It is about time!!! acknowledgement

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Registered: 05-24-2003
It is about time!!! acknowledgement
2
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 4:55pm
Well, let me start off by saying just last week we were told by Caitlin's psychologist there was little wrong with her. Just social and speech delay, and once she became caught up in those areas, the "problem" areas would resolve itself.

Well, yesterday my husband had the day off and we took Catie to school and went out to lunch together. IT WAS GREAT. A meal with out having to tell Catie to sit still or behave. A meal where we weren't constantly trying to entertain her or color with her...

We went back to get her and one of her speech therapists was there. This is a new therapist that works at the school and made the one home visit before school started. She is also the one who i had the meeting with the second day of school and had to "restrain" her.

I expected another intense meeting. Instead i walked away feeling very very relieved.

She said that Caitlin has made remarkable progress in the few weeks of school. And she said "i don't want to offend you, but i was quite alarmed by what i saw the first week of school. We called the meeting because i thought we had some major issues going on and i needed to know how to handle her and these issues."

Well, she went on to say that the first week of school, Catie treated all the other students like they were "furniture". She would never make eye contact, interact with them, etc. She would only interact with the adults in the room. She had trouble transitioning and she had trouble sitting still. She couldn't seem to handle circle time because she couldn't sit still.

Now one day i went to pick her up and i remembered a post made on this board by another mother who walked away feeling like Autism punched her in the face. Seeing her child actual behaviors really sunk in with her. I had one of those moments. It broke my heart. All the kids were in the circle and standing behind their little yellow line, each on a letter of the alphabet. The teacher, aide and another parent were all singing a song and the kids were all animated and singing with them. But there was Catie. She was running around in the circle, trying to stand in front of the teacher and have eye contact only with her. She would try to stand in front of other children, blocking their view... It was heartbreaking. I just wanted nothing else more than my child to fit in and be like everyone else. Instead, i saw her as being a distraction, and i wondered how long it would be before the other kids realized how different she really was from them. When will they start picking on her??? or purposely excluding her from their plays assuming she doesn't want to be included??? I am crying just trying to get through this post.

The good news is her therapist SEES this behavior now. She said Catie is very much a typical 3 year old, but she is also VERY "quirky". She still has major problems transitioning and they have started giving her a choice during circle time. She can either sit in the circle with the other kids, or sit at the table and practice drawing her letters, which is where we found her yesterday when we went to pick her up.

Karen. the therapist, said alot of things to me and my husband that really made me feel better. She teared up and said that Caitlin was a wonderful little girl and has a beautiful personality. She said that in her line of work, she works with alot of kids. And every therapist and teacher has those certain kids that just stick out and they become attached to them. She said Caitlin is definately one that she will always remember until many years after she retires. She is remarkable and extremely bright.

I know that Catie is very special. It is hard for us, as parents, not to come across like we are bragging or that we think our kids are better than others. Ours are just different, and remarkable in different ways. What Catie lacks in some areas, she completely makes up in others. She is a child who learns extremely quickly and picks up things fast, sometimes too fast. I have trouble keeping up with where she gets some of the things she does. Like counting backwards. We never taught her that, she just walked up and started doing it. And she never stumbled or faultered. She rambled the numbers off like she had been praticing for months. She amazes us.

Karen also said that Catie is having some trouble with social cues, but in the few weeks time that she has been in school, she has made remarkable progress. She said that she is still not interacting with the other kids, but this week she has started side by side playing. Karen said she didn't expect that for months. She said some kids it takes all year to take that step. She said she can definately see that Caitlin WANTS to please. She wants to fit in and she wants to have fun. So she told us to try to remember what it is like for her, because one day she will come to us and feel like she is different from the others. She said nothing is worse than feeling like you don't belong.

Now it is amazing that i have talked with speech and behavior therapists and even a psychologist, and inlaws, that feel there is nothing wrong with this kid. BUT, you stick her in a very normal enviroment and you sit back and actually watch her over a few weeks time, and you DO see it. Karen told me, and acknowledged to me, that YES, she sees what i have been saying. I HAVE SOMEONE WHO SEES IT LADIES!!!! YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!! She sees it. I told her, you have NO freakin idea!! how much that makes me happy. Not because i want something to be wrong, but because i have seen these behaviors for a long time. And i have people like extended family telling me there is NOTHING wrong with her because she will crawl up in their lap and she will stop and say cheese for the camera. She then said just because we don't have a "diagnosis", she even held her hands up to use her fingers for quotations, doesn't mean Caitlin doesn't battle with these issues. Karen gave me her number and asked me to make a schedule of what we do everyday and she would be more than happy to laminate her a board and make a visual chart to help with her transitioning. She said that what works at school can work at home, and what works at home will work at school.

I just thought i would share this news. i feel it is a break through of some kind, and i feel a little better knowing that someone who is working with her not only sees her challenges, but actually CARES about her personally enough to want to go the extra mile and make sure she gets the extra help.

The one thing she said was "Can you imagine what her kindergarden would have been like with out two years of preschool to break her in??" Man, i can't imagine.

Helen

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Sat, 09-20-2003 - 6:11am
Oh, Hellen, I'm so glad you got the validation from the therapist! I know it can get sooo frustrating hearing from person after person that they don't see anything wrong with your child. Sometimes you just want to shout "Are you BLIND or sometihing?" It feels so great to have even just one other person see the same things you do.

Peace,

Candes

Avatar for maresgood
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 09-20-2003 - 10:01pm
Hi, I know exactly what you mean. I took 9 yrs. for my dd to be diagnosed even though they knew her behavior was "odd" since pre-school! Her 4th gr, teacher FINALLY got the ball rolling... Thank God for teachers & therapists that go the extra mile! I am an R.N. & try to do that every day. I try to empathize & think how would I feel if that pt. were me or my family member? Take Care, Mary Ann