Saturday, October 25, 2014

Breaking the Blogging Silence

It's time to write. It's been too long, and I have a myriad of reasons (aka excuses) as to why this hasn't occurred for the past several months of which I will spare you.  At this point, I'm not even sure where to start, and the topics for my "next post" have been swarming around in my head for months and at the most random of moments.  Today, I don't have a "topic" though, and just want to share a bit of our world lately.  I can't possibly touch on all that has occurred in the past several months, but I'll do my best.

I'll start here.  Nicholas is back in our home district for school.  I had mixed emotions about this at first, but promptly after he began, any reservations I may have had vanished.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that we hit the academic jackpot in terms of his teacher and classroom situation, and words can't express how elated I am.  He is one of 3 students in the classroom, and with the teacher and 2 paras, he basically has 1 on 1 attention all day.  It's amazing, and VERY necessary for him right now.

As for therapy,towards the end of the school year last spring, and just as we got him situated with a good routine and FINALLY all three (PT, OT, and SPEECH)  and great therapists, the center sent us a letter on a Wednesday, and closed its doors forever that Friday.  It was extremely sad on many levels....from the fact that we loved his therapists and would suddenly not see them again, to the fact that they were all now jobless without notice. And also, on the selfish level,  it was extremely frustrating from a practical standpoint, because now it is back to the search for a therapy center that has available time slots that fit with our schedule and his needs, AND he has to be evaluated and acclimated to new therapists ALL OVER AGAIN! Ugh.  This is not like just seeing a new doctor for an ailment.  There has to be a relationship established so that they can really see his potential and know how he ticks.  It's a very long process, and thus, I am still on the hunt 4 months later for the right people, place, and times.

As for our summer, it flew by. Nicholas had an opportunity to participate in a summer camp at no cost to us which was a huge relief.  To have him home sitting on his ipad with now ZERO therapies in place would have been a nightmare for me.  As much as I would like to say that when he is here, I constantly implement his therapies or make every situation a "learning" situation, it simply doesn't happen that way.  It's a little fantasy of mine, yes.  (my... how my "fantasies" have changed since Autism has entered my life....)  However, with the two younger kiddos running around who are still also very needy and demanding, it simply doesn't work that way.  I've tried.  Trust me.  And every time has been a disaster ending in tears and screaming.....and not just by my kids.  I'll leave it at that.

Nicholas is growing up.  We are working on potty training finally....thanks to his teacher.  In fact, I will have to dedicate an entire post to his teacher and how she has empowered me lately, but for now, I'll just say we are a good team, and for the first time, I feel that Nicholas will see some consistency between his classroom and his home.  This should help us all immensely.  That said, Nicholas is becoming more challenging to deal with.  Gone are the days when he was small and young enough to still "blend in" and here are the days of head banging, hitting me in the face, kicking, and a lot more disruptive behavior than he's ever had.   This too, deserves it's own post, as the emotional aspect of this is pretty challenging for me.  However, for now, I'll just say that I can remember the time when I would sit in the waiting room of a therapy center, see kids behaving this way, and thinking to myself "Gosh, that must be tough for the parents.  At least Nicholas isn't doing THESE things....."   What i forgot to insert into my thought was the word YET.  And perhaps I didn't know, or didn't want to know that this would eventually be the case, but it is now, and quite frankly, it sucks.

Nonetheless, with the negatives have come positives. Nicholas is learning to communicate with us, albeit in an extremely limited way. He is using the PECS system consistently at school for certain requests, and we are trying (AGAIN) to implement a functional system at home for him.  He is also learning to type on his IPAD.  I decided to give this a go (AGAIN) and he is finally beginning to type certain words with a bit of prompting and direction.  My goal is to have him independently open the app, type what he needs, and show it to me when not prompted, but for now, I'm happy with asking him if he wants some milk, and him typing the word milk to let me know that yes, he would like some.  Baby steps.  Baby steps......

As for the family as a whole, we have ALL done a lot of growing over the past several months.  Things have been very rough at times, and we have had some dark days, but in the end, I think we have gotten through some things that have challenged us and yet have proven that we will a family!  Yep, that will have to be another blog post too.....

Okay, so that's it.  I've finally broken my "blog silence" and that's the first step.  Hopefully, I will get back on the writing train because as much as I have been told that others find it helpful to read, it is really helpful for me to share.  It keeps my mind clear.  So, as always, thanks for reading! Until next time....