We’ve seen speech therapists, cognitive behavior therapists, occupational therapists, and play therapists. Some of them have been life-changing. Others have not. I’ve gotten pretty good and figuring out who is going to work out well for our family- so when we recently went to meet with a new nutritionist, I could tell immediately that she wasn’t a fit for us.
This fear slowly morphed into something bigger than we were prepared for. Soon the pained look in his face turned into crying/whining while riding up. After a few more weeks, it turned into screaming and running for the exit. My little guy who never once eloped (a behavioral term meaning running away and not coming back) was taking off at the sight of an elevator.
I’m certain that the employee didn’t know he was talking to a child with high-functioning Autism, or anxiety. I’m certain he didn’t know that our son has a huge inferiority complex about being shorter than everyone else in his class. He certainly didn’t know that our son suffers from an eating disorder that has probably stunted his growth. But the truth is, none of that matters
Every time she was awake, he wanted her to memorize his face. He asked to hold her constantly, and whenever she cried, he did whatever he thought might help her stop. He took his job as big brother very seriously.
I’m not a fan of labels. Never have been. If it’s cute and comfortable, I’ll wear it. I couldn’t tell you what brand it is because I don’t want to be defined by one … or many. So, when my freshman roommate asked if I was, “You know, normal,” because it was super important to her that I be obsessed with Tommy Hilfiger, I replied, “Well, how does one really define ‘normal’?” I’m pretty sure that response answered her question.
I remember the day my, then, three-year-old son woke up with a swollen cheek. I brought him to our pediatrician who referred us to a dentist. I knew that I was supposed to have brought him to the dentist before this age, but the thought of the screaming and the torture for everyone involved had deterred me. We walked into the office, my head hung in embarrassment, but it didn’t last too long. I was distracted by my son screaming bloody murder when anyone came near him.
The parents are the captains of the ship. They want to do it all. They are getting advice from every which way, which can be overwhelming. But you can not do it all, and in my opinion, you should not do it all at once. When considering therapies, please consider all the details – cost, time. and effects on other members of the family. Also, consider this: therapies come with homework – exercises and things to help ‘cement’ in all the good work your child is doing. If you are spending your week running to all of the appointments, are you able to also do the homework expected of you? It may be better to choose one therapy at a time, two at most, in order to make good use of your child’s time and your resources. In order to fit it all in and not feel resentful.
I remember when my son was two and three and didn’t speak. We didn’t know what his future would look like, if he’d ever talk, go to public school, or have any friends. We wondered if he’d go to college or live at home forever. It’s that unknown future that lingers in the background of every thought you have. I always wished that I could have a crystal ball- just to give me a glimpse so that I wouldn’t have to worry.
It’s that time of year again. The time of “fallidays” is upon us. That time of year which leads us into a series of special occasions and seasonal events that take us all the way into the new year. Halloween is every dentist’s nightmare, but it does not have to be yours. We are approaching our fifth Halloween with our son who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at an early age. As a result of this he experiences significant difficulty in communicating with others, having effective and meaningful social interactions, has sensory issues including related to clothing, and doesn’t always do well with changes in routine. Sounds like we should just skip the tricks and head to straight to the treats? Here are some friendly tips I have learned throughout the years while working with my son Nick. We have gained lots of experience on how best to make it sensory friendly as well as how to manage a food allergy as my little superhero is also allergic to peanuts!