Monday, February 10, 2014

Ups And Downs

Roller Coaster Ride 


 The Downs

I may as well start with the negative so as always I can end on a better note. I guess I will start with the school tours. 

Public School 

So we went about a week ago to visit the public school Colton would be going to in the fall.Keep in mind I really went in there with an open mind however what I found was difficult to process. First off the classroom is in a portable. It isn't even a real classroom. Then let's look at teacher-child ratio. There are two aides for twelve kids. It's okay but certainly not ideal. While it seemed that it wasn't a horrid place I will be honest. What I saw was chairs with restraints and what appeared to be a school dedicated to keeping these kids in special education not helping the ones who have potential get eventually integrated.Of course I am being a little biased, I truly have no real experience with the public school system and their developmental delay preschools but I just left there feeling sick. I dislike how the public school system defines my child as low functioning when I know he is very high functioning, almost a savant in some ways.  I also don't appreciate that he would be only 3 years old and in school five days a week for six hours a day.

ABA School 

One week prior to our public school visit we went to tour an ABA school. Not only is this a school where Colton would receive all of his behavioral therapy but they are guiding children to be able to get into regular 1st grade. They divide them up by ability not how they fall on a "normal" scale. In short they would be teaching my son to read, not strapping him to a chair. Also the teacher-student ratio is three teacher/aides to one child. That in itself is amazing. Here comes the negative news, our insurance of course does not cover behavioral therapies including ABA,not only that the school doesn't even work with our insurance company brand. Oh and did I mention it's $1,600 a month if you are self pay like we would be?! Yeah well we are pretty much back at square one. 

Upcoming Surgery 

I found out recently that a surgery I've been putting off can no longer be put off. It could be as easy as just three incisions and two weeks of healing or it could turn into a much more major surgery with a recovery time of ten weeks or so. This of course means it will be very difficult to deal with my toddler especially because he is so attached to me and doesn't comprehend other peoples feelings or pain (essentially like many with ASD he lacks sympathy). Thankfully my husband will be able to take some time off but I'm just having a hard time picturing how this will work out for my son or I. Albeit without this surgery things could be so much worse for everyone so I'm just going to go in with positive thinking, it's all I can do. 

 The Ups 

 Colton continues to be bursting with new words. He is responding so well to therapy at this point my expectations and hopes increase each day. I am so proud of how far he has come and how hard he works. He is really into spelling lately. If he sees a word he spells it out, I could listen to him do that all day! He has started to become more confident in himself as well. I believe that he is meant for some truly great things. He has started to create real bonds, maybe it's only with adults but it's definitely a start. Raising children is hard work, raising one with special needs is indeed a journey but I wouldn't trade it for anything! What's normal anyways? :) 

In Closing 

 Again thank you as always for reading and for your continued support. Autism awareness has come a long way but we still have a long road ahead but I truly believe that someday things will be so much better, more informative, easier. I also truly believe the key to this is education. Every time I encounter a "non believer" or a "skeptic" I do get upset but I also choose to take it as a chance to educate. Let us not forget that some people are just ignorant, what they don't know they fear, they don't understand. We as parents of special needs children are warriors, so are our children. Together we will fight their fight, even if it seems like an endless battle it is worth it! It will always be worth it.