I don’t think I have posted about this, but I mentioned on our Facebook page a few months ago that I had Peanut evaluated by the school district, and he was denied services. (Apparently, when he was visiting the developmental preschool, he was a perfect little angel.) I was disappointed, and, honestly, kind of angry. There is so much that Peanut can’t handle – crowds, parties, hand driers in bathrooms, last-minute changes in routine. It does affect our life significantly, and, yet, because he’s intelligent and (it turns out) capable of being well-behaved for 90 minutes in a low-stress environment, he doesn’t get any help!
So, I went back to the health care system, and after three different appointments, each about a month apart, we got an official autism diagnosis for Peanut (he had received a diagnosis through a study when he was two but the health care system didn’t recognize it), and finally got him referred to occupational therapy (OT) for his sensory issues.
It’s funny, because I was debating about giving myself a new year’s resolution to get up earlier, but I decided against it because I still occasionally have nights where one of the kids wakes me up and I can’t sleep, so I wanted to go easy on myself! But now I’m leaving work two hours early every Tuesday to take Peanut to OT, so I have to get in earlier!
Other than having morning-person-hood forced upon me, a lot of things are so much easier being an autism mom the second time around. First of all, I know what all the various therapies entail, and I can pick and choose. For example, in my expert-enough opinion, Peanut doesn’t need ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), so I got an ABA referral but chose to ignore it.
Second, and most importantly, I sleep now! It really makes a world of difference. When I got to my first OT appointment with Peanut, I handed the therapist a (mostly) filled out welcome packet, and she said “Oh, I’ve never had someone actually fill that out before they get here.” It was an amazing moment of realizing that maybe I do kind of have my sh** together, now that I can actually sleep most nights!! And I thought about all the times when I had freaked out about not finishing paperwork on time in the past and wondered if maybe I wasn’t *quite* as much of a hot mess as I thought I was. (I mean, I was definitely a hot mess, but maybe I was kind of middle of the pack for extremely sleep deprived autism mamas.
Law-Mom: I’m so glad you got an official diagnosis for Peanut and you are getting the supports you and Peanut need, Econ-Mom. And I’m glad you’re sleeping better and handling things so well! You’re one impressive lady, and I’m sure you are running well-ahead of the pack, even if you feel like a “hot mess” when you are doing it. 🙂