Going for an eval...and stressed out!!

Jennifer - posted on 01/14/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My 3 1/2 year old daughter will be going for an evaluation the beginning of February. She has had many developmental delays from very early on, but it has just become recently that we noticed that things were not getting better. We already know that she has some sensory integration dysfunction and she is getting OT for that. It has become rather stressful for me because my husband is at a job where he cannot take off for doctor's appointments, therapy, etc. which are being scheduled on a weekly basis. So far my employer has been working well with me, but I don't know how long that will last. We also have a 6 yo girl and a 3 month old boy and I feel like I am not giving them the attention they need, and deserve, because I am focusing on all of this other stuff with Ashlyn. I also am struggling with potty training, but I just don't think that she understands the concept and I also do not know how to discipline her when she does something wrong. I guess that I just need to vent to people that understand what I am going through. Any suggestions or advice are also welcome at this point. I am stretching myself too thin and I really want to stay away from that breaking point!

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Meredith - posted on 01/15/2009

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The evaluation process is so stressful (my daughter was 3 1/2).  I remember being so anxious to just get something started and not wanting to wait for answers.  Focus on one day at a time and keep telling yourself that ALL bad things will end at some point... granted, other new bad things will come along to replace them but you'll cross those bridges when you come to them. :)  Today, is just one day.  You are just one person.  And there is only so much that is in your power to do.



Guilt about the time you spend with your other kids is hard (especially if you're working full time) but remember you are a family.  Family means that what affects one of you, affects all of you... good and bad.  My 7 year old son has become the most patient, supportive, helpful cheerleader you can imagine for my 4-year-old ASD daughter.  He's always been a sweet kid but I praise him for his help and patience and support and he delights to be of use.  I hear all the time when I thank him for something "but that's what big brothers do and I love her."  We've all been taught that there is a silver lining to autism... it's made us stronger and closer.  I really don't think your other kids will feel as cheated as you think they will...this may be the "new normal" for your family.  If you don't feel like you're giving the time to the others that they need, find someone who will and share in the excitment and joy of their going on a special "date" outside (or inside) the home (friend, dad, grandparent, church group).   If you hype it up, she'll see that you are anxious to see her happy and you'll feel like you've taken part in her day-to-day events if it's just as a coordinator.



Keep venting and don't stretch yourself too thin.  I suggest you choose one thing you're going to let go of and let it go without guilt... mine was house-keeping. ;)  Potty training is not essential and if it's doing you in right now, slap on a pull-up and let it go.  If daycare/preschool insists she be potty-trained, tell them you're waiting on an autism eval and you really appreciate their support and understanding in such a trying time... how can they argue with that!  My daughter didn't get potty-trained until about 6 months into her diagnosis because I would try it for a week or so and saw no progress and then give up for a month or two.  Turns out it took her 39 days of sitting on the potty every 20 minutes until she finally peed on it once!!  It took another 42days to get rid of any accidents.  Not fun, but it happened.  She still won't go #2 and she won't initiate going but we're better where we are than where we were.  That bad time had an end.  All bad times have an end.

Jessica - posted on 01/15/2009

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I'm so sorry to hear about your frustrations.  I can certianly understand some of them.  My 3 1/2 year old son has PDD-NOS and usually has 2 therapy/school appts a day.  My poor daughter (13 months) rarely gets a good nap in b/c I am always dragging her with me and making her wait in waiting rooms.  Have you looked into what the school system can provide?  I know in several states they offer special needs pre-school.  A child can attend the program and the program provides all of the therapy the child needs- transportation might even be provided by the school district.  Another option (depending on what kinds of therapy she needs) is to find a place that will do the therapy all at once, or that offers night/weekend appointments.  If you worry about the time you are spending with your other kids, ask your husband (or a sitter) to stay with your daughter and do something special with your 6 yo, or spend some bonding time with your son.  Good luck with everything.

User - posted on 01/14/2009

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My son is now 21 years old; but I do remember how stressful is was going for evaluations.    Do you have an understanding friend who can go with you?      I remember how helpful it was having my husband come with me.     It does help to have a second set of ears with you.       You are correct, you do need to vent to people who understand.     Most parents will have no idea, what you are going through; and if you are to the "breaking point" this is the BEST place to come, to get things off of your chest and help you get things into perspective.   Feel free to post to me.   I have walked in your shoes.     Good luck

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