Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Back to Business after the Meghan Business...

A couple of years ago, I started a small business called MyCreativeConcierge (Yes, it’s suppose to be all bunched up like that—it’s creative!!). I’ve was pretty successful for a young, small business—I had about a dozen clients (Yes, I call them clients because it makes me feel more successful!!). Anyway, last January, (wow, almost a year ago) I had to slow it down, or more so, stop advertising and not take on any more clients because Meghan was starting to become very difficult … again. By difficult I mean that she would be selective about going to school, and in turn, school was sometimes selective about having her there, as well. Fun game, huh!! The bottom line was that her classroom wasn’t working for her anymore, and if you have an autistic child, then I think you know what I mean. This problem is not unusual; it has happened before and can happen to anyone. But when you have an autistic child, you have to hunt around for another program or classroom, and the school must help you. Finding an alternative classroom (program) was less of a challenge when Meghan was younger, but the child that I was dealing with--one year ago--was a different child.

We were mid-year in waiting for one of the two residential schools to develop an “opening,” and we knew that it could be as late as July for that one slot. So, I had to live day-by-day for a year wondering what my day would be like, because things could change at a drop of a hat with Meghan and her behavioral issues. In fact, she stopped going to school in early spring—she just would not go, and when she did go--by the grace of God (and an atheist praying) then the chances of her NOT pinching another student, pushing a teacher, or destroying the classroom was very slim, and, ultimately she got expelled.

Legally, she could only be taken out of school (or kicked out) for no more than 60-90 days or so (I forgot exactly how long, but trust that I knew my rights) so that meant that there wasn’t a big rush in finding a replacement, or interim, class for Meghan since we knew that she would be going to residential school in mid summer.

To make a long story short, or shorter… she was out of school for over 2 months, and, therefore, I was not able to do anything during the weekdays. I was a captive in my own home. It was unsafe and reckless for me to take Meghan out to the store or on a car ride to anywhere, because she was so prone to outbursts, even in the car. And if you think that I was “chicken” then read this example: One day I took the kids to their weekly swim class, a private lesson and very stressful because Meghan didn’t always behave (Shocking!!). On the way home from the class, Meghan decided to have a tantrum. Not sure what brought it on (the radio, Nick’s voice, my voice, the road…) but all I knew was that she was in her seat belt in the back seat--one minute, and diving over the front seat to pull my hair and kick the daylights out of me—the very next, and all while I was driving on the highway in the middle of a construction site, meaning that I was driving within narrow barriers and could not pull off the road. So, the only thing I could do was pinch Meghan on the butt as hard as I could to get her to fall on the floor and to stop beating me so that I could drive. Plus, if a police officer saw what was happening, he would, most likely, have given me a ticket or arrested me on the spot for being a bad parent, but he would not have sympathized or understood “autism.” It was just how it was back then; autism was not understood, even by police officers. Trust me, there were so many times that I would be “on the lookout” for a police officer when Meghan refused to stay in her seat. It was just too hard. (Do I sound hostile to police officers????)

So, now that I can "get out" (Yippee, I have a life, a real life!!)... I have decided to revitalize my business. Check it out by clicking on the link below and tell me what you think …



Mama Mara said...

So glad I read this. Just yesterday, Taz had a major tantrum in the car and tried to grab the steering wheel. I've instituted a new backseat-only policy, but I may need to have a Plan B in case he too becomes a backseat lunger.


Best of luck on restarting your business!

(Ha! My anti-spam word today is "pitie". Don't pitie me.)

Tanya @ Teenautism said...

The website looks great and the concept is brilliant! Best wishes!