Monday, June 22, 2009

Visit to CSAAC

Well, this morning we dropped Daniel off at camp (found a 2-week morning camp for him thanks to Rachel and Simon's wonderful team at MCITP) and headed immediately over to CSAAC for Rachel's appointment. They are very nice -- we were put into a room with a lot of toys, and both Rachel and Simon were having a lot of fun. Rachel was playing with books and she found a doll with eyes that open and shut -- none of her dolls at home are like that -- she spent about 3-4 minutes trying to figure out what happened to the doll's eyes when she lay the baby down. It was really funny to watch -- and she just didn't get it -- when I held up the baby and the eyes opened, Rachel immediately started touching the eyes and lying the baby back down again. Like I said, it was really cute, and very appropriate behavior (something that I'm always excited to see)!

Then we were called into another room -- once again, there were plenty of toys, but this time I spent about an hour being interviewed about Rachel. And I realized something -- it's HARD to separate what's happening between the 2 of them. I start telling them about something and then realize I'm talking about Simon. I kept having to stop and think about what child I was talking about. Simon actually surprised me as he was playing -- there were letter flashcards that had been spilled out on the floor (by Rachel I believe). He picked up the "K" card and brought it over to me and said "KAY" and then continued on with reciting the alphabet the way we had been doing over the previous several days. I always KNEW he was a really bright little guy!!!!! The psychologist also spent a little bit of time engaging Rachel and trying to assess where her biggest issues lie. Overall, Rachel was very happy to be there with all the new things to play with and it was a pleasant visit.

We talked about what the in-home ABA would entail as well as the program overall. And, once again, I voiced my concerns of whether this REALLY is the right thing for her since she doesn't respond well to being told what to do (even though EVERYONE has told me that these are the kids that respond BEST to ABA). I still just can't see or envision it being successful. I am hoping I'm wrong. She reassured me by explaining that it really is a gradual process -- Rachel won't like it at first, but once she realizes she gets rewards for completing every little task, she's going to want to run to the table. So, we're going to give this a try.

The only problem now is can I survive this? The CSAAC portion of this adventure will start in approximatley 1 month. We will be doing in-home ABA for about 10 hours per week, for which I (or at least SOMEONE) has to be at home. Periodically (once per month or once every 2 weeks [blanking right now]) I will have to take her BACK to CSAAC for a team meeting to review her progress and potentially make changes to the focus of her in-home sessions. At some point, Simon will be going back to school which meets Tuesday/Thursday from 11-1 and Wednesday from 11-12:30. I do not need to be present for the T/Th sessions, but I participate in a parent group on Wednesdays, so hopefully we'll also be enrolling Rachel with her brother for that day so I can participate with the other parents for a kind of "support group" which I'm sure I'm in desparate need of joining (but who knows). Finally, on September 9, Daniel goes back to school from Monday through Friday -- on M/W he's there from 9-1; on T/Th/F he's there from 9-12:30. Once again, I'm not there with him for that, but I can't be late picking him up (or early dropping him off).

In addition, during the next 6 months, we're going to have to evaluate what preschool programs are appropriate for each of the twins separately -- would enrolling them both in the same program be in their best interests or should we look at other options? This is necessary because all of their current programs end when they turn 3. So, we'll be getting ready to start the IEP process (unknown exactly what that will entail).

So, I'm just envisioning the next 6 months to be about keeping enough sanity to simply function. Right now I'm not sure how that's possible, but we all do what we have to do. I just hope we can keep everyone where they need to be and I won't be the cause of sacrificing services for anyone.

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