Though I call him “my husband”, we were not legally married. I was very much opposed to a Japanese law that required a married couple to take the same family name. I didn’t want to change it. I really didn’t. I didn’t like (or hate) the Japanese traditional patriarch system. I will write about it in a separate occasion about that.
What was important was that we were not legally married. My husband was on J-1 visa and I was on F-1 (student) visa. I finished my schooling so I was on “practical training” status. If I quit the job, I would have to leave the US. Marrying him to keep the visa even didn’t come to my mind. I just finished my Ph.D. and was pretty much hopeful about my future as a scientist. So this was a practical side of the problem. My mentor was very understanding so even if I chose to have ABA for K, I could take turn and work at night, which I did a lot during when K was a little baby.
The more critical was the emotional side. I gave a lot of thoughts then concluded that I can’t tolerate someone else in my apartment for 25 hours a week. Two hours a week of ST was hard enough. I came back home an hour before the visit and vacuumed the apartment. I wasn’t good at all for keeping house clean, and I was too wimp to show my messy apartment. The SLP is a wonderful person and I still feel a lot of pressure and stress to have her twice a week. I was terrified of the idea to have 5-8 students taking turn to visit my apartment and provide ABA to K.
Then I met the opposition from the caseworker and SLP. At that time, I was totally ignorant about the philosophical battle between pro-ABA and anti-ABA. Nor about the funding source of that therapy. All I thought was who cared most about K and my family. The answer was obvious to me. The developmental pediatrician appeared very cold and even happy that K was autistic. The caseworker and SLP were sorry, told me to love K as is.
So I (my husband didn’t care about having anyone at home and indifferent about this issue) decided that ABA was not for K.
I wouldn’t learn that that was a mistake I couldn’t recover for the next 5 years or so.