Our schedule’s been getting rough. A lot of the therapy we were doing in-home, we are now doing in centers. It means a lot of driving, being away from home all day, packing lunches, sitting in traffic, using the travel potty in the car. We are still adjusting to the new routine, but the adjustment periods are always especially hard. We don’t have to drive a very far distance, but the number of major traffic incidents we’ve encountered are ridiculous. Stalled cars, closed roads, air-born ladders. Come on! I just need to go one more block. But no. A closed road caused my baby to miss his therapy session. The accident on the freeway made my other son a half hour late to his session. People drive recklessly, and children don’t get the health care they need. And each day went this way this week. Ugh!
At times like this, I want to throw in the towel. It feels like I can’t do it anymore. I get tired of seeing my four-year-old spend his life in waiting rooms, and my baby in his car seat. How will my baby’s gross motor improve if he’s stuck in a car seat all the time? With the ridiculous traffic incidents, how often are we going to be on time and benefit from whole therapy sessions?
Right now our schedule looks like this:
Yes, we do 23 hours of therapy per week. I’m trying to schedule my two babies simultaneously to fit it all in.
My baby waited months to start his occupational and physical therapy, and I reached that point where I realized I shouldn’t have let it take that long. I started calling other clinics to start him with anyone who would start him immediately. It would mean going to an additional location, and therefore the two boys cannot do therapy at the same time, but I couldn’t choose convenience over the health of my baby. It’s so important to start therapy as soon as possible.
Much like I’ve had to give up my plans of doing things with my oldest, I’ve had to stop looking forward to things like fewer hours of therapy, less driving, more sleeping, more energy. I have to focus on one day at a time. This Type A, serious planner has had to give up control over our lives and our calendar. Our schedule changes multiple times a week. My poor four-year-old has not only learned the days of the week, but is attempting to learn what happens on each day, but it isn’t the same one week to the next. Therapists cancel, providers make new recommendations, doctors appointments are needed, services get cut, etc. Some might say, “This is crazy! Enough is enough! A whole family cannot be expected to make these sacrifices,” but then every once in a while a great day happens.
Fridays are light, mostly because therapists have the luxury of not working on Fridays unless they really want to, so we only see a couple. On this Friday, our last session of the day was with one of my son’s speech and language therapists. I tend to perceive her as firm, with high standards, which is what I appreciate in therapists. She isn’t one to gush. After his session, I expect her to tell me the new concepts he needs to work on. This time she came out with a smile, tilted her head back with her eyes closed, and let out a sigh. I was concerned. But her smile remained. She said something to the effect of, “He’s just wonderful.” I don’t know if she was just having a good day, looking forward to the weekend, or if she really meant what she was saying. She said Finn already knew the new concepts she introduced, that he is learning quickly, he’s bright, he probably won’t be eligible for speech therapy in school because his articulation is age appropriate. She said he’s “typical,” and not in the sense that he is a typical person with Autism. She expects, if he sees a neurologist again in a few years, he will get a reverse diagnosis. I was overwhelmed. I was prepared for homework, but got the best thing a mother can hear. Praise.
Our schedule is ridiculous. The wear and tear on our family seems too much. I constantly question if it’s all worth it. And I thank God for the reminder that it is.