There was some of each.
Short version: the sad truth of certain types of special needs is that despite the 24/7 managing, fretting, strategizing, teaching, supporting, therapeutic intervening, etc. that usurps every hour and every energetic fragment of a family's life, despite the wondrous gains that are made, the outside view is all too often simply that of a Bad Kid. And we all know that Bad Kids are created by unconcerned, uninvolved Bad Parents, and therefore just need a dose of sorely lacking, in-their-face come-uppance, right? The girl tearfully confided a playdate scenario that she'd been too upset and humiliated to discuss until now, and the rejection and isolation that has resulted. Heartbroken... that all my hypervigilance didn't anticipate and prevent this one, that the world is such a confusing, prickly, painful place for her. Long hugs, comfort, strategies for another time, more explanations of the labrynthine ways of this bizarre and tricksy world.
Dark... and Light.
Magnificent, heaping dollops of white, light play and pattern, forts and snowballs and new friends. A book that leapt unexpectedly into my hands while shopping the other day and speaks exactly what I need right now. A new day of promise and possibility.
It will be OK. Somehow, day by day, step by step, it will be OK.
PS: Speaking of day by day, I have (not surprisingly) vastly overestimated the number of free intervals I'd have for putting up seconds. I truly did not mean to be a tease... I'll try to do some more tonight after the kids are in bed and finish up tomorrow - whatever isn't up by Sunday night will just have to wait for another update.