Tuesday we had our case manager over for a review of Leila’s case and she gave us the great news that Leila has made status 2!! What this basically means is that Leila will receive services till the age of 6. She will have to be assessed again when she turns 3 and we will find out what exactly she qualifies for. Mostly we are hoping for continued ABA services. She could possibly get 10 hours a week of ABA and they would focus more on social skills rather than learning skills. Status 2 also means we qualify for respite services. We could go through a respite agency but they would only watch Leila and not Lucy. So, if we find someone personally (not a family member and they have to be over 18) we then become a vendor with the Regional Center and they reimburse us up to $10 an hour. So the hunt for a babysitter begins!!
We also recently let go of one of our therapists. I truly did not feel she was a good fit for Leila. She seemed to have lost control of the sessions and was not providing anything instructive for Leila. I also did not like the way she reinforced Leila, I feel she did too much physical reinforcement (tickles) than vocal. She did not have a good balance. So as of right now Leila only has TWTH sessions from 9:30-11:30 and 12:30-2:30. We are taking a break from all services next week so I’m hoping when we come back our ABA supervisor will have filled one of the spots on Monday and Friday. I do feel badly for this therapist but my number one priority is Leila. I want consistency and as little stress as possible for her. My gut tells me not to have the therapist back so I’m going to go with my mommy instincts.
On an awesome note Leila is really making progress in her vocals. She is just really trying to communicate more with us and echos almost everything we say. She even echoed “I love you” last night. Sometimes she does not use words but will physically move me toward what she wants and even points. When she really wants our attention she will make direct eye contact with us and try to tell us; it’s pretty awesome. Even during Leila’s sessions the therapists have all but gotten rid of her PECS binder and now only use Leila’s ability to vocally ask for something to receive what she wants. They are also working on teaching Leila to take turns or to ask for a turn. This is the source of a lot of her tantrums lately but she is doing much better. Chris and I both agree that Leila has made huge strides in the last 2 months. Such little time has gone by but it has made such a huge difference.
I’m reading a book right now called “10 Things every child with autism wants you to know” and it’s almost snapping me out of my whoas me attitude. She says:
“If you are treading quicksand in the swamp of what-might-have-been, you can be pretty sure that’s the message your child is getting. You’re a rare person if being constantly reminded of your shortcomings spurs you to improve. For the rest of us, it’s not a self-esteem-building experience. Time to grab for that overhead vine and realize that there is only a pencil stroke’s difference between “bitter” and “better”.”
I have to focus more on Leila’s potential and possibilities then what could have been. It’s a waist of time basically. I told a friend recently that God made Leila this special way and gave her to us because he thought Chris and I would be the best parents for her. This little thought keeps me going when I get down on myself.
Well, have a Merry Christmas everyone!! Leila has shown some interest in opening presents this year so I am excited to see her reaction on Christmas Day. I’m sure we’ll have lots of pictures and video to share!