I just logged in to make a new post, catch up on our goings-on and maybe vent a bit, and I realized I haven’t posted since the end of April. How can that be? I know I’ve been busy with kids, working from home, keeping up with the house, etc, but surely I’ve written something in nearly six months? Apparently not, which explains my edginess since writing about our world is basically one of the ways I stay sane.
As with so many people, life has gotten in the way. The last time I had posted, Gus was just getting ready to start full-time ABA therapy, we had just moved into our first home, and we were getting used to the idea that Cece was also most likely on the Spectrum.
I don’t want to go in to every single thing that’s happened in the past six months because this would be a 14,000 word post, so I’ll go into more detail over the next few posts.
One of the most exciting things is that Gus is rocking at ABA therapy! He has learned so many motor, speech, and social skills in just a few months. It is amazing to watch how rapidly he is learning and growing. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that we found an ABA Center that works so well for him and for our family. He is using more expressive language and tell us what he wants or needs. He’s getting dressed more independently, and he is able to go into stores and new places more easily. Gus now has several books memorized, and he wants us to say them with him or take turns saying the lines of the book.
He also has settled into speech and occupational therapy that he gets weekly at a separate location. It took a few weeks to get used to the new center and new people, but each week, he’s learning. Basically, the takeaway I’m trying to share is FIND A GOOD TEAM! The right people working together can make all the difference, and when they all have goals that work together, it makes things so much easier. I take Gus’s behavior plan and programs he works on at ABA therapy to his other therapists, so they can integrate everything. Then we practice it at home, too. I can’t say enough how exciting it is that just in five months, we have hit this explosion of learning and adapting. It’s amazing.
That’s not to say that it’s all sunshine and roses. It’s not all sunshine and roses parenting a neurotypical (or, “normal”) kid, so you can’t expect parenting a special needs four-year-old to be especially
easy all the time. Going new places is still hit-and-miss. We still watch the Twenty Trucks “Police Vehicle” video 493 times in a row. We still struggle with food and eating. We still struggle with sensory issues and transitions. Some days are just hard, and he can’t tell us why, so there’s just a lot of screaming. However, the good days are in the majority now, so I’m taking it as a win.
So again, the takeaway is “find a good team.” It’s nearly impossible to take on the parent/teacher/therapist role alone. If your child works with therapists or teachers, and you don’t feel he or she has the right support or programs in place, see if you can change it. We looked at numerous therapy centers and preschools, and walked away from a lot of them. I have requested different therapists on more than one occasion, who were great, but didn’t click with my children. Instead, we found others who worked better with the kids, and I had no regrets about doing so. When we (Josh and I) started to see the rapid progress, we realized there would have been no way we could have gotten him to where he is now on our own.