Sitting in the counselor’s office recently with my 13-year-old son (whom I love with all of my heart) I said, “We can deal with anything except the rages. And his refusal to do anything he doesn’t want to. If he decides he isn’t going to do something, there is no way to make him. If he doesn’t rage, he will lie on the floor and refuse to move. Sometimes for hours.”
“Ah…a peaceful protest? Like that guy…what was his name?”
“Yes, like Gandhi!”
“Um..more like Gandhi with a side of rage”.
I left the office that day with the will to fight more. Advocating for my children is a full-time job. Some days I feel like I just can’t do it anymore. I am ready to give up on phone calls and letters and research.
I have a friend who happens to be a psychologist (isn’t that handy?) She has never met my son, but we spent thirty minutes on the phone recently and we went over his history, his diagnosis and the craziness I’ve been dealing with the past couple of years. Her best advice to me? Give up on the idea of “counseling”. Talk therapy is never going work with my son. Communication is very difficult for him and he doesn’t do it well. In tests he consistently scores lowest in verbal skills.
So there you have it. I repeated my conversation to the counselor who agreed. So we parted ways amicably. Monday mornings now belong to me again.
Last night I got a phone call from the psychologist at Children’s which I can only describe as We Have a Ticked Off Parent and We Better Do Some Damage Control. NINE WEEKS ago my son had an eval with a SLP…I was told the results would be sent to me within two weeks. I still haven’t seen them. When I was in on March 1 (six weeks after the speech evaluation) the SLP hadn’t even sent the results to the psychologist yet.
The psychologist last night told me she (now) had the results from the SLP. She told me they were going to try to work more efficiently from here on out and hopefully make more progress. That shouldn’t be too hard…given the fact that we’ve made almost no “progress” in the last 17 months. She said when I go in later this month she is going to do “some testing” though I’m pretty sure no autism eval. She is going to try to set me up with “services”…She said his test results so far indicate he could benefit from ABA therapy…never mind that the waiting lists are nearly endless for kids with autism…never mind kids who don’t have that diagnosis. And never mind that the insurance company is not likely to pay for those services without an autism diagnosis.
She plans to send him to a psychiatrist to confirm (or not) a bipolar diagnosis. And he’s on a waiting list for a developmental psychologist.
So where to now? My Monday mornings have now been opened up…I plan to contact a local therapist who does work with kids and animals. If it seems like a good fit I will get him on the waiting list and then work getting the insurance companies to pay for it. I plan to complete his service dog application. And I plan to make it through another day with enough energy to get up and do it again the next day.