Riding Up Ramps On Trucks.

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My son has low tone in his trunk, and his sensory issues make it hard for him to keep his balance the way many people can.  To combat these issues, he has been recommended for physical therapy, which of course, we have been waiting for almost one month for the services to start.  We will probably have a “No Provider Available” issued soon, which we will have to then do this through our private insurance and be reimbursed OR fight like crazy just enough to make people rearrange things and get him a service provider.  The first option is not a huge issue… but some insurances have limits on total amounts of a type of therapy based on diagnosis, and we worry that there may be a limit for physical therapy due to autism in our plan.  We have not been able to get a clear answer on that just yet.

In the meantime, our little dude has been riding on his truck (you know the little riding toys kids move by pushing on the ground with their legs) up the ramp to our back door to improve his core strength, leg coordination, etc. etc. etc.  He HATES it.  And it’s starting to kill me to watch him struggle and hate things so much.  I’m finding myself feeling just as frustrated as him.

But I then remind myself that we have ridden up ramps before and continue to ride up ramps… in whatever metaphorical sense you want to put it–

We had to fight to get our occupational therapy.  We had to fight for the appropriate increase in services after his official diagnosis.  And then we fought for a sort of “social program via structure preschool” and were told none existed.  And lo and behold, someone in EIS (we have not been told who) ‘found’ their grant to send kids (those who show the deficits in social-emotional, etc. skills to need it)to a sort of pre-preschool setting two mornings per week in order to prepare for inclusion preschool at age 3.

My thoughts:

1- How awesome is NJ for having this program?

2- How disturbing is it that this program was such a secret that our service provider told us “no such child in NJ attends such a program?”

And that’s the other thing we are preparing for… the ‘ramp’ of our guy starting his preschool program to prepare him for inclusion preschool.  We visited last Monday, and we were surprised by how much we liked it there.  Our son will be in a small classroom setting with about five other classmates who may or may not be there for early intervention.  On the day we visited, the kids were all there for typical preschool; the kids in the class attending for that purpose are a bit older (almost or already three), and they rotate out to a larger classroom of kids the same age on a regular basis.  The larger class and smaller class combine, and our son will have the chance to join the big group just as his classmates will.  He will have an evaluation with the program to see if he will need an aid… while our son does great 1:1 with his therapists, he seemed to be very challenged by the structure and directions of the teacher and the larger group, though he was happy to be there and smiled at other kids.

I think our son will be assigned a 1:1 aid, but I can’t be sure, and I think at this point, it can only help him.  Our son is such a mixed bag of strengths and challenges that it might truly help him to have someone help keep him regulated, keep him communicating, keep him attending.  He has cognitive, academic and imaginative skills well above his age level, but they are hard to see when he is having a hard time.

He’ll start at the end of April as he turns 30 months old, and he will lose his current D.I. teacher to do this program– the program will count as his Developmental Intervention.  We think this is the push he needs to start communicating in a classroom, to make some friends, to learn in a classroom, etc. etc. etc.  It’s going to be very hard for him, and it is most likely going to take some time for him to get used to it.

And for me, my biggest ‘ramp’ in all of this is letting go.  Letting him have therapy when I am not there.  Letting him learn without me.  Letting him go off into a world where he does not speak for himself and let him fall a little while others learn his ways… I know so easily what he wants and needs by just the tone in his wordless whines sometimes… how will he do when someone doesn’t know?  Will he answer questions?  Will he play with other kids?  Will he hurt himself due to stress?  Will he look at the teacher?  Will he come to circle time?  Will he this?  Will he that?  I have to let go… because by letting go he will adjust in his own way to this new world BEFORE he even gets to preschool, and he will have that much more of a chance of staying mainstreamed.

So that’s what we’re doing right now… riding up ramps on trucks.

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About rhapsodyinautism

I'm a Mom of two little ones-- a two-year-old son newly diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and a baby girl who is too young to make any guesses. I work a little bit from home for an environmental nonprofit, and I am a freelance journalist. I love cooking, singing, and autumn weather. And I'm married to a brilliant, involved Daddy. My son is an auburn-haired smartypants who loves trucks and jazz. He taught himself the alphabet at 20 months. He has a beautiful social smile, but he finds eye contact aversive. He is the reason I am writing this blog... because there is a huge lack in legislation, funding, insurance coverage, and understanding in regards to autism spectrum disorders. This will be my place to advocate, tell the tale of our journey, and hopefully share a few tears and laughs along the way. This is our family life, and we have embraced it.

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