Sorry it’s taken me a while to get to part 5 of this story. There is a lot to think about. I’ve got a lot on my mind and will be going off on a few tangents, so please bear with me.
Addison began listening therapy in early December, 2007. I would take him to the OT’s office once a week and then at home we would do the therapy twice a day for 30 minutes each time. He would wear special headphones and a little fanny pack that held the CD player. The OT would “lend” me the CD for the week and we would get a new one the next time we saw her. I had to buy special headphones because they needed to allow him to hear both the music and everything else that was going on around him. We would play and do our thing around the house while he wore the headphone, fanny pack combo.
I wish I had a picture of him with his gear. It was pretty cute.
This is Addison about a month and a half after we started the therapy. He had turned 3 a couple months prior. I feel it’s important to let you know that he was not yet potty trained and still addicted to the pacifier.
Here comes tangent #1…pacifiers. The pacifier was becoming a white elephant in the room that we just had to deal with. I was horrified that my 3 year old still had a pacifier but what was I to do? How was I going to take away the one source of comfort from my little emotional roller coaster? We tried to confine it to be used in the bed only but inevitably it would find it’s way out of the bed. However, by this age, I had a strict rule that it could not be taken out of the house. I could not handle the looks of disapproval from other moms upon seeing my 3 year old (who was so tall he could easily pass for 4 or 5) with a pacifier in his mouth out in public. If I recall correctly, the OT suggested holding off of taking the paci away until we had given the therapy a few months. Fine by me…I’m all about putting off any sort of unpleasentness.
In March of that year we finally got rid of the paci – cold turkey. Addison was almost 3 1/2. Enough was enough. We told him that the paci fairy was going to come and take his all of his paci’s to BABIES who really needed them and leave a present in return. (bribery will get you everywhere) He was totally on board and loved playing with his new toy until bedtime rolled around. It took several nights of whining and crying but we finally got over that hump.
Unfortunately dear little one had a new hurdle for me…he was giving up his one and only nap. I have been reading through my journal from this time in history in order to remember the details. I had a few choice words to say about the no-nap business. It just wouldn’t be lady like of me to repeat them here. Just imagine what a sailor might say and you get the picture.
Around this time we moved from seeing the OT once a week to every other week. We were still doing our 2x daily listening therapy but the weekly visits were really adding up. Insurance would not cover the visits. Here comes another tangent…what B.S. insurance companies are. According to the insurance co. this diagnosis wasn’t on their list of things they covered. According to them it was just a developmental delay and they don’t cover developmental delay. Whatever. I sent letters from the pediatrician, the state health dept. and the OT. They denied my claim and I appealed it with more letters from professionals. I called and was put on hold. I was given the run around. In the end we paid for it all out of pocket. Since that time I have heard that more insurance companies are recognizing SPD as a legitimate diagnosis and covering more therapy. For parents out there who may be going through this I pray that this is the case.
Spring, 2007. Things were moving along in our little world. We still had our days but there seemed to be more good days than bad days. We tried our best to continue our life and do the things we wanted to do. If you let it, SPD can take over your life and before you know it you don’t go on trips, or out to eat or play dates out of fear. Fear that your sweet little monster will come unhinged in the most inopportune of times thus sending you into your own little fit of anxiety. We had things to do, places to go and I wasn’t going to let this stop me.
This is a picture from a camping trip we took with some friends. This was a milestone in my book. Vacations (even little two-nighters to a campsite) are frought with unexpected situations and change. You gotta go with the flow and this is not the easiest thing to do when you struggle with SPD. I was nervous because Addison was still not sleeping through the night and would often wake up disoriented and upset. Add to that another family in the mix to watch our brand of crazy. But guess what? It went great, all in all it was a great trip.
This brings me to tangent #3. Know-it-all parents. The family we went with on the camping trip is exactly the opposite of what can drive me crazy. They are not judgemental, they have their own problems and are not afraid to talk about them. They don’t think they have all the parenting answers and don’t dole out unwanted advice. I’m sure a large majority of parents are like these wonderful people but every now and then I come across parents who make me feel like crap. Their child can seem to do no wrong, can speak Latin at the age of 3, were eating brussell sprouts at 2 and were potty trained at 1. When I get this vibe from a parent I figure one of three things is really happening. 1. They are in complete denial. Their child is a spoiled brat and everybody can see it but them. 2. It’s all a big cover up. Their kids throws just as many temper tantrums as anyone else but they are too embarrassed to admit that they have a normal family. 3. Their child just is that perfect. If that’s the case then I make myself feel better by saying that their time is coming. Maybe not now but soon…the shit will hit the fan and their in for a rude awakening.
I know it’s evil of me to wish bad things on other people. But don’t you kinda feel a little better when you know that other people are just as miserable as you are?
I better stop. Next time…potty training. dun dun duuuunnnnnn