The Faithful Scribbler

A Catholic Mother In A Secular World

Burnt Out On Early Intervention

on February 23, 2010

I need to take this moment to whine.  I hate whining, but it’s my blog, so it’s my rules, and I have decided to allow whining…for one post only…or maybe more, depends on how I’m feeling later on :)

Little Scribble is in Early Intervention through our state.  She has some special needs, which is a really broad, vague term for saying her development is not typical.  Without getting into the nitty gritty details of her issues, suffice it to say that we’ve been around the block, and then around the block again, with trying to figure out why she is developing so differently.

A while back, her speech therapist (we’ll call her Mrs. Hatesherjob) advised me to take Little Scribbler to a neurologist and ASK for a diagnosis of PDD-NOS.  Mrs. Hatesherjob assured me that doing so would automatically qualify Little Scribbler for any services I decided I might like to try, regardless of her test scores.  Seem fishy to anybody else? No? Well let me continue…

When I expressed my reluctance to ASK a doctor for a diagnosis which may or may not be accurate, Mrs. Hatesherjob advised me to ask Early Intervention for a clinical psych exam instead.  She advised me to request Dr. MisDiagnosis, whom she assured me would give me the “coveted” PDD-NOS diagnosis.  NOW are we feeling uneasy folks?

Long story short, we fired Mrs. Hatesherjob (dont feel too bad for her, she REALLY hated her job, so much so that she spent most of Little Scribbler’s speech sessions texting her friends, loved ones and probably STRANGERS so as to avoid doing any actual work).  I requested a new speech therapist from the agency that sent her.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch– it was October, and time for Little Scribbler to have new evaluations done.  (the happen every six months).  After many discussions with The Auditor, we decided to ask Early Intervention for a clinical psych exam to see what the psychologist might have to say about Little Scribbler.  Please note– we were NOT asking for a specific diagnosis, rather, we just wanted to see if the psychologist had anything interesting to say.  We also contacted our independent neurologist (who is excellent– has been seeing Little Scribbler since she was about 10 months old) for a second opinion.

Well guess what.  Early Intervention assigned us to Dr. Overdiagnosis.  And, shock–surprise– she diagnosed Little Scribbler with PDD-NOS.  That very same day, Dr. AwesomeNeurologist diagnosed her with Asperger’s Syndrome, which is very VERY different.  So there we say, with the PDD-NOS diagnosis which we could not trust, and the Asperger’s diagnosis out of left field.

So now Little Scribbler is diagnosed.  Wa-friggin-hoo.  What does this mean exactly?  NOTHING.  It means she has conflicting labels stamped on her forhead.  For what it’s worth, The Auditor and I are inclined to beleive that the neurologist’s diagnosis was the more accurate of the two.

Fast forward four months.  We’ve begun Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy, five days a week (ABA for short).  We have a new speech teacher (who is EXCELLENT by the way).  Little Scribbler participates in a developmental group 1 day week, which she adores (she has a little boyfriend there, named Jack.  He never speaks and I think he’s slightly terrified that Little Scribbler is going to touch him, or yell in his face, or hug him against his will).

We’re in the process of transitioning from the Early Intervention program to the school district’s Special Ed preschool program.  Little Scribbler has had yet ANOTHER round of evaluations.  We’ve met even MORE people who have poked, prodded, coaxed, evaluated, written reports, and comment on, my beautiful daughter. 

Today we had a meeting about whether or not she would be accepted into special ed preschool.  The Committee is recommending that Little Scribbler attend an integrated preschool– meaning half the chidlren have special needs, and the other half are typically developing children.  In addition, they are giving her a SEIT (Special Education Itinerant Teacher) who will accompany her 2 days a week to a community based preschool (Catholic school! WOOT!).  She will be recieving speech therapy three days a week and occupational therapy (which is new for us) twice a week.

Blah blah blah detailscakes.  She will not be placed in an ABA preschool class. If we decide to start preschool right away (we have the option of waiting until September), then she would be recieving NO services thorughout the summer months.

Frankly I think preschool is far more beneficial for a child like her than would be six more months of ABA therapy.  And yet, I dont want to lose a whole summer’s worth of services for her either– what kind of damage might that cause?

And right now? In this moment? I dont give a crap WHAT we do.  I am burnt.  Completely spent from all the conflicting diagnosis, and all the research, and all the homework, and all the redirecting and all the sensory integration techniques and all the oral motor excercises and all the eye patching (oh yeah she has a lazy eye and is having surgery soon– did I mention that?).  Im spent.  I’ve been so focused on what is the best thing to do for her, that I’ve lost who she IS.

 I’m sick of Early Intervention.  I’m sick to death of people coming into my house every day.  I’m sick of cloroxing the floors and bathroom every single day because we CONSTANTLY have therapists here and in a 500 square foot apartment things get dirty FAST.  I dont want to sit through any more evaluations.  I dont want to sit thorugh any more therapy sessions and pretend that I think we’re making this great progress when really I think Little Scribbler is behaving ATROCIOUSLY (they insist her behavior is fine becuase shes not hitting and biting– well, I’m sorry to tell you that my behavior standards for politeness and cooperation are slightly higher than this!  Moreover, LS CAN meet my standards, because she frequently DOES behave quite nicely!).

I’m tired of signing progress notes that I cant even read because the writing is illegible.  I’m tired of worrying about what happens if we move to a bigger apartment out of this district.

I’m spent. I’m burnt.  I’m ready to be DONE with early intervention.  I want preschool.  I want to see LS interact with other kids.  I want to see her ENJOY learning again!  I want…to stop whining now.


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