I’m sure most of you who have a child with Autism have some type of routine for your child and when the routine is off, it throws off your child. I know many who due to Covid-19 have had to rearrange routines due to their child not being able to attend school or go to a therapy center. I have friends who have had to become pretty much their child’s therapist during therapy sessions while the actual therapist tells them what to do with their child through video.
I have to say I am thankfully one of the few that I haven’t really had to do that until now. My son has been able to attend his developmental preschool during the pandemic until last week, after we received a phone call the Friday prior saying one of the teachers in his classroom had tested positive. We had him tested and his results were negative, thank goodness, I never really thought I would have to worry about that with all the precautions taken for him to attend. But since he’s been home we have had to do teleheath sessions for his Speech and Occupational therapy. He has only received one Speech session due to his therapist being sick, and I understand being sick, but when the therapist cancels after your session is due to start, or several times in a row after you have confirmed the session the day of it’s frustrating. Graham is supposed to receive 120 min of Speech and Occupational therapy a week and with teleheath his insurance doesn’t cover the full amount.
But honestly that is just a small part of the “changes” happening right now. When I contacted the school to let them know his test results were negtaive they informed me when he returns there would be a new lead teacher in his classroom and couldn’t tell me what familiar face would be in the classroom upon his return. On top of that he will only be in that classroom for another 3-4 weeks before the new school year starts and he moves to a new room all together with all new faces. Talk about changes to routine! So here comes the mom anxiety worrying about all these changes he will go through. I know each year he will move classrooms but to be honest it seems like he has yet to have a steady environment there.
Last year when he started we found out 2 weeks into the program that his lead teacher in his classroom was taking a new position at the school. Okay well he was still getting familiar so i wasn’t freaking out to bad. But then we heard that one of the aides was quitting so yet another new face in the room. Then withing a 6 month time frame we had gone through 3 Occupational therapists. Then Graham had to be out for surgery (ear tubes and adenoids removed) and vacation to visit family. When we returned they removed his favorite aide from the classroom only to find out weeks later his lead teacher was quitting and would have a temp the last 2 weeks he was in the classroom before switching rooms for the new school year.
Back to present time changes, we have been doing home ABA therapy for 2-3 months now and due to covid-19 and our line therapist being a nursing major who will have to do clinicals once the fall semester starts we went ahead and have asked for a new line therapist because of the possible exposure and the fact she would have to split hours with a second therapist as well. I was informed today that our replacement may be brand new so will have no experience whatsoever does not help calm the anxiety about all these changes coming up.
It’s hard to me to understand why these programs who are for children with disabilities, programs that work with Autism and know routine is key, and know that changes can effect our child a lot and cause regression is a bit frustrating to me. I know as our children grow they will have to deal with changes in life as they grow up but frankly my child is 3 and I just feel like this is way too much for him to go through at his age.
I’m sorry this post is a lot of negative but this is part of our journey with Autism and trying to help our son. I will continue to share our journey, that’s what this blog is for. To share the good and the bad.
I agree…stay real, acknowledge the bad with the good. I get your frustration, and I would probably feel the same were I in your shoes. ~sjm