In the weeks following Avery’s Autism diagnosis, we were pushed into this hurricane of appointments and meetings. Avery qualified for one hour of speech therapy and one hour of occupational therapy (OT) a week. I know two hours a week does not sound like much, especially compared to some children who attend 20+ hours of therapy a week, but I was not prepared for this shake up in our lives. Now I feel inclined to mention, that at this time I was also nine months pregnant with twins. Overly emotional, extra tired, and knowing our once quiet life was about to get another jolt, we dove head first into therapy sessions.
The best part perhaps, was the fact that our chosen therapists would come to the house, so we did not have to travel anywhere. This truly saved us especially after the arrival of our twins. Wanting to be 100% involved, with -100% energy, proved to be a challenge. I really don’t remember much about those first few months, though I know I was physically present during all of Avery’s sessions. As I became more comfortable with our routine as a family, I still was shocked at how two little hours a week could seem to take so much more time. However, the information I learned during these sessions, added to the results we were starting to see, made it all worth it. I knew I would give up any amount of my time to help him, he was my child, and deserved every opportunity to succeed.
ALSO SEE: Through The Storm, Part 1: Surviving & Accepting The Diagnosis
Life is unpredictable, and change is a given, but it seem like whenever we would finally develop a routine, life would step in and say “let’s shake it up a bit”. About a month before Avery’s third birthday we learned that once he turned three, he was “handed off” to the school system. The school system, like most government run agencies, like to do things themselves. The benefit was that it was free, which enabled us to keep his current therapists and our insurance would still cover them. Of course, that meant adding another hour session to our week, and having to drive him to a location, because the school system does not do home therapy.
Overall, I can say I’ve learned three main things:
- You can’t take chances, when it comes to therapy. What I mean is, you have to take it serious and be very involved. A therapist sees your child for only a few hours a week, he can only be successful if you enforce the skills he is learning, at home as well. You can’t hope that his one hour of therapy will be enough. His therapy skills need to be used 24/7.
- Whether it is one hour of therapy a week, or twenty, your life is going to change. You will often feel like your life revolves around therapy.
- All the time, money, and effort you put into your child’s therapy, will all be worth it once he starts reaching his goals, and that my friends, is the reason we do what we do.
Through the Storm, Part 2: Therapy, Therapy, and a Little More Therapy
A Very Splunky Mom – “Anonymous Mother”