Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Thanksgiving is upon us again. We will be spending it with my sister in law and friends. We have a total of three turkeys (yeah we tend to have way too much food). One will be baked and two will be fried. Roger cannot wait to see a turkey fried.

Growing up I hated it. None of my friends could come over, everything was closed and really I was bored. I still kinda think it’s a useless holiday but then again what’s so wrong with an excuse to have a ton of food. Not that we need one in this family.

 I am thankful for my Roger and Lucy, who have taught me more than I could ever imagine who I love with all my heart. I wouldn't have it any other way.

I am thankful for their siblings, who have grown up quicker than most children, who know the world does not revolve around them. I love you all and am PROUD of each and every one of you! Porkchop can sit through an IEP meeting or therapy appointment like no other. Wonder if that’s a skill he can add to his resume later in life.

I am thankful for my husband, who after 10 years of being a single mom, came into my life as part of the family (I knew him before I had kids), accepted the challenge, simply because he loves me. Thank you for all of your help I know that there are times that you want to run.  But you don’t.   Not to mention that you are hot and can fix pretty much anything no matter how badly I’ve screwed it up. 

No matter how hard life may seem at times, I know that I have an amazing life and a lot to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Therapy: The GOOD Story

The Starfish Story
(adapted from The Star Thrower, by Lauren Eisley)

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good Morning, May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean".

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean"? asked the somewhat startled wiseman.

To this the young man replied "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die".

Upon hearing this, this wise man commented "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said...

"It made a difference for that one".

The right therapist makes all the difference in the world. I have written about therapy before usually how I don't follow common practice and do every sort of therapy possible and how hard it is to get appointments. This is another side of that story. This is what happens when you find the right place and the right person that fits just right for what you need.

When I was looking for therapist I kept calling the ones closest to me and the ones that had been recommended. We were on the wait list at childrens for OT that was 6 months long. One day I just got tired of being told 1) we don't take your insurance 2) no space available 3) we have no experience with autism. I think I just used Google and Goggled every OT within 2 hours of us and emailed every one of them. I must have emailed close to 20 and of that 20, ONE responded. The one that responded Achieve Beyond

I talked to the office manager L who took some information from me. L originally told me it could take up to two weeks to get insurance approval but they did take my insurance, knew how to handle autism, and best of all NO wait list. I didn't expect to hear from L for a couple of weeks but he called back that afternoon. he had already gotten approval and had some options for times to come in for the evaluation within the next two weeks. Once the evaluation was done he emailed me a copy of it and again already had approval for treatment and options for appointment times. The office staff here especially L has made things painless on the insurance aspect of it.

Now for our OT C. When it comes to C you can not ask for a better OT. She knows what she is doing and the progress that she has facilitated is nothing short of amazing. She gives off the impression that while yes this is her job its more than a job to her. In the past any sort of doctor appointment would stress Roger out and he just didn't want to go. Now he wants to go. He knows once a week we are going to see C and she is going to let him play with the swing (really I should get one of them). C uses what he is interested in to work on things. Yes he does have to do things he does not want to but there is the payoff in the end and that works for him. She makes therapy not therapy it's fun for him. She is worth every penny.

We liked C so much that when we lost our speech therapist at children's and were put back on their 6 month wait list I called L again and asked if they had any available appointments. Again the process was quick and easy and they even got us a speech appointments with S following Rogers appointments with C. Considering we have an hour commute each way this is very helpful for us. We just started with S a couple weeks ago but so far so good. :)

If you are looking for a clinic and you are in Metro DC Area, California, Connecticut, New York, or Illinois check Achieve Beyond out. website, Facebook. If all of the clinics are like the one we go to you will not be sorry.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The First Year

It's already November. We are at the tail end of our first year with a dx and the first year of therapies. I think the year prior going to Dr. to Dr. was worse. Now we have our little group of Doctor and therapist and Roger is comfortable with them.
Back in January things were a little overwhelming. Roger was about to turn 12 and now the doctors are saying well we should have done this years ago like when he was 3 but it's not to late. They rattle off the list of suggested (that's the key word here)therapies and like most I initially thought we had to do them all. Just cost alone I would need to work 6 jobs and then the time he would have no time to be him. Every new doctor we went to added to the dx list. Trust me I would be here for days trying to list them all and their idea of what therapies will work. Eventually I realized I don't have to follow them all so we prioritized what were the most important speech and OT so that's what we went with. Almost a year in and he is doing great.
Sure when we lost our first speech therapist and he started OT we had a little regression but it ended up being a good thing. Now instead of going clinic to clinic all his therapy is in one clinic and the therapists know each other and work together.
Roger hasn't changed he is the same child he has always been. What has changed is the anxiety is lower. He now has help in place at school and instead of the frustrated c student we have a calmer A student. He transitioned into middle school smoothly. As his speech improved and he became more confident he is self advocating more. Now he will tell the doctors what is bothering him, I don't have to guess as much. We still have bad days. There are still days where all he will talk about is legos but hey he's talking. We have chosen to focus on all the positives and the good days and not the bad. Even with Autism he can still do great things.