Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 32 -May 29, 2009

The kids got out of school early that day. We went with some friends and ate at a local burger joint that has a sandbox playground. That night we were set to have a baseball game. In the middle of the playoffs, this game was for advancement to the championship or third place. It was a bright and sunny day. The kids should have been outside playing all afternoon. But instead we were stuck in a therapy building. I had spilled a 32 oz drink all over myself at lunch and with no time to go home and change, I still had on my wet capri pants.

We were set to meet with the director of the therapy services. She had come recommended to us by my friend. She wanted to personally meet with us and see if there was something we could do to help this child. My husband had to work that day, but luckily had gotten off earlier than expected. Looking back, I realize that God didn't want me to be alone.

She took Tanner back for a few minutes to observe him, while I waited for my husband to get there. Our older son had gone home with some friends, so I only had the baby at the time. As my husband walked in there was this feeling of hopelessness that fell between us. We didn't know what else we could do to help him and it seemed this was our last option. We were both praying they would have answers for us. Was it Sensory Integration? Was he just a bad kid? Did he have Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

The owner called us back and we nervously walked through a hallway, back into a room. We sat down in two child size chairs. Looking back and forth at each other I made eye contact with her and she started asking questions.

How was he developmentally (did he rollover, crawl, walk, talk on time)? Tell me about his outbursts at school? Does he have the same outbursts at home? All questions we seemed to think she should be asking.... then came the questions that blew us away....

Can he dress himself? Does he wet the bed? Tie his shoes? What does he like to eat?

My husband and I looked at each other in confusion... why was she asking these question? What did these have to do with his behavior?

After about thirty minutes of grilling us and us staring at her wide eyed in confusion but wonderment she told us what she was thinking....

"Do you know what Pervasive Developmental Disorder is?"


She explained that PDD was an autism spectrum disorder and that all of the symptoms he was displaying were that of a child with PDD. He was possibly getting over stimulated right before his outbursts and doesn't quite know what to do... so he acts out. I tried to soak up as much information as I could. She told us that he would start Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy as soon as we got back from vacation (about two weeks later) and that throughout the summer we would get him on track so he could have a productive school year.

I walked out of the building and called my mother. She was the first person I knew that would help me find all I need to find.

Within 24 hours my mom met me at Barnes and Noble, we bought every autism spectrum disorder book they had.

I knew this was going to be a summer I would never forget. Not because it was fun, but because I was going to become educated on everything spectrum related...

and I was NEVER going to give up finding the answers to help him.

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