Into the big leagues

In our rural neck of the woods, we’re pretty fortunate in terms of autism diagnosis and treatment options, first because of the medical card loophole which means that wraparound services, among others, are covered by the state, and second because most communities have autism-trained wrap programs. Up until now, we’ve been able to treat within a 30-mile radius.

But the Captain’s ongoing saga has finally driven us further afield. None of the medications seem to be having an effect and there are still multiple infractions at school and home each week. As the school psychologist said, “There are always social concerns with Asperger’s kids but they are capable of internalizing and learning appropriate behaviors-especially when they are as bright as he. Typically, as they get older, the Asperger’s tends to fade some. He is getting worse. I could be totally off base here but I have been thinking about it a lot and, with the efforts that have been put forth at home and at school, there is something else going on.”

So this week we went to Pittsburgh to the Watson Institute, which has quite a reputation for diagnostic programs, to see what else is going on. We spent an hour and a half with a psychologist and her intern going over the 19-page intake packet and other documents they’d requested we send, fleshing out info they wanted to have for testing purposes. Next we’ll go back for a full day of testing for the Captain, as they look at the Asperger’s, ADHD and attachment disorder possibilities among others. Who knows, there might be something brand new in the picture none of us have considered!

Once that’s done, we have to go back for a review session to go over the testing results. I told them that if we need to treat in Pittsburgh to be successful that we certainly would. 200 miles roundtrip is a lot, but hopefully we wouldn’t have to do it often. Pittsburgh is a pretty cool place; we’d just have to make it a family outing or something. But they seemed to think we could bring the results back here for our wrap people to implement. Either way. Just so progress is the upshot.

This and the unavailability of respite is taking a lot of our mental stamina. But we’re hoping to see through this to a more positive direction soon, perhaps as soon as the turning of the year.

We continue to focus so that both of the other children are able to have our attention as needed, and they seem to be doing well. Dr. Do-Be-Do has finally matured into an understanding that teasing can be gentle and loving instead of hostile, and his quick temper has faded. Little Miss is moving into regular conversation modes, initiating conversations and breaking into others’ conversations with relevant questions and material– a big step from never responding unless skillfully questioned. In with the good, out with the bad, that’s what we say!

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3 thoughts on “Into the big leagues

  1. Oh good luck with the testing. It is our way of life, now isn’t it. Never a dull moment—or not for long, that is! But this post reminded me of a similar situation: when one of my kids was off track (so to speak) the other kid was doing GREAT! i guess other forces were (are) in place to save a mother’s sanity!

  2. Do you have STEP in your community? In Williamsport, if your child has an access card, you are eligible for STEP funding to reimburse medical or treatment-related travel. Not that it’s all about the money, but reimbursement has helped us out a bunch.

    Good luck in Pittsburgh.

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