Words cannot express my joy at seeing that FF had given Alphas their own fandom. I am gonna be here so much you people are going to get sick of me. Fair warning. Anyway, this is a little sumthinsumthin I wrote about Sandra Bell, when she finds out that Gary has autism. It's a one-shot right now but I was thinking about maybe doing like a series of one-shots, about Gary's childhood. We're only four episodes into the show so there's only so little I know about him but this is fanfiction so I guess it doesn't have to be perfect. What do you guys think? Would you be interested in seeing our little Gary grow up? I know that he's come quite a long way since he's met Dr. Rosen, and I can only imagine how difficult his childhood was, not only because he is autistic but the fact that he has this Alpha skill. Oh, it has so much potential the ideas buzzing around in my head won't let me hear myself think. If you've got any ideas or suggestions, feel free to share. And let me know if you think the series is an interesting idea because if people are interested then I will write it.
Disclaimer: I don't own Alphas. Don't ever ask me again.
Happy reading, everyone! Enjoy the angst. :)
Sandra doesn't know whether to be happy or not. Is happy even the right word? Is it even appropriate to use under these circumstances? She doesn't really know. She hasn't known for quite a while and she doesn't think she ever will. It's just one of those things that life throws at you. You either accept it and move on or dwell on it for the rest of your life. She knows she's got to accept it but it's hard. How can she just move on after all this? How could she ever? Is she supposed to just be satisfied and forget? She has too many questions and way too little answers.
She glances at the squirming toddler in her arms and sighs. No, she's not happy. Of course she's not happy. Her son has autism. Why would anybody be happy about that? There's no real word to accurately describe the emotional cocktail she's feeling at this diagnosis. It's a mixture of relief, finally knowing what's wrong with her child, disbelief, denial, confliction, sadness, anger, at the thought that she's somehow just had her son ripped away from her and knowing that she'll never be able to do some of the things she had always planned to do when she had a child of her own. There's a little bit of everything and she doesn't like the taste of it. Not to mention the strange new type of guilt that she's never experienced before. Like she feels guilty for cursing her son with her bad genes and forcing him to live with this condition. She knows it isn't her fault but she's a mother and she just can't help it. She's supposed to take care of him, protect him, do whatever it takes. She doesn't understand how this could have happened. She can't help but wonder if she had done something differently, would he be "normal"? Will he ever be?
It's questions like this that don't leave her satisfied. She knows absolutely nothing about autism. Besides the things she's seen her son do, she's never experienced it. She's never gotten to know anybody with the condition. And now that she's gotten a name to put to her son's difficult behaviour, you would think she'd be feeling good about it, about finally knowing. She does, she feels good about knowing but she thinks maybe it was easier not knowing. The name in itself is just scary. The videos she's looked up are just scary. The information she's recieved is just scary. The mysterious future awaiting them is just scary. She doesn't want to be scared but that's what she is. She's on her own, just her and her son, and she doesn't know how she's going to pull through and raise him like this. She's got to work, for God's sake. If she still had a husband he could go to work and she could stay home and work with her child and maybe even save him. The thought that he's slowly going to be enveloped and lost in his own world frightens her to death because all she wants most in life is to just live a happy life with a happy son. How can she do that if they're living in seperate universes? It sounds lonely to her. She's not used to being alone.
Early intervention is best, the doctor tells her. If so then why haven't they already started? Her son, now just three months after his second birthday, deserves the best help he can get and she's going to demand he gets it whether it bankrupts her or not. Having a child with special needs is not cheap, she knows this already, and she hasn't even started yet. She worries that they've waited too long. That they didn't want to tell her what was wrong with her child. She isn't stupid. She's a mother. She knows when something is wrong with her baby. She told everyone that, she expressed her concerns with them, with specialists. They had all told her the same thing. "Don't worry, he'll grow out of it." The things he does, the things she doesn't understand, aren't just quirky habits. He isn't just incredibly gifted and he isn't just so incredibly clever that he knows how to line up and organize his toys by color or shape or by whatever. He doesn't play with them. That is not what a normal child does. He's not gifted. Autism is not a gift.
At least it's not as far as she's concerned.
Because she doesn't know how this stress, having this weight on your shoulders could possibly be a gift. She loves her son and she wouldn't trade him for the world and she's thankful to God that she still has him in her life and she's thankful that she's there for him, but honestly, at this point she doesn't understand. She just doesn't understand. How do people do it? How to people get up every morning with smiles on their faces and with optimistic ideas on their mind? How do they pull through it? It hasn't even been a whole day and she's completely lost. How do people go through the absurd difficulties of mundane, usually easy tasks as getting their child dressed and getting them fed and heading out the door for work? She doesn't want to leave him at a day care anymore. She'll have to quit her job and stay home and work with him and help him learn to communicate. Where will she ever find the time? With all these interventions she's been hearing of. ABA, occupational, speech, all kinds of therapies. Diets. Routines. No, she will most definitely have to quit her job.
But she needs money. How can she afford the strict procedure that is ABA therapy? What about occupational therapy? She's not going to find an OT for free, she knows that. Speech therapists too. People need money. She needs money to pay for her son's future. She needs a job. But how can she manage a job when her son demands a strict routine and the ABA therapist demands a strict routine and she's about to go crazy she doesn't know what she's going to do.
She releases her son and he takes off, babbling his incomprehensible babble that she doesn't understand. She watches him for a moment and feels her eyes getting wet. She's home so she doesn't need to hide it. She's sad. She's sad that her son hasn't spoken a word to her. She's sad that he doesn't turn his head to look at her when she speaks to him. She's sad that he doesn't look her in the eye when she calls his name. All she wants is to find some common ground. All she wants is her child, her only son, to look her in the eye and tell her that he loves her. She wants to know, she needs that reassurance from him, that he understands her. But he has that faraway look in his eye as he propels himself further into his own little world, and she knows that her son is in there somewhere. She just has to find him. And it won't be easy. But she needs to find him. They're so close and yet they're so far away, so far apart. It's not fair. She's not asking for much. She just wants to hear those first words. She just wants to get through to him for once.
And she will. She knows she will one day, because today is the day that everything starts to matter. Today is the first day of the rest of their lives together, their happy lives. If she can keep him healthy and content that's all she asks, even if she runs herself into the ground. She's going to do what it takes for her son to thrive. She's going to do whatever the hell it takes to get through to him. She's going to do it all. And she's not going to worry about the past, she's going to make it count and she's going to do her best to get over the fact that her and her son are separated by an invisible wall and just move on with what needs to be done so that one day she and her son can have a conversation. And she will ask him when he gets home from school, what he did in class that day. And he will turn to her and he will tell her that they learned about shapes and that a triangle has three sides. And she will tell him that she's proud of him and he will understand it and he will look her in the eye and he will tell her that he loves her and right then all the years they spent exhausting themselves will have all paid themselves off. It will all be worth it for that one moment. And she will get it.
One day, she knows. One day.