believe Adam has done just that. I’m reading my blog The Joy of Autism — the older version before it was mistakenly taken down to reminisce. As I watch Adam now and process the year that has passed, I sense a great transformation that is happening in both of us. I see how I’ve evolved and softened, wanting to change direction a bit from the way I wrote and blogged in previous years. I see how Adam wants to be mommy’s big boy and how he makes an extra effort. Hindsight is not just 20/20 — it makes me appreciate just how much we’ve actually accomplished, and how much of a team we’ve become.

It’s hard for me to write this. I’ve got butterflies like a person who is trying to get back out there, trying to re-launch and I know I’m quivering and teetering. Yet today I sit even more diligently than ever, writing my fifteen pages a week. Adam and I launch into projects like we never have before.

I guess we managed.


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About Me


I’m a PhD candidate at York University, Critical Disability Studies, with a multi-disciplinary background in the arts as a curator and writer. I am the Founder of The Autism Acceptance Project (, and an enamoured mother of my only son who lives with the autism label. I like to write about our journey, critical issues regarding autism in the area of human rights, law, and social justice, as well as reflexive practices in (auto)ethnographic writing about autism.