Tuesday, September 27, 2011


OK, you know it is frickin' bad when you have to resort to your second (or in my case third) language to find the right word that describes your feelings.

Spannend (Dutch, pronounced spawn-end) is some kind of word which is like a hybrid between exciting and nervous.  It can have both a positive or negative connotation at the same time which is why it is so much more descriptive than nervous or excited.  Spannend is what I am at this very moment.

Things at school with Maya are going okay.  We have gotten past last week's sneaker drama, as they are helping her put on her shoes and we'll see how that goes.  Last Friday it went fine and yesterday when she had gym again she told me she wore her shoes.

Today I had two separate calls from the school, one was from the physical therapist which I expected since we received a letter that Maya would get an evaluation.  The therapist called me today to tell me that Maya still needs therapy on her fine motor skills (which we already knew) but also in some of her bigger motor skills (which she had therapy with before).  We will meet with her in two weeks and she will put a plan into place for that.  Maya will have therapy 2 mornings per week for a half hour to start with and then build to 2 one hour sessions.  We've been through the physio routine with her before so it is to be expected and should be helpful.

The other call I got was from the school therapist who told me that they wanted to arrange an aid to come to the school for Maya as they really felt that Maya would benefit educationally from more one-on-one time.  This was the first time I had heard of this from the school but the therapist told me that they decided not to look at this option last year as her start was too close to the end of the school year to arrange it but now they really wanted to look at it.  Maya is fairly well behaved in school but she doesn't have a lot of focus (except when she wants to of course) and they feel one-on-one time could really benefit her and help her to start to really progress academically.  She is still only almost reading and almost writing but not quite there yet (with writing the her fine motor skills are a real barrier).  She is very insecure about this and just seems stalled.  She makes small steps forward but in terms of her own development curve academically she is kind of driving in circles but not really getting to any particular destination.  The therapist asked me if we already had some kind of funding guarantee that the health insurance would pay for the therapist (based of course on her diagnosis of autism) and I told them that we had something but wasn't sure if it was the right thing.  The therapist told me she would send all the paperwork home tomorrow and if we didn't have the right authorization that the school would work on getting it but that they didn't see it as a problem.

Dare I get up and cheer?

Because I do all this interaction with the school in Dutch (and I am proud of myself for being able to negotiate all of that), even so sometimes I don't get the exact essence of things.  But the best that I can gather is that this person would be a cross between a behavioral and educational aid and it would be a one on one thing.

Last week's sneaker drama notwithstanding, I really do love Maya's school.  They are a great group of people who really care about the kids and really try to give them a loving and secure environment.  One thing that the jury is still out for me on though is whether this environment which is great for Maya emotionally is also great for her academically.  Maya is a borderline case for this school and many of the children who attend have abilities that are noticeably less.  For those kids safety and security is of course way more important than actual academic progress because quite a few of these kids capabilities are markedly limited but Maya is still a question mark. And I worry that although this being a lower pressure environment, will it push her enough to open doors so to speak or at least give her as much opportunity as possible to open doors?  As much as I love the school, it has been a concern of mine.  Are we doing enough to help Maya develop to her fullest ability?  I think as the parent of an autistic kid you can never feel like you have answered that question in an absolute-forever-and-ever kind of way.

I do think the possiblity of an aid might make me feel slightly better about that.

So I am cautiously optimistic, I will let you know once I see the mountain of paperwork that is sure to arrive. I might need physical therapy afterward!


1 comment:

  1. So, I was listening to a story on NPR this weekend about a man diagnosed with Aspergers at 25. Now, listening to him it was clear he had Aspergers, but his family was not about getting him labeled when he was younger. They spoke to the therapist he sees now and she said had he been labeled as a child, he wouldn't have succeeded as well academically (college graduate) b/c he would have received sped services and not pushed enough. She said the downside is he didn't receive the social training he needed (although he has a gf now, so clearly he wasn't affected so badly). It made me think a lot. I want K in a smaller setting. I want her to have a 1:1. But, is that a bad thing? Will she not do as well, or be as successful if she gets those things? Not that K has Aspergers, but she is high-functioning, so same difference. K hates school SO much and it kills me that she does, but should doing stuff to make her happy come before making sure she is serviced academically, and to her ability? I am struggling with this right now...