Clouds, May 2010

Clouds, May 2010

Monday, July 25, 2011

good. and tired.

This was our first Monday home together. Hayden's summer school ended last week, and now his home program will begin. He receives the same therapies that he gets at school, but a reduced number of hours. The program is intended to prevent regression until school resumes in September. 

He actually slept in this morning, and I was savoring every single minute that he quietly snored past his usual wake-up time. For some reason I didn't sleep well last night. Then suddenly, 7:30 in the morning, the phone rang. It might as well have been an alarm clock in my ear. It was a therapist calling to schedule a time for tomorrow. (Really??!!)

It feels like we have a revolving front door. All the people in and out during the week to help us with Hayden so we can go to work, and now the therapists will be coming and going, and plus our house is still on the market. I remember when Hayden was in Early Intervention, and Dan & I advocated to have his hours increased. I am pretty sure he started out with only five hours-- two S.T. (speech therapy), one O.T. (occupational therapy), one D.I. (special educator), and one P.T. (physical therapy). 

On the recommendation of Dr. Sudhalter and her team at IBR (The Institute of Basic Research in NY), we successfully increased his Early Intervention services to approximately 21 hours a week. Services of existing therapies were increased across the board, plus he had D.I.R. added-- it's a less structured floor-time play model, where the therapist loosely follows the child's lead (as opposed to A.B.A. therapy, which is more repetition, and typically most successful for children on the autistic spectrum). The D.I.R. alone was 2 hours daily. 

At one point we had up to nine therapists covering five therapy areas, but the majority of the time we still had seven people who were in and out on a regular basis. And it also felt like we were a rest stop. Most of them used the bathroom nearly every time they were here, claiming that many of the homes they went to didn't have a clean one. 

Don't get me wrong, I do give them a ton of credit-- being a teacher is one of the toughest jobs, and a traveling educator must be even tougher. And I'm sure, like most teachers, these therapists are likely underpaid. I doubt I could do what they do. But I will say from the perspective of the recipient of such services, it is still tough on this end... though in a different way.

His first therapy today was supposed to be speech, but unfortunately one of her daughters got ill and she had to cancel. Speech is not in our home, though-- he goes to a private therapist for that. She is PROMPT certified, as is his amazingly wonderful S.T. in school (she has a partial certification). After learning of the cancellation, H and I ended up meeting a good friend of mine for lunch. 

I got him dressed and he picked out a hat. When I told him where we were going, I said, "she's the one who got you the hat you wore on your birthday." He flung the hat he was wearing off of his head, and ran to his closet to get the very cool accessory brought all the way back from a trip to Spain. 

He was extremely well behaved during lunch, and we waited quite a while for our food. It was raining when we left, and he also handled that just fine. He fell asleep on the way home, but woke up just before we pulled in the driveway. Maybe it was the few glances at his peaceful face in my rearview, maybe it was the darkened sky and the rain, maybe it was the result of a full belly, or a combination of the aforementioned... but I was definitely ready for a nap myself. 

Unfortunately getting rained on from the short walk between the car and the house (hopefully we'll move soon and have an attached garage), made him hyper. As soon as we walked in the door, I knew he would not relax and fall back asleep. I tried putting the TV on low anyway, and encouraging him to sit in his armchair. Then I tried inviting him to nap with me on my bed. He was actually excited and grabbed a pillow and two blankets from his room before heading to mine. In between repositioning himself every 30 seconds, he was jumping all over the place. Finally I gave up on that attempt.

But I was not ready to give up on the whole idea... so I offered him a deal. I told him I'd give him money if he took a short nap. "What?" he asked. "If you take a nap, I will give you money," I repeated.

I tell you my child wasted no time and plopped himself on the living room floor with all the stuff he had schlepped to my room, and then some. I was not only hopeful, but immediately wanted to kick myself for not thinking of this sooner.

However, within a minute or two he looked rather upset. "Get me money?" he said.
"Yes, OK, you want it now? I'll be right back." It was either two singles or a twenty and I wasn't about to give him the latter. 

He was beaming he was so happy. "Thanks, Mom" he said, smiling at me. "Best gift! You got me money?" 
"Yes, I got you money," I smiled back. I lay next to him and closed my eyes. He stayed there for barely a few minutes, repeatedly asking me to wake up. That was pretty much the end of our nap. 

So I started to put his laundry away instead of closing my eyes for a few minutes. I yawned my way through the pile, and when the basket was almost empty he entered his bedroom. He had both hands in front of him making fists. It looked like he was going to ask me to pick one. "Got you gift," he said. I put my palm out, and next thing I know he dropped two ice cubes in my hand. "Thanks...I think," I said. Confused. (I don't think he was trying to wake me up because he wouldn't associate ice with that, though it was a semi-funny coincidence.)

"Me cute," he said through his smile as he left the room. 

He's right. He's exhausting, but he's right.

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