mmm, Montesorri School and the doctor
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|Sat, 06-14-2003 - 9:16am|
Although he hasnt exactly ruled PDD or Asperger's out, he has called her "gifted", "a gift", and "special" during this last visit. Nothing new was really discussed, but i did go back and ask the questions that came up.
"When you said preschool, did you have something specific in mind??" His answer was one word and direct "Montesorri". I nodded my head and he said "You have heard of it?" and i said, Well, someone mentioned that last week as i was wondering where i was going to find a school for a 3 year old. So i looked it up on the web and read a little about it. He said "That is great! I highly recommend this type of schooling for her". When i mentioned we cant afford to send her to school 8 hours a day, he suggested starting her out for part time, 5 days a week. And then when public school starts, to enroll her that as well. For instance, if Montesorri is 3 hours a day in the mornings, take her for the 4 hours twice a week in the afternoons to the public preschool. He said that way, she gets the teachings of montesorri, and a little bit of structure in the public. See how she does, and if she seems not to do well, pull her out of public. he again highly recommended enrolling her in Tumbling classes and swimming lessons. He said to over whelm her with socializing.
He also said that she is so far behind socially and speech wise, but that she is SOOO advanced intellectually, that it is "appearing" as though she has PDD. But he is pretty sure that if we bring up her social skills and speech, these tendencies will go away. He suggested private speech therapy.
I have called my insurance company, and this is the kicker. They will pay for speech therapy if it is caused by an illness, but NOT if it due to developemental delay. Well, she is developementally delayed due to chronic ear infections and tubes when she was younger. So, i have a call into her doctor to see if maybe through "wording", i can get a recommendation for speech therapy. Still waiting for her to call back.
As far as discipline. I explained to him our battles, and he suggested "overcorrection". For instance, she is still messing with the front door. He suggested taking her by the hand, standing about 5 feet from the door, and walking towards the door singing "dum dee dum doo dee" and then when you get about a foot from the door, to yell STOP! Then bend down and touch the carpet and say "GOOOOOOOOOOOD carpet!!" and then reach up and point to the door and yell "BAD! BAD DOOR!!! BAD!!! NO NO NO door!!!" Then to repeat it from 5 to 10 times. Then he said the MINUTE she places her hand on the door, to repeat the excercise. After several times of having to do this, start placing her in time out.
Now, i explained her violence when in time out. He strongly recommended that i continue to place her in Time out, in her room. BUT... he said after a few minutes, take a blanket and go into her room. Shut the door behind me, and sit in front of the door on the floor with my legs crossed. Place the blanket on my head, covering my face. And then speak softly to her. "Catie, when you are ready, you may come and sit in my lap and we can talk about this." i looked at the guy really strangely... lol... "A blanket on my head????" He said it has something to do with connection and having her being consoled with out her feeling like she is giving in... etc. i dont know about that one. I still havent told my husband about this one. He would look at me like i was on some form of drugs!! lol Needless to say i havent tried it yet, but i havent had to put her in time out either.
he also said "use a reward only program as much as possible. When you need to transition her from one thing to another, understand not only do you need to distract her, change her attention, you also need to change how the chemicals in her brain is working. Offer her candy, cookies, stroke her with a feather, keep a favorite soft item in your pocket, etc. But dont offer her a cookie that you dont have on you, or candy in 5 minutes when you get home. You have to keep these items on you at all times." I brought up that with myself coming from an overweight family, and us having diabetes in our family, i really dont want to use food as a reward. I dont think it is justifiable to give my child candy simply because i want her to do something. I think that as a parent, she should do it "because i told her to" I can't see myself watching my child stand in the middle of the street, and i go digging through my purse for something to distract her. you know??
He said i need to change the way i think. Since we dont have a "normal" child, all "normal" parenting goes right out the window. Both Dh's and my parents were spankers. And even though it didnt happen very often, and we WERENT abused, spanking seemed to get the point across when nothing else did. Even my mom said last week "when you didnt listen to the first 5 warnings, all i had to do was pop you on the rear and you straightened right up. i never had you continue to do what i was scolding you for. Spankings seemed to solve the problem." Well, with Catie it doesnt. And the doctor said it wont. To tell my parents, and anyone else who seems to have an opinion on it, that Catie is different and she isnt the "normal" child. :sighing: ok, fine.
As far as schooling, he said "Catie marches to her own drum. She is extremely independent and that is why she has no anxiety as far as seperation and fear. She does things at her own pace, and you have battles with her when you try to get her to do things at YOUR pace. She wont do something until she has made up her mind she is ready to do it. Your job is get her to WANT to do it. (ugh) Public school will give her MOST trouble. It is very structured, and Catie wont react well to it. With enough socializing, she may come around, but again, i feel she is best in Montesorri school."
So i did some calling around. I called a Montesorri school about 20 minutes from here. They said they charge 600 full time per month, or 250 for 3 hours a day 5 days a week. Which doesnt sound really bad. Now, my husband didnt go to the last 2 appointments with me, so when i brought this up, his first question was "Why are we going to pay for something that we get free through the public school district??"
I have a friend in California who is a teacher. And once she heard all of this, she said "Helen, you are going to have to accept that your daughter will NEVER be in a normal school setting again. Just get over that now." and she gave me a great analogy for my husband.
"Let's say you had a lifetime supply of free ramon noodles. Yes, it feeds you. It fills you up. But if you have 300 bucks and there is a grocery store down the street, wouldnt you rather have steak and potatoes?? After a while ramon noodles will get old, and boring. This is Catie and public school. She will become bored, she will act out, she will fail because she wont apply herself. Just because it is FREE doesnt mean it is BETTER. Your job as parents is to feed her brain, make sure she is challenged, and to educate her to the best of your ability. and if that means private schools, that suck it baby, cause that is what happens when you have a kid. SOme are born need extra medical care, yours was born needing extra educational care."
So, i told my husband the scenerio, and he seemed to understand it better. We have an appointment today with a Montesorri school. I will try to post tonight and let you know how it goes. I sat down last night with a piece of paper and our budget. We CAN afford to send her part time. We just had a budget planned for getting a second car, and buying a house. So, i had to show him we can still do the rest, but it will just take a little longer. And it is all about priorities. So, he is finally going in open minded.
It is a little hard on him since he doesnt do the bills and i do. So, i have to SHOW him.
Sorry this is so long, i wanted to update you guys. oh, i almost forgot. My father wants me to go to another doctor and get a second opinion. When i asked him why, he said "well, because that is only an opinion. We all knew she was smart, but i have never heard of a doctor recommending private school." So i told him "think of it this. I am willing to try what this guy says because it 'makes sense'. If she goes for a few months, and nothing has changed, then yeah, i would agree with you. Autism wont just go away. no amount of socializing or private schooling will make her change. But i have NOTHING to loose by trying this. If this is what he says it is, then socializing her will solve the problem. If i go from doctor to doctor until someone tells me she is Autistic, has AS or PDD, and she actually ISN'T, that is a hard label to get lifted. I dont want Catie misdiagnosed. And at this point i have NOTHING to loose. Once she is diagnosed, it will be harder to get her life insurance, medical insurance, etc. So why not try this doctor's way first."
Would you guys agree with this???