Friday, November 5, 2010

What's Next?

This post is about me. And not about me venting about the issues surrounding my children so I can start fresh after hitting the "Publish Post" button. But about ME, my future and my life. I'm very happy being a mother and a wife. But for many many reasons it would be a wise idea for me to get a job working with others than just my family. I'm trying to determine the best way to go and what is the right direction for me to take.

When we first learned that the twins were on the spectrum, I wanted nothing to do with it. All I wanted to do was hide and pretend that this wasn't happening. I suspect this is what many others can say when faced with this situation. It took a lot of coaxing from others to get me to come to terms with my childens' diagnosis and to make sure they received the help that they needed. Through that process I read a few books on autism and theories of potential causes, did research on the internet, and panicked. As time went on, not only did I open up (slowly and with great resistance) to the options available to us, but I became fascinated with autism in general. It's become a passion. An obsession.

So, now that I'm looking to return to having a career outside of the home, I find myself wondering what direction I need to pursue. My previous outside-the-home career was as a data manager for a pharmaceutical company. I enjoyed doing that, but I currently have no deep desire to return to that life. Autism is where my heart is now. I thought of contacting Kennedy Krieger to find out if they needed a data manager for some of their studies. But that's not the same thing. That's several steps removed from autism and the people whose lives are touched by it. In other words, it's not enough for me right now.

While taking Domino for a walk, I find myself thinking about directions my life is taking as well as where my family is heading. And an idea struck me -- what about becoming a parent advocate? And the more I think about it, the more I like this idea. I would love to help other parents going through this maze and help them to make the right decisions for their child, and hopefully help them to achieve successful outcomes. However, I still need to research exactly what becoming a parent advocate entails and determine whether this is something that's feasible. I think this is a job that I can do well.

Will it happen? Time will tell. As I said, right now I'm in the researching phase of this potential career change. My guess right now is that it will happen -- this has been something that I've been working on for a few weeks and, normally, if it was a passing thought, it would have disappeared by now. I just need to get on the ball and get organized.

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