Two Steps Forward…

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA lately.  It’s been hard here at the Adventures household.  With Smash-N-Break’s ASD diagnosis, things went a little lopsided for a while.  To be honest, they still are, but we’ve accepted our new normal for now, at least.  We’ve gotten him into ABA therapy.  He’s prescribed 24 hours a week for now.  It may increase to 40 hours a week.  We’ll see.  We’re having a “difference of opinion” with our local school district.  What can I say, there is an unqualified hag of an LSSP (licensed specialist in school psychology) who struggles with admitting when she’s wrong.    I don’t want to talk about that yet.

One thing I’ve learned with the special needs road is that there are so many bumps, twists, turns, and potholes along the way.  We got the diagnosis, we go forward.  We try to get an IEP for him, we get a detour sign.  We will see how that detour ends.  We get with his pediatrician to see what therapies we should be looking at.  The detour turns right to get us back on track.  We get him evaluated for ABA, and he gets accepted and prescribed therapy.  This sends us forward at the speed limit.  We work on changing his speech therapists so that his speech occurs at his ABA clinic, so that there is less transition for him.  Further progress on the freeway of life at the speed limit.  What’s around the next turn?  No idea, but I’m hopefully ready for it.

The other thing I’ve learned is that you should celebrate everything, no matter how small it seems.  This is because for every step forward, you need to be prepared to have a step backward at the same time.  It’s like learning to drive a stick.  You kind of jerk around at first before going smoothly until the next stop.

So far, ABA is helping Smash-N-Break SO MUCH.  He feels safe there.  He can talk to the kids.  He can approach them and know they won’t make fun of him.  Plus, he has a dedicated therapist there to intervene if needed.  So, he’s trying the social skills he has lacking in a safe environment.  It’s helping his behavior, too.  He’s also learning.  He wrote the entire alphabet today!  This is HUGE for him.  It’s so minor for some neurotypical five-year-olds.  But not mine.  Mine – this deserves celebration.  He usually refuses to write.  One, his fine motor skills are lacking in areas.  Two, he just doesn’t hear it with his teachers.  He loves his preschool teachers, but it’s different with them.  They can’t get him to open up and advance like the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) therapists can.  But, where he’s succeeding in ABA has other issues popping up.  He left his preschool.  He wasn’t gone more than 4 minutes, but it’s why we have AngelSense.    He knows not to wander, but he did it anyway.  The AngelSense gives us peace of mind.  I could see where he was going and hear his teachers while it was happening.  Step forward (alphabet) with a step back (wandering from school).

Now, we have his new speech therapy ready to start.  Like I said, it’s at his ABA clinic.  He doesn’t transition well, so this will maximize the benefit.  Plus, since his new Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) is at the clinic, it lets her work with his BCBA therapists.  So, even when he’s not in speech, they can work towards his goals.  We met with the SLP today to get the goals from her.  We had another step forward in that his expressive/receptive language has improved to low-average range!  Woohoo!!!! Then, we had a step back.  His fluency disorder (he stutters) has gone from mild to severe.  I believe that it’s because we have his expressive/receptive language better.  It makes it so that he can communicate what he wants to communicate.  But, with that, the stutter opens more.

So, today, I shall celebrate that Smash-N-Break wrote the whole alphabet.  I’ll celebrate that his whole team is in communication and sharing goals.  I’ll high-five him and give him the alone time he wants.  And, tonight, alone in the shower, I’ll grieve the fact that his fluency disorder has gotten worse.  Tomorrow? Well, let’s see where that road takes us.  Maybe the stick shift will be driven smoothly.  Maybe we’ll burn the clutch out.  Maybe the freeway will open and we just drive.  Maybe we hit a new pothole.  But today, today he wrote the entire alphabet.