Seeing into the Future — Childs Work Childs Play
Seeing into the Future

Seeing into the Future

I think a common "complaint" that autism parents voice is an inability to tell the future with their kids. And I don't really get too caught up in it, despite the kernel of truth to it, because you can't tell the future with any kid: What they'll do, how they'll turn out, college graduate, high school dropout...the future is never clear, not for anyone. But maybe it's a collapsing of options or potentials that they see, a limiting of choices that might be readily available, or at least may not seem so closed to a typically developing peer. Regardless, it's every autism parent's dream to get some guidance about what the future holds for his child. [caption id="attachment_2669" align="alignnone" width="300"]phipps conservatory enchanted forests herein[/caption] My wife and I attended an autism charity Gala last week. We grabbed drinks and explored the venue, talking and drinking, until the enchanted path through the woods (I'm actually not speaking in hyperbole...well, not mostly...there were woods, their 'enchantment' is questionable) led us to a fortune teller. She was specifically a tarot card reader and I resolved then and there, for the good of my future (and blog writing) to sit for a reading. [caption id="attachment_2662" align="alignnone" width="300"]not the actual seer... not the actual seer...[/caption] For the record, I don't believe in any of that crap, but I was very friendly, open and non-judgmental with her. It was for fun, because I'd never done it, and because I wanted blog fodder. I wanted her picture for the post. I said, "can I take your picture?" She said, "For what?" "You mean, you don't already know?" Really what I said was, "For my blog." "What's the blog about?" "You mean you don't already know?" Really what I said was, "It's about my kids and autism." And she said okay, and I said, "I already knew you'd say yes." Really I just said, "Thanks," and took her picture. [caption id="attachment_2663" align="alignnone" width="300"]cable knit sweater of destiny... cable knit sweater of destiny...[/caption] This would probably be a riveting reading for you old tarot card veterans, but my short term memory is the worst, and my wife wasn't listening in on the conversation because someone had just bought her a drink. Essentially, lots of cards had cups, which meant something good...something about love and support and plenty ....stuff. She said that in the next three to six months I need to pick up an old hobby, something I haven't been doing for a while, but have wanted to do, and that if I do that I'll find success. And that I have a lot of love and support. Because of the cups. And some other stuff. Like we're having another baby. But we know that's not happening so possibly it could mean some other sort of loved addition to the family (like...). She told me about the baby and then I said,"...okay..." and sensing my incredulity she backpedaled and said it could be something else. Just ignore everything but the part about the old hobby. Okay, if you've made it this far, I'm getting to my point. This was all good stuff. The reading? Really helpful. Yeah, I know I said I don't believe in them. And I don't. But sitting there across from this woman who didn't know me from Adam and did nothing more than shuffle cards from a deck and "read" their 'portents' forced me to critically view them in the context she suggested. Did I believe that the cards really told her I should pick up a long lost hobby again? No. But when I examined my life in the context of her cards, I easily identified an old hobby that I wanted to pick up again: drawing. And so I've begun illustrating more of my posts. Am I doing it because the cards told my future? No. I'm just doing it because it's something that I've always enjoyed, and the reading gave me a gentle reminder. Call it prophecy, but if you really believe in the future a tarot card reader lays out for you, you'll follow through on the suggestions provided. And each time you do that, the prophecy comes true. It's a which came first...chicken/egg sort of magic, a self fulfilling prophecy that comes true not because the seer has parted the veil and glimpsed fate, but because you chose to listen to what she said and pushed that version of your "destiny". The "seer" was superfluous. The cards were superfluous. The hobby I'd neglected was always there. She didn't "magic" it into being. I elected to follow through with it. But maybe I wouldn't have, if I wouldn't have had my fortune told. And although there's no guarantee that success will follow, failure is certain to follow if I do nothing. When I was a kid my mother had a bag of Viking runes. I don't want you to get the impression that my mother was a kook...because she reads this blog. We'll talk later, after she's gone. Anyway, she had this bag of runes and a book that explained what each rune meant. I know you could cast them out and read them, tarot card style, for example, but she also used to tell me that you could also ask the runes simple questions. If you focused your mind on something you wanted to know, you would then pluck a rune at random from the velvet bag and place it on the table. If the rune was face up, it had a positive meaning, if it was face down, it had a negative meaning. The book of runes had standard definitions of what each rune meant. The definitions were always the same, 24 runes, 24 definitions. Fehu, for example, means, Wealth; Money, financial prosperity, the Price. So maybe you were really worried about a job interview or something and you asked the runes, "Will I get the job?" and then you drew Fehu right side up, perhaps you'd interpret that as a yes. [caption id="attachment_2664" align="alignnone" width="300"]viking runes Wealth; Money, financial prosperity, the Price[/caption] The reason I bring up the runes is because it occurs to me that the runes, like the tarot cards, are a "tool" that you can use to focus your mind on your questions, and use their "prophecy" to re-frame the information you already have in your head in a more easily understood fashion. There don't need to be runes or tarot cards though. The information is already there. By choosing to believe in tarot or palmistry or runes or whatever, you're choosing to take action, and taking that action then shapes your future. If you want to attribute that resultant future to the "gifts" of the seer, well then so be it, but I propose you do something else. If you're uncertain about your child's future you don't need the turn of a tarot card to tell you what to do. I guarantee that information is already there inside you. Take action. Shape that positive future. Decide what future you want for your children and then work to see it happen. Don't wait for the fortune teller to tell you what you already know is right.
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Patty - June 29, 2016

I have to admit, I wasn’t quite sure where you were going with this, but you’re totally right! This post is so great, because I always agonize about the future, esp with Danny. I worry and obsess over what will happen, but what good is that? We saw Temple Grandin speak in the Fall and she kept repeating that we should look to the future and see what our goals for our kids are and that this knowledge should determine what we teach them. Focus on what we want our kid to learn, she said. What’s the purpose of teaching him (fill in the blank)?

Her point was that if we pay attention to that, we can really focus on what’s important and we can eliminate what is superfluous. I think your post relates to that. And your post is so full of hope. You’re totally right—the knowledge is already there; it’s just a matter of tapping into it or acting on it.

Debby (Everybody's Boy) - June 29, 2016

Great post, Jim! Love seeing you here at Childswork, you always have such a wonderful and relatable message.

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