When I look back, I realize that we started this particular chapter of our journey over a year ago. Last September we took Miss K into the intake appointment for Speech and Language after a referral was placed the month before. Here we are 15 months later and the bulk of the activity has occurred in the last six months.
That is our outcome appointment with with autism team that will tell us whether our little girl falls on the spectrum or not.
On one hand, no one wants their child to have autism, but on the other hand, given her issues, her being on the spectrum means she'll be able to get support that we couldn't afford to do if we had to do it on our own. And that's huge!
She started nursery in September and it's been amazing to watch her bloom. Her language is progressing dramatically (as we expected it would), and she's participating in groups more than I have ever seen before. She still freaks out in large groups, and new places have her throwing herself into our arms to be held pretty quickly, but she's better than she used to be.
The thing that hasn't gotten that much better is her meltdowns. There's tantrums... and then there's the meltdowns. Twenty to thirty minutes where she is raging and inconsolable- hitting, kicking, screaming and everything. It's exhausting. And scary, because the rage is directed usually at the one person who's around and telling her no and setting her off. Me.
In those moments I have to become detached, while still providing the comfort she needs and make sure she stays safe.
It's bloody hard!
In those moments it's so difficult to see my child, and it's like someone else stepped in and possessed my child. Disconcerting is one way to describe it.
I'm taking a parenting class. It's part of the Triple P program and I'm doing a level four group class. There classes are small and all of us are dealing with challenges with our children that are above the usual small child troubles.
Lots of people I know knows someone who has a child with autism or works with children with behavioural issues, but to sit in a room and share our frustrations and our loves, and feel it's okay to be at our last and final straw, well, you can't put a price on that. It's immeasurable.
And I am very grateful to have a team of people to work with us right now. Who knows what will happen after the 3rd, but currently we have her GP, her nursery workers (2 key workers plus everyone else), Speech & Language therapist (plus an assistant), Paediatrician, Occupational Therapist and possibly a Educational Psychologist. That's a lot of people!! And I'm grateful for each of them!
We have a physical next week for Miss K, and then it'll be a (in the grand scheme) short wait till the outcome meeting.
Am I nervous? Yes. But I'm also more than ready for this. We need answers and specific help and hopefully we can smooth out the more challenging wrinkles in raising our lovely, funny and bright little girl. Who just turned 4 last month! And whom I registered for school for next year already. Queue overly dramatic mommy faint...
It's been a reminder for me lately just how fleeting life can be, that moments pass before you can process them. It's ever a reminder that as much as we need to plan for the future, we need to live in the moment.