The Good, the Bad, and the Paradigm Shift

Here we are, already a full week into 2016.  Happy New Year, World!

It’s time for fresh starts and new beginnings, for looking toward all the possibilities of the coming year.  Yet I’m not quite ready to just leave 2015 behind me.  Too much significant stuff happened during the year and I’m still trying to synthesize it all.

There was the good:  times spent with friends and family, great music & performance experiences, discovering new interests and rekindling abandoned hobbies.  There was the bad: health issues and hospital stays for myself and for too many loved ones.  And there was the paradigm shift: Ari, my (then) 16-year-old kid, was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism – also known as Asperger Syndrome.

Thus, our world was changed.

The diagnosis itself brought a huge sense of relief to Ari.  Thoughts of “What’s wrong with me?” shifted to “This explains why . . .”  It helped to put proper context to so many behaviors and frustrations that we had experienced over the years – as a family, as parents, as individuals.  It also raised more questions and made us realize that we need to adjust our thinking and underlying assumptions about so many things.

Our family is still adjusting and learning.  The paradigm is still shifting.

Looking ahead, there are some exciting and scary times coming.  Ari will be graduating from high school and starting college this year, so there are big changes on the horizon.  And we’re still adapting to everything that has already been thrown at us.  Overall, I’m looking forward to it.  There will be challenges and changes, but there is also so much potential for wonderful things.  I’m full of hope and anticipation as we move onward into this new year.

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