Monday, September 28, 2009

Where we are now....


As I sat and perused Munchkins files tonight with a friend whose son has recently got a diagnosis of autism, I looked back with amazement at how far she has progressed. When I realised that a mere 11 months ago, she had a handful of rote phrases that she said such as "ready steady go" and "splish splash splosh" (from the Rubberdubbers), I had to re-read the questionnaire that I had for the psychology department as it seemed impossible to me that it had only been filled out last November... but indeed it had. The forms had been filled out and I had copied them as part of our Assessment of Need process which was supposed to have been completed within a six month time frame and a Statement of Need issued. In reality, it took sixteen months to complete, and we would probably still have been waiting if we hadn't been such a squeaky wheel! Looking at the forms reminded me that Munchkin had only just started to call me Mummy at that stage, at 2 years and 2 months of age (and what a feeling that was!).

We finally had our last link in the AoN process carried out ten days ago so apart from waiting for the Statement to be issued, its over! I was so nervous attending the psychology evaluation as was terrified of being made feel crazy as she has progressed so well now! The assessment took 2 hours to complete, and Munchkin was a complete angel during this time (no, I didn't give her Smarties washed down by Red Bull to show her at her worst hehe... it's just they are not on her list of accepted foods lol)...

I had heard a lot of negative comments regarding the psychologist that we were seeing so I had already formed an opinion of him before we even stepped into his office... I won't be so narrow minded and blinkered in future as I couldn't have been more wrong about him. Its indeed a lesson to reserve judgement until you have all the facts and not let yourself be swayed by others opinions. I found him to be friendly, open and approachable. He went through the complete cognitive set of puzzles, boards, books etc with Munchkin scoring her appropriately. She did try to control the sets but without much luck. At the end of the session, we talked for approximately half an hour and he concurred with the diagnosis the Professor had given her of Aspergers. Then he gave me the IQ scoring... 80-110 is considered in the normal range and she had scored 88, which meant she doesn't have what they class as a learning difficulty. It did surprise me somewhat that she hadn't scored in the higher end of the average range. I don't wish my child to have a "gift" either so I don't know why exactly my gut was squeezed a little... She doesn't care what her IQ is so it must be my own ego that was disappointed and I remind myself that it shouldn't matter anyway! (silly vain egotism go annoy someone else...) T'is only a number!

She has settled remarkably well into her new preschool and I am delighted with how much she loves going in every morning. There is a lead teacher and 3 snas in the class with 7 children so she's getting lots of attention and learning well. It is a mixed group of special needs children with intellectual or physical disability and she's mixing well with them all. A few transitioning problems and her staying on task needs a lot of work as she can't be Cyclone Munchkin whilst there and must participate with group circle time etc. They have yet to get her to even try yogurt as its "sticky" but its early days yet so we'll keep at it. She's staying on longer on a Friday from now on as they do an eating plan with some of them so that will be good. Potty training has been a bit hit and miss over the last few days but we're getting there slowly...

On the Home Tuition front, we have finally ended the saga of the "missing SENO" (the one who decided in their infinite wisdom to release the forms for signing and go on holidays for 3 weeks a couple of days later, leaving lots of families in limbo!). After squeaking a lot and become a regular pest, the Senior Seno finally organised someone to sign Munchkins forms so I could get them to the DOES. With a couple of dozen more calls to them... the hours were sanctioned :) Then then next paragraph... tutor only sanctioned til Oct 31st as not meeting the full qualifications of the department..... OMG she has a psychology degree, years of teaching experience etc... But no, they want me to find a primary school teacher who may or may not have experience with children on the spectrum! Muppets!! I once again start the next round of "satisfy the dept" by looking for a suitable tutor. Then I found one! I think I must be a cat as fell on my feet this time. She's the teacher in an ABA unit and highly experienced. We arranged to meet for a chat and I found her to be extremely capable, friendly and thought she's exactly what Munchkin needs. She started today and immediately Munchkin accepted her, played with her and liked her. I feel that she liked Munchkin too so hopefully, and fingers
crossed, its going to work well :)

I can allow myself a little breather for a few days now before the bedlam starts all over again :)

8 comments:

Eleanor said...

You have come so far..Munchkin is a credit to you !! Another fabulous post xx

Anonymous said...

well done again tracy with your blog, very well put together, its early days with the IQ she has shown so much improvement already, and thats down to you, finding out all you can to support her, Great that you got someone with experience with ABA which is more beneficial to her needs, hope everything works out well and keep pestering, as they say if you keep doing what your doing you will keep getting what you've got, great work well done you xx
sandra burke

Trish said...

Reading stuff like this brightens my day Tracy. We are still waiting for a clear diagnosis and have had some very dark and tearful days in the last few weeks. Your honesty about the IQ thing is very refreshing. I have to admit I secretly harbour thoughts that my fella is a "secret Einstein". All I hope is that he will achieve his full potential, whatever that may be. Great to know your munchkin is doing so well. She is such a cutie. Keep blogging x

jazzygal said...

Great news Petunia. So glad Munchkin's settling in well. Isn't it great when you get down our road , just a little and look back and see the little improvements? Sometimes we don't realise it, so subtle are they. Completing assessment forms 2 years down the road (with help!) can be a refreshing process! But then, we have to be careful not to become a victim of our own successes!

Well done to you and your Munchkin ...... keep squeaking!! xx Jazzy

Jean said...

it is so wonderful to see improvement in such a short space of time...only you have the documents to prove it you would probably have never believed it. it's so exciting to wonder what the next 12 months will bring xxx

Hammie said...

WEll Einstein layed the foundations for what became the atomic bomb and didn't that work out great? ahem.

Munchkin has chosen her mammy very well and brought you on beautifully. Clever Girl. xx

Patsyperdu said...

Good to hear that the AoN is finally over and I hope you get something from it.

Keep up the squeaking...our squeaking is being inspired by yours!!

Anonymous said...

Excellant blog and very uplifting to those who are going through all the inital(but long) stages.
All the best
Ruth

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