Friday, March 28, 2014

When You Least Expect It....

Today was a day of very little schoolwork.  the Boy & I ran errands, but I did not press the issue with schoolwork.  You see, today was his last visit with his psychologist.  If you remember, she is moving to another state & will no longer be the Boy's therapist.  He has refused to talk about it & I have respected his wishes.  He has been off all week, & I think this change is being processed internally. 

He asked to go to Taco Bell for lunch.  He said he wanted to see Mr. Cody.  Mr. Cody is the young man who seems to always be working whenever we stop into Taco Bell.  He addresses the Boy by name, greeting him enthusiastically whenever we walk in the door.  He listens to the Boy share a Pok√©mon story or whatever my child is sharing that day.  He looks the Boy in the eye & asks him questions.  He shows respect for my child; my child feels the respect & kindness that this young man shows him.  I need to remember to let Mr. Cody's manager know what an asset he is to the restaurant.

As we were eating lunch, I asked the Boy if he was excited to see Dr. L, & he told me to hush.  He said he was listening to the noisy man sitting at the tall table behind him.  As I zoned in on the table of men dressed in their business casual, one in particular was very loud.  He had a voice that reeked of 'I am better than you & everything I say is more important than anything you have to say'.  We even heard him interrupt one of the other men & say, "sum it up quickly, your stories take too long to tell."  I wanted to get up & teach him some manners, but he was making me drowsy as he shared tips on copiers, printer, & toner sales. 

It was finally time to leave, & I was ever so happy.  the Boy did a great job of using his filter; he had told me that "that man is really annoying." 

As the Boy was putting on his coat, I saw him rocking around as he does, & he was getting closer to the man who takes too long to tell stories.  Just as I was about to stop him, he tapped the man on the back as he was putting his arm in his coat.  I was proud of him for using his manners & saying excuse me.  The man said, "no problem."

Then Mr. I'm Better Than You opened his mouth.....

"What's wrong with him?  Is he retarded or something?


Before I could pounce & strangle this man with my bare hands, the man who takes too long to tell stories said, "he is just fine, he didn't do any harm; you are rude & need to shut up." 

Then Cody (who saw the whole thing while he was waiting to say goodbye to us) said (in his calm & gentle voice), "my young friend Sam has more class in his little finger than you have in your whole body; & we do not use that word in this establishment."

Two classy men; I hope that is how the Boy is to others when he is a grown up...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

If I Cover My Ears, Then I Won't Hear You....

We met her December 9, 2012.  For someone who didn't know us, she knew our family's struggle.  She listened.  She had me try things that I really didn't think would help, yet I did them anyway.  She watched me cry.  She observed my son when he was happy.  She observed him when he was being naughty.  I knew she was a match for us when we met her.

Even when she had to deliver THE news.  The testing results.  The diagnosis.  When she said Asperger's Syndrome on February 1, 2013, I cried.  She handed me tissues & said, "the Boy is still the same Boy you know & love.  The only thing that has changed is the fact that "it" has a name & now he can receive the services he needs to help him succeed."

She invited us to join Social Skills Group.  This Group met every Tuesday evening from 6:00-7:30pm.  The kids went with another psychologist & her interns to do group activities with the group of 10 children.  Parents met in a conference room to discuss how to help our children with the issues that they encounter.  We learned about different resources in our community. 

We were allowed to participate in another session that will be ending in a few weeks.  the Boy has made some friends who I hope he can get to know outside of Social Skills Group.  This time around, the group of parents weren't as talkative as the parents in the last group had been.  I wondered if they were new to this world of Autism Spectrum Disorder; maybe they were scared shitless.  Afraid if they opened their mouths to ask a question, they'd look foolish.  Or that the others of us would judge their parenting skills.  Or maybe they were afraid of crying.  I was that person in the beginning.  I took awhile to process the information.  I took the time to grieve for this new journey I was coming upon.  Slowly, I got louder & my skin got thicker.  Sure, I still get emotional at times, that is never going to change.  I am always going to be loud when advocating not just for the Boy, but for his siblings as well.  Ask me a question about our journey & I will talk your ear off.  Who am I kidding?!?  I am a talker & can talk about anything to just about anyone.  Like another Autism Momma told me (just today), "there are no strangers, just friends we haven't yet met."

Tonight she got us all to talk.  And she made me cry in front of a room of strangers friends I hadn't really met yet.

Some of the other children in this Social Skills Group are patients of hers as well.  She shared with us that she has 2 family members who are terminally ill.  These relatives live far away.  She is leaving her practice in a few weeks to be with her family.  My heart broke for her & her husband.  My heart broke for all of her patients whom she has a relationship with.  My heart broke at the thought of having to share this information with my son.  Heaven only knows how this adjustment will be.  If you know anything about people on the Autism Spectrum, it is that change doesn't usually go over well.  They love their routine.  They love consistency in their lives. 

Dr. L suggested I tell the Boy, then make an appointment to see her for a final session so that he can ask questions, vent, cry, misbehave or whatever else he needs to do. 

On the way home, I told him.  I explained that she loves her patients & none of them did anything to make her go away.  I explained that it is okay to be mad, sad, or whatever he may feel about the situation.  He covered his ears, closed his eyes, & shouted at me to never talk to him again.  No biggie, he is going to need time to process this, as am I. 

Things will be fine.  He will develop a relationship with his new psychologist.  We may have some setbacks, but I will say this: I am so glad that we pulled him out of public school to home school him.  This change could have resulted in some not so pretty meltdowns at school.  This is a life lesson for him.  He will get into a new routine with his new doctor. 

And he will know that I too, want to cover my ears & shout "LA LA LA LA LA!!! when I don't want to hear bad news.