Thursday, February 21, 2013

Do You Remember...?

Do you remember the minute leading up to the DIAGNOSIS?  Ah, probably with crazy detail!  You probably remember what the room looked like, the weather outside and the smell of the overly clinical environment.  You likely remember details about how long it took the assessor to put on their glasses and open the document.   And now, do you remember the minute or any minutes of the hour or weeks following the diagnosis?  For me, I was too busy hugging my baby and explaining the news to James' 10 year old sister.  
>> click here<<
Today is 6+ years past the diagnosis of Moderate Classic Autism for my little man and I finally had the strength to write a pamphlet on what to do post diagnosis. James over the years since his original diagnosis has received several more and pamphlets on those can be found on my website Well Worth the Journey >>click here<<  James was first thought to have a simple speech delay and it wan't until after his third birthday that the Autism was discovered.  Boy if I knew then what I know now, I probably would have fought harder.  We all know hindsight is 20/20 but he lost a lot of very early learning opportunities.  I am not a speech therapist but I became one in the house without any training.  I do have a Master's degree in Young Children with Special Needs ages 3-7.  I became an expert in infant and toddler development specifically James's development.
James became my full time job even though I was working full time, married full time and mom to a 10 year old daughter full time.  Our town didn't really have any viable programs for my little man so my home became therapy zone.  The one special ed preschool in the school district for kids like James told me that they wouldn't take him without a 1:1 aide.  Fine, they got one.  James wasn't allowed off the bus until the aide arrived and she was often late so my little man would remain on the bus screaming because he could see the other kids inside.  I would get frantic calls, "Ah, Mrs K?  We can't find James.  Did you send him to school?" I was panicked and furious at the same time.  How can you lose a child who has a 1:1 aide?  The classroom he was in happened to be on the same campus as his sisters school.  They would find him running to her classroom and if he made it that far, under her desk.  James didn't stay in that program after they lost him the 2nd time.  Diagnosis or not, losing a 3 year old child is never a good thing!
Ah, the good old days! I remember them.  Boy do I need some chocolate now!!!!!!