Well Chris and I went to our first support groups over the past week. We went to a family support group through Cornerstone church this past Sunday and met 3 other families with children living on the spectrum. Two of the families have older children both successfully mainstreamed into regular classrooms. Chris and I were very excited and encouraged to see these older kids (age 6 and 10 I think) and it gave us a little more hope for Leila and what she could be capable of. I went to a support group tonight on my own. The Livermore Moms club I belong to has a sub-club for special needs/learning disabled children. It was so NICE to meet with other mom's in the same situation as me. We talked about our kids, shared resources, cried a little, laughed a little. It was awesome. I'm looking forward to the next meeting!!
Leila had a great week. After the stress and trauma from last week I think she is (and I'm probably jinxing this) okay with therapy again. I think she started to associate going into the playroom with what happened last week. Natalie, Leila's ABA supervising therapist, and I discussed getting all 3 therapists on the same page. Natalie will observe all 3 therapists and then have them overlap each other. They say that exposing her to different styles of running programs, different therapists, etc. is good for Leila. Too much of the same thing over and over again can be bad for Leila too I guess.
On another note Leila is repeating so many words!!! She has made huge progress here. When she first started her therapy over a month ago she had maybe 6 words now she has over 25 in any session! She still cannot use most of them to communicate but we are working on it. Leila's speech therapist really emphasized with me narrarating everything I do and she does. Like, "I'm making breakfast", "you're having oatmeal", "you're sitting down", etc... it's kinda annoying to talk that much but her speech therapist says the more I talk the more I expose her to new words.
We also had a dinner training the other night with Natalie. The training did not go very well. We are trying to get Leila to have at least one bite of everything on her plate and sit down during the whole meal. So to begin we are trying the eating thing because that's more important then sitting. I tried to make a meal that I knew had things she liked and things she didn't. I don't think she really ate anything that night. It was very stressful. You know what she wants, you know why she is so upset, but she can't tell me. She gets so angry she bites what is near her. Like a doll or a foam letter. Thankfully not us yet.
I continue to have mini panic/anxiety attacks every time I think about Leila's future and schooling. Especially after attending the Mom's Club support group. The struggles and hoops you have to jump through for a special needs child seems overwhelming. The fear of the unknown and letting go of control over Leila while she attends school is hard too. I want to be able to keep her in my safe little bubble where no kid/adult gets frustrated with her or is mean to her. I know this is part of growing up and figuring life out but I have such bad "mama bear" syndrome with her it's going to be difficult. Both Natalie and Shannon, (our case manager) agreed that it would be hard for me but have tried to reassure me that this is what will be best for Leila and the services provided to her will be outstanding. So I keep trying to remind myself of this every time I start to stress about letting go of my baby.