Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Doctors and teachers and cover shoots, oh my.

The annoying thing about cliches is that they are often true and therefore overused.  I also blame my mother for repeating them millions of times throughout my childhood so they pop into my head like thought bubbles.  One of them that comes to mind this week is 'when it rains it pours.' 
Self loathing is an evil and insidious mindset.  It corrodes the way you feel about yourself, slowly, so it's unnoticeable.   Eventually you believe that good things only happen to other people and the bad things that have happened to you have been deserved.  So when - if - good things actually DO happen, you're afraid to believe it.  Don't trust in good news because news is rarely good and if it is there are strings attached.  I used to think it was only us Irish Catholic who expected the worst all the time, turns out it's also symptom of PTSD.  My supervisor said guilt is a way of making people believe they had some sort of control in situations where they had none.  It's magical thinking.  (So is religion just magical thinking for adults?)

When good news strikes I don't want to say anything aloud or 'count my chickens before they're hatched.'  You never know who will be at the other end of the phone.  But a little tiny sliver of hopefulness wants to scream very very loudly - Owen had a photography shoot for the cover of a local magazine!!!!!!!!!   EEEEEEEEEEK!!! And they might even have a little interest in publishing part of this blog.  AHHHHHH!!!  But shhhhhh!!!!  It's too good to be true.  Let's wait and make sure 'all our ducks are in a row' before we go telling everyone.

O's cover shoot was sandwiched between an IEP meeting and a 6 month follow up with his developmental pediatrician, Dr. Rappaport, at Children's Hospital.  See, RAINING!! POURING!! I made the mistake of going to O's IEP meeting alone.  Even though this is my 2nd meeting I have already learned to ALWAYS BRING SOMEONE! I need a note taker.  I can't listen subjectively as his mom AND objectively as a note taker.  Regardless how well versed a person is in education plans, if they are talking about your kid you need another set of ears. 
The gist of the meeting was as predicted - they love him, he's adorable, but very distracted and difficult to communicate due to being mostly non-verbal.  Even in small classes with many adults there is noise and high activity  which are extremely exciting, distracting and overstimulating.  They feel he'd be better placed in the "Orange Room" which is the Applied Behavioral Analysis room (many of children with autism are in these type of classrooms) where he will have specialized aides and a classroom that is also focused on decreasing unwanted behaviors and improving communication/language.  He'll still spend part of his day in his morning inclusion classroom - the school knows that this is important, and I'll ask them to guarantee me a certain percentage of his day will still be spent in his inclusion class.
This I know - it's what he needs, it's probably the best placement for him, yet it still feels like a defeat.  Didn't I just say a few posts ago I could breathe for a few years? Should have put breathe easier....'Lesson learned'.

Finally, we had our Children's appointment.  All I will say is between the holiday traffic, financial district protesters, mobbed Aquarium and Owen's complete resistance to walking with his hand held the entire day was a nightmare.  After a day of Boston insanity walking into Children's was like coming home.   Sad, I know, but after a hectic day in the city walking into the familiarity and warmth of Children's was a relief.  Dr. R met Bridget for the first time, and after observing them together he called the closeness between B and O 'remarkable.'
And that's 7 days in the life.  A life of emotional intensity - all encompassing primal protective love of a child,   anxiety and deep disappointment over ongoing struggles, and profound gratitude at others who see the beauty in my children.
In a nutshell, I need a nap.

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