It all started off when my kids got kicked out of daycare on Monday. No warning that they were too difficult to manage. Just a note left in Logan's bag that we were to find daycare within two weeks. REALLY????
Let the panic begin.
A few phone calls later and I started to realize that this was a bigger problem than I had initially realized. Firstly, the minute I uttered the word "special needs" on the phone, people scrambled to hang up as quickly as they could, muttering whatever excuse they could think of.
I eventually got directed to the daycares who typically accept the kids with special needs. I was told that they only have a permit for a certain number of kids with special needs at one time. For instance, one daycare I called that has over 100 children only has a permit for 10 kids with special needs. And there were no spaces for any additional special needs children.
And suddenly, I began to understand that our challenge finding daycare was going to be much greater than I had initially anticipated. Not only did I need to find a daycare that was willing to take my challenging children... I also needed to find one that had two spots available for children with special needs.
Thankfully, after mountains and mountains of disappointment and stress, we managed to find a daycare that I am hoping will be a perfect fit for my little guys. And it seems that it might well be. So far, they are super interested in hearing what they can do to meet my kids' needs. They are willing to let therapists come into the daycare to do therapy and give suggestions. They're even willing to make my kids' specialized meals (I surely didn't ask for that one, but we'll take it!).
The whole experience of having Logan kicked out of daycare was a very big wake-up call for us. Until this time, we had been informed a little bit of his challenges in daycare, but we had basically been told that he was doing ok. However, him being kicked out made us realize that things were much more difficult than we had been told.
This, coupled with the significant challenges we've been having at home lately made both my husband and I independently conclude that we are pretty convinced that there is something else going on with our little Logan that has yet to be diagnosed. I've always sort of suspected that he may be diagnosed with ADHD one day down the line. But this past week has made us both start wondering about other possible diagnoses.
Being an S-LP, I know full well than many diagnoses aren't given until the child is 6 or 7 years old. Which is mostly why we haven't yet investigated anything further. However, given these recent events, I spoke with a psychologist this week just to question whether or not there was anything further we could do with him. We're desperate for help.
I'm not so much searching for a label or a specific answer. I'm searching for help. Suggestions and guidance on what we can do to make our lives easier. Because it certainly ain't working the way things are going now. And sadly, in our society, the label is often what gets you the help. Right now, we qualify for nothing in the public sector. No label. Not severe enough. Despite the fact that we struggle to make it through almost each and every day.
After 45 minutes of discussion, the psychologist responded that she suspected that Logan might have a non-verbal learning disorder. She also recommended that we do a screening for Autism spectrum disorder. My response was that, I couldn't be sure, but I was pretty certain that his social interactions and communication skills were too strong for him to have ASD. I evaluate these skills in my clients day in and day out. She suggested that I ask Logan's other therapists their opinion to be safe.
And boy was I shocked at their answer...
Logan's OT told me that she and Chloé's OT had discussed this possibility several times before.
And I restrained my jaw from dropping.
Although I briefly entertained the possibility that Logan might have ASD further to this conversation, I was still pretty convinced that this didn't fit his profile.
Earlier today, I read this blog post here, by a friend of my sister's and realized that I completely identified with her description of her son. Which is making me re-evaluate whether or not I truly know how high-functioning autism presents these days.
I'm now so utterly confused as to whether or not I even know what high-functioning autism looks like - despite having worked with these kids for 10+ years. In any case, we have an evaluation booked for the end of the month, which I hope will provide us with answers and guidance. I don't have high hopes that we will get a specific diagnosis for anything at his age. However, I do hope that we will learn how to better manage the daily struggles we have.
Then only two short days after I had this conversation with Logan's OT, I had a similar conversation with Chloé's osteopath. At the end of our session, he let me know that he feels that there is something bigger going on with Chloé than just her sensory processing disorder. He feels that this doesn't quite explain the extent of difficulties she is experiencing in her gross motor skills. But he said he can't quite put his finger on what could be going on. So yet another mystery... God this whole thing is complicated!!
However, he also said that, regardless, he felt that we are doing all that we can right now, between OT and PT and having her on waiting lists for gastroenterology, neurology and physiatry. Nonetheless, I am starting to realize that her delays may also be much more longer term that we had initially anticipated.
|Trying out a new hair-do for our new daycare.|
Thankfully, my sister came down for the weekend and helped purge some of the stress from this past week. We drank wine, watched tv, went to the pool, and just chilled. She watched the kids while I bumbled around trying to gather various information that the new daycare had requested - lists of what they can't eat, where to buy what they can, lists of what bothers each of them and what to do to calm them, etc. It was a blessing not having to do all of this while also looking after the kids, particularly since Jérôme was a bit sick.
Here's hoping that tomorrow we will turn a new page and that the worries of this past, extremely stressful week will be behind us. Fingers and toes crossed that everything goes relatively well at the new daycare this week. I can't handle another week like the last!