Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Finding my sea legs

It has been really, really hard to do this and there are days where I do great and days where I fail miserably. One of the things I am focusing the most on with Michael is not loosing my temper since it does no one any good. When Michael does not respond to a request I am using a silly voice to call to him rather than just repeating myself louder - this was a tip I found on a special needs board for communicating with children with auditory processing issues and it's usually part of the GD bag of tricks. With the exception of, "Please, for the love of God will you take a nap!" it's really working. I am still trying to find my way with the naps. There are days when I really resent the fact that I have to lay on the floor next to his crib to get him to sleep (and yes, I've tried co-sleeping and he won't have anything to do with it, he needs his space). I just sit in the glider, knitting and seething at him while he tries to settle down which I know helps the process oh so much. Yesterday I decided I was tired enough to take a nap so we both went to sleep. This afternoon, I was a bit tired and really wanted to sleep which is a big flashing sign saying that I shouldn't. Since I have gotten some time to myself these past few days and in general he's been easier to deal with, I had no problem laying down and reading some manga (Naruto if you are interested - and Viz is Evil by the way -- 3 flippin' months until the next volume!!!!!) while he settled - it only took fifteen minutes. I still have a few other things we want to try out - fully darkening his room and a weighted blanket, so I don't have to lay down every time because there will be days where I won't be able to let go of the resentment and it is unreasonable to expect myself to be able to do it all the time.

On Monday we had the evaluation for his IEP. Michael will be turning three in June so he'll be changing over from Early Intervention to the school district. It actually went great. I almost always feel better after these types of evaluations - they give me the validation that I'm not just making things up or blowing them out of proportion, that my child has real issues. It's hard to remember that sometimes. We've structured our life around making things as easy as possible for him and us. This is a given to an extent whenever there are children in a family, but we've taken it a bit further than most because of Michael's special needs. I have to remember to tell myself that no, Michael isn't like the kids you saw in the clips on Comedy Central's Autism fundraiser, but he still has issues and he is Special Needs with a capital "S" and "N". He had a tantrum during the evaluation. There were some storage cabinets in the room and he spied some trucks in the bottom of one of them. One of the evaluators told me to relax, that it was a good thing that they were seeing this (she told me I had a look of horror on my face). She asked me how we deal with these types of tantrums. That's when I realized exactly how much we have changed our lives. I told her that these tantrums were rare because we just didn't allow them to happen, in that I avoided the circumstances likely to cause a tantrum. If he got like that while we were out, we left. If there was a place where that seemed to happen every time we went there, then we didn't go there any more. It's one of the reasons why he's in the stroller so much, and it's as much for his benefit as it is for mine. You know, I'm not sure exactly where I'm going with this line of thought and since it's starting to take on a tone of justification, I'm just going to end it here.

It will be several weeks before we have the official report, but they are recommending a special classroom. I have to option of putting him in a regular preschool but he would definitely need wrap-around care. Frankly, I'm very happy for this; I was actually afraid that he wouldn't qualify for it. I think a small classroom where he can get as much attention as he needs is best for him right now. I have a ton of phone calls to make this week. I have to schedule his hearing test, I have to find out what's going on with the developmental ped, I have to find some of the schools in the area that offer these services so we can schedule tours and pick one before the IEP meeting, I have to get the loop-hole Medicaid application in, and we have to make a decision about the genetic testing. This and knitting to boot (well, there is always knitting). I'm off to make a few calls.


ETA: Thank you so much for your kind words about the new 'do. I'm hoping to dye it tomorrow night (probably while I'm dying yarn).